Andrea Rossi - Journal of Nuclear Physics - Cold Nuclear Fusion

For that reason Iter will not fuse protons; instead it will fuse deuterium and tritium. These are heavy partners to the proton (deuterium has an extra neutron and tritium has two extra neutrons). The extra mass helps to ensure that fusion is far easier to achieve and, combined with the fact that Iter will operate at a temperature 10 times that in the sun's core, it should be possible for Iter to generate energy at a rate of 500m watts – the level of a small power station. Unlike the sun, Iter cannot exploit gravity to compress the plasma (the name for the hot fuel mix): instead the idea is to squeeze it inside a doughnut-shaped container using magnets. The energy from a single deuterium-tritium fusion reaction is carried away by a neutron and a helium nucleus. The latter is used to heat the plasma, thereby reducing the need to heat it from an external source, while the neutron can be absorbed in the walls, heating them up. In a reactor, that heat can then be extracted and delivered to the grid.

Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community

Looking for books on Nuclear Physics

Check our section of free e-books and guides on Nuclear Physics now

In many ways, Jet is a mini-Iter: the design is broadly similar and the basic physics is the same. Research at Jet over the past 20 years has led to continuous advances in understanding the behaviour of the plasma. These have led to reduced heat loss due to turbulence and that implies improved efficiency. It is research like this that makes the experts so confident that Iter's time has come. That is not to deny that challenges remain: materials to handle the heat and neutron damage need to be designed, the production of tritium using lithium needs to be demonstrated and the behaviour of a burning plasma has yet to be fully explored.

Nuclear fusion - History of fusion energy research | physics

The goal is to exploit the same basic physics to generate energy here on Earth. In fact, we are trying to do much better than the sun, which kilo for kilo is several thousand times less efficient than the human body at generating energy. Crucially, that is not because the energy released when two protons fuse is small. In fact a fusion reaction generates around a million times more energy than is released in a typical chemical reaction, like those that take place in the human body or when we burn a lump of coal. Instead, the inefficiency is due to the fact that proton-proton fusion within the sun is very rare: it takes a proton in the sun around 5bn years to fuse.


This tutorial introduces nuclear physics

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion - IOPscience

Nuclear Fusion, In Our Time - BBC Radio 4