Nuclear Fusion Dream Is One Step Closer. It has been reported that American scientists, who continue their studies for self-sustaining nuclear fusion, have made great progress to achieve their goals.
Scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California, achieved nuclear fusion responses by heating and compressing a small amount of hydrogen fuel with 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser.
The amount of energy produced by nuclear fusion achieved during the experiment exceeded for the first time the amount of energy required to heat and compress the fuel used in this process.
Scientists fired 192 laser beams through tiny holes into a box called the "hohlraum", which contains very small amounts of a mixture of extremely cold and solid hydrogen isotopes. The cavity where the laser beams hit its walls emitted X-rays in response. The X-rays brought the hydrogen fuel, whose outer shell it had destroyed, to millions of degrees Celsius. Nuclear fusion responses were obtained when the pressure in the hydrogen fuel reached a sufficient level.
For over 50 years, scientists have sought to achieve the "ignition" level where nuclear fusion will produce at least as much energy as lasers provide. In the experiment conducted at NIF, the scientists achieved the closest approach to this goal so far.
Controlled fusion, which also powers the Sun, is considered an unlimited and extremely cheap energy source. However, in order for fusion energy to be used, fusion power plants need to produce much more energy than they consume.
Nuclear fusion is very different from the nuclear energy currently used. Nuclear energy is obtained by splitting atoms, while nuclear fusion is achieved by compressing atoms.
A billion-euro facility is being built in Europe for controlled nuclear fusion, which is seen as the energy source of the future. Established in the Cadarache region of France, the ITER Facility will follow a different method than NIF and will utilize the magnetic field to obtain the hot fusion fuel.
Source : your messenger
📩 08/10/2013 21:25