Until recently the attractions and drawbacks of nuclear fusion reactors were largely theoretical. Within a decade this will not be the case. One of the cliches of nuclear power research is that a commercial fusion reactor is only ever a few decades away – and always will be. So claims that the technology is on the “brink of being realised” by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a private company should be viewed sceptically. The MIT-led team say they have the “science, speed and scale” for a viable fusion reactor and believe it could be up and running within 15 years, just in time to combat climate change. The MIT scientists are all serious people and perhaps they are within spitting distance of one of science’s holy grails. But no one should hold their breath. Fusion technology promises an inexhaustible supply of clean, safe power. If it all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. For decades scientists struggled to recreate a working sun in their laboratories – little surprise perhaps as they were attempting to fuse atomic nuclei in a superheated soup. Commercial fusion remains a dream. Yet in recent years the impossible became merely improbable and then, it felt almost overnight, technically feasible. For the last decade there has been a flurry of interest -and not a little incredulity -about claims, often made by companies backed by billionaires and run by bold physicists, that market-ready fusion reactors were just around the corner.
Guardian 12th March 2018 read more »
We could have carbon-free LIMITLESS ENERGY from nuclear fusion within 15 years, claim MIT scientists.
Daily Mail 12th March 2018 read more »