by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com
Meanwhile, Microsoft is betting one startup can deliver on nuclear fusion by 2028.
Eight U.S. companies developing nuclear fusion energy will receive $46 million in taxpayer funding to pursue pilot plants.
Generating more energy from a fusion reaction than goes into the fusion plant to heat fuel to temperatures of more than 100 million Celsius has eluded scientists for decades.
But more than 30 companies around the world are trying to generate power from fusion, which could one day help the world slash emissions linked to climate change, without producing long-lasting radioactive waste.
Fusion occurs when the nuclei of two light atoms such as hydrogen, heated to extreme temperatures, fuse into one heavier nucleus releasing vast amounts of energy.
The Energy Department’s Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program hopes to help develop pilot-scale demonstration of fusion within a decade.
This is an interesting move, which hopefully signals there is a reality check going on about the efficiency and practicalities associated with solar power and wind farms.
Compared to fission reactions within traditional nuclear power plants that split atoms apart, fusion occurs when atoms are forced together within extremely high temperatures to produce a new, smaller mass atom. The energy generated in this process is massive.
Scientists have achieved a few key advancements in recent research.
On December 21, 2021 a group of researchers saw a nuclear fusion reaction take place that generated a record-breaking 59 megajoules of energy in just a mere five seconds through using sustained fusion energy.
This discovery is one of several major developments over the past year or so that is shaping nuclear fusion technology into a stronger potential candidate for fossil fuel-free energy.