Nuclear Fusion: a Climate Change Solution

Nuclear fusion is a crucial way to solve climate change and to create new ways of generating energy efficiently. Earth is currently facing an energy crisis under the stresses of urbanisation, population growth, and finding easier access to electricity, which means greenhouse gasses and fossil fuels cannot be relied on anymore. A new carbon-free, large-scale form of energy production is needed, which is where nuclear fusion comes in.

Nuclear Fusion is when you create a single, large, heavy nucleus from two lighter nuclei by squeezing them together. It is achieved on Earth by combining two Hydrogen isotopes (Deuterium — due-tear-ium and Tritium) which creates Helium and a free neutron. Nuclear Fusion also happens on the surface of the sun as well as the centre of stars. This process of fusion creates a nuclear reaction, therefore creating energy. In fact, it generates four million times the amount of energy that a chemical reaction that uses coal or oil would, which is a monumental breakthrough.

MIT has announced that their Nuclear Fusion device, the SPARC reactor, would be up and running by 2025. Great Britain has also announced that they have created a test reactor called Iter, which will also be fully running by 2025.

There are many advantages to using Nuclear Fusion over other energy generators. As mentioned before, Nuclear Fusion creates an abundance of energy. It creates 4 million times the amount of energy that chemical reactions do. Nuclear Fusion is a form of sustainable production as deuterium is abundant in sources of water and it has no CO2 wastage. Nuclear fusion does not have a usually high activity or long-lived waste, has no fissile materials and there is no risk of meltdown, which means nothing that threatens safety — the materials such as plasma would stop reacting before a meltdown, unlike the process of nuclear fission. The cost is low, it may be expensive to start with, but once it kicks off and people begin to invest, it will get cheaper.

As you can see in the graph, the lighter green line shows Americans in favour of Nuclear energy and the darker green line shows Americans that are not in favour of Nuclear energy. It shows the general opinions every two years from 1995 to 2019.

In 2019, 49% supported nuclear energy, 49% did not support nuclear energy and 2% were neither in favour nor against it. From the graph, we can tell that the average American would support nuclear energy when oil, coal and other gas prices spiked but when oil prices started to go down, they began to stop supporting fusion options.

To me, this shows that if oil prices spike for a long period of time and nuclear fusion became more relevant, it could become supported. Although, for the time being, this seems unlikely and we would need another way to slow climate change.

In the Power Technology article, Nuclear fusion: is halfway good enough? the author, Molly Lempriere, can be biased. We see that she is biased as she is so positive about the outcome of the SPARC reactor. Even though she states disadvantages such as the budget and the economy, she reminds us of every positive and good thing that comes out of using the SPARC reactor and barely skims over the negatives listed before.

In the Earth Science article, Nuclear Fusion, there is bias. Even though this article is about teaching others about what Nuclear Fusion is, it is optimistic about all the outcomes. There is not a single negative comment and doesn’t explain the bad things that could happen.

The future of a perfect climate change plan would rely on multiple generation methods. As Nuclear fusion would create carbon-free energy with no long-lived waste, this would be a perfect base for the future of energy generating.

Hey, not up to much