Will fusion save us? A summary
I’ve had several good interviews on the topics of hot and cold fusion. Omar Hurricane and Alex Zylstra from NIF in the US, Fulvio Millitelo of MAST-U in the UK, Edmund Storms LANL and Lutz Jaitner on cold fusion & LENR.
What have we learned? Cold Fusion has not yet been reliably harnessed despite decades of study, but I don’t think we should shame them for this—hot fusion has been working for much longer and they haven’t commercialized yet either. Fusion is not coming to our rescue in the next decade, and maybe not the one after that. The largest government fusion progams in the world are the US NIF facility based on over one hundred high power lasers, and the planned International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) based on confining ionized plasma in a toroidal Tokamak with huge electromagnets. But this isn’t the whole story, because there are also billions of dollars being invested in commercial ventures.
If you are interested, and want to look into these companies, some of the largest are Helion, General Fusion, and TAE technologies. Each of the fusion companies out there has a unique idea that they believe gives them an edge. The coolest thing I read was about Helion technology harnessing the back reaction of the high pressure fusing plasma on the magnetic coils to directly generate electricity.
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