The phenomenon of nuclear fusion holds great significance in nature as it is responsible for the formation of numerous chemical elements from hydrogen. The energy that fuels the sun and stars is also derived from fusion reactions.
Fusion in the Sun
The sun, which is responsible for sustaining all forms of life on Earth, is composed of 99.8% of the total mass of the planetary system. The sun is a massive plasma orb primarily made up of hydrogen with a constant fusion reaction taking place in its core where hydrogen atoms combine to produce helium. This nuclear fusion generates an immense amount of energy that is responsible for illuminating and heating the Earth.
Fusion on Earth
The primary objective of fusion research is to obtain energy from the fusion of atomic nuclei. The fusion of deuterium and tritium, two hydrogen isotopes, occurs most easily under normal conditions. This fusion results in the production of a helium nucleus, as well as the release of a neutron and a significant amount of valuable energy. In a power plant, a single gram of this fuel could potentially generate up to 90,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, which is equivalent to the combustion heat produced by roughly 11 metric tons of coal.
Earth has a uniform distribution of affordable fusion fuels. Deuterium is present in nearly infinite amounts in seawater. Rarely does tritium, a radioactive gas with a 12.3-year half-life, arise in the natural world. But it may also be produced in a power plant using lithium, which is also widely accessible. Fusion technology has the potential to significantly impact the supply of energy in the future because of its ecologically friendly characteristics.
The world's decreasing reserves of fossil fuels and the negative impact they have on the environment have led to increased interest in nuclear power based on fission reaction as a promising energy source for economies in need. However, the accidents at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 have created concerns about the safety of nuclear technology for generating clean power. Nuclear fusion, a process that has been fuelling the Sun and stars since their formation, is another type of nuclear energy that is discussed in this context.
Nuclear fusion occurs when two lighter nuclei, typically hydrogen isotopes, are combined under extreme pressure and temperature to create a heavier nucleus. The chapter focuses on the efforts to harness the energy produced during nuclear fusion reactions in a laboratory setting. The various research programs dedicated to building fusion reactors are also discussed, with emphasis placed on the challenges of overcoming the Coulomb barrier, confining the plasma, and achieving the necessary ignition temperature for fusion.
The 1930s were exciting years in nuclear physics. A "hit parade" of discoveries revealed fresh information on the characteristics of the nucleus. The key to accessing the vast quantity of energy locked inside a nucleus appeared to be close to reach. Finally, the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 signaled the beginning of a new era in human history: the nuclear age. Nuclear energy is a technologically established non-fossil energy source that has contributed significantly to the world's energy supply over the last six decades. Two nuclear processes release tremendous amounts of energy from nuclear bonds between particles within the nucleus. They are nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, respectively.
The Significance of Nuclear Fission for Energy Generation
During fission reactions, a large nucleus is separated into two smaller fragments along with a few neutrons. The breakdown of an actinide element can produce approximately 180 mega-electron volts of energy as it transforms into one of its most likely daughter pairs. This implies that one kilogram of uranium (235U) has the potential to generate sufficient energy to power a 100-watt light bulb continuously for around 25,000 years.
Nuclear power plants that are currently operational rely on controlled fission of uranium and plutonium isotopes. The primary function of the reactor is to serve as a heat source to turn water into pressurized steam, much like non-nuclear power plants which use fossil fuels. The rest of the power generation process remains the same - the steam turns the turbine blades, generating mechanical energy, and the generator produces electricity. However, the major difference is the elimination of fossil fuel combustion products, such as greenhouse gases, which have caused irreparable damage to our environment.
As a result of its natural abundance, uranium is employed as fuel in the majority of nuclear reactors. The amount of fissile 235U in naturally occurring uranium is 0.7%, while the remainder is 238U. A slow neutron blasts 235U, capturing the neutron to form 236U, which undergoes fission to produce two lighter pieces and release energy along with two to three neutrons. The fission that results from the reaction's neutron production leads to a self-sustaining chain reaction. When a self-sustaining chain reaction continues to occur in a reactor, with exactly one neutron from each fission launching a new fission reaction, that reaction is considered to be safe.
Fission Reactor Concerns
Even though fission-based nuclear reactors produce massive quantities of electricity with no greenhouse gas emissions and were therefore hailed as a solution to both global warming and the world's energy needs, nuclear energy is now perceived by many, and for good reason, as the overlooked stepchild of nuclear weapons programs. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the safety measures will operate as intended and will be 100% error-free in the case of a runaway reaction, which would require the reactor to be shut down.
The risks connected with the disposal of highly radioactive waste are another issue that needs serious attention. The incidents at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 are something that has most significantly increased our apprehension of nuclear power. They served as a stark reminder of what may happen in the event of a catastrophic reactor failure or human error. In particular, the Fukushima accident has dispelled the notion that power reactors pose zero risk and raised our awareness of the hidden danger postured by nuclear radiation. As a result, they have fuelled our interest in fusion, the additional nuclear energy source.
Nuclear fusion is a phenomenon wherein two lighter nuclei, which are typically isotopes of hydrogen, merge under extremely high pressure and temperature to create a heavier nucleus. This process releases an enormous amount of energy. For instance, the fusion of four protons results in the formation of the helium nucleus 4He, two positrons, and two neutrinos, and produces around 27 MeV of energy.
Scientists discovered in the 1930s that it is the fusion that has been fuelling the Sun and stars since their formation. The Sun's "fusion reactor," which is buried deep inside its core, generates the energy equivalent to that of 100 billion nuclear bombs in a single heartbeat. Starting from the 1940s, researchers have been trying to find ways to initiate and control fusion reactions to generate useful energy on Earth. At present, we have a very good comprehension of how and under which conditions two nuclei can merge.
The Sun and other stars undergo three steps of hydrogen to helium fusion. First, two common hydrogen nuclei (1H), which are only composed of a single proton, combine to create the isotope of hydrogen known as deuterium (2H), which has both a proton and a neutron. A neutrino (v) and a positron (e) are also created. When a positron collides with an electron, it is instantly destroyed, and the neutrino leaves the Sun:
As soon as it is generated, deuterium reacts with a third hydrogen nucleus to form 3He, an isotope of 4He. A high-energy photon, often known as a ray, is created concurrently. Below is the reaction:
A second 3He nucleus produced in the same manner as the first collides and fuses with another 3He to make 4He and two protons in the last phase of the reaction chain, which is known as the proton-proton cycle. The symbol is:
The overall effect of the proton-proton cycle is the creation of one helium nucleus from the union of four hydrogen nuclei. The aggregate mass of the 3He nuclei is 0,0475 * 10-27 kg less than the final product's mass. According to Einstein's equation E = mc2, this mass discrepancy, also known as a mass defect in nuclear physics, is transformed into 26.7 MeV of energy.
The process of the proton-proton cycle is very gradual, taking around one collision in 1026 for the cycle to initiate. As this cycle progresses, the temperature of the Sun increases, leading to the merging of three 4He nuclei, which generates 12C. Despite its slow pace, the proton-proton cycle remains the primary source of energy for the Sun and stars that are not as massive as the Sun. The energy released through this process is sufficient to keep the Sun shining for billions of years.
Apart from the proton-proton cycle, there is another crucial group of hydrogen-burning reactions named the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) cycle that occurs at higher temperatures. Though the CNO cycle contributes only a small portion to the Sun's luminosity, it dominates in stars that are more massive than a few times the Sun's mass. For instance, Sirius, with slightly more than twice the mass of the Sun, derives virtually all its energy from the CNO cycle.
Under normal conditions, the strongly repelling electrostatic interactions between the positively charged nuclei create a barrier known as the Coulomb barrier that prevents them from fusing. But under scenarios of extremely high pressure and temperature, fusion can happen. Due to this, fusion reactions are frequently referred to as thermonuclear reactions. Positively charged nuclei must collide very quickly in order to break through the Coulomb barrier. The temperature controls the movement of particles in a gas. It is incredibly hot and highly dense at the core of the Sun and other stars.
The Sun has a temperature of approximately 15 million degrees Celsius, and its central density is roughly 150 times that of water. At these extreme conditions, the electrons of an atom separate entirely from the atomic nucleus, creating an ionized fluid known as plasma. This hot gaseous substance consists of naked and positively charged atomic nuclei and negatively charged electrons moving at incredibly high velocities. The plasma is electrically neutral and comprises a blend of positive ions or nuclei and negative electrons.
The heated plasma in the solar core would simply erupt into space missing the intense pressure of the layers above it, stopping the nuclear processes. The nuclei are compressed to within 1 fm (10–15 m) of one another by the pressure, which is around 250 billion atmospheres in the core of the Sun. The arriving particles are pulled together and fused at this distance as a result of the strong nuclear force's dominance, which also acts to bind protons and neutrons together in the nucleus. Nuclei are also packed closely together due to the strong gravitational attraction. This indicates that collisions happen often, which is necessary for a high fusion rate.
Nuclear Fusion on Earth
One of the biggest challenges in starting a fusion reaction in a lab environment on Earth is to mimic the conditions found in the Sun, which include extremely high temperatures, possibly exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius (equivalent to mean particle kinetic energies of about 10 keV), while also maintaining a high enough density for a long enough period to ensure that the rate of fusion reactions will be high enough to produce the required power.
The Coulomb barrier, which resists the fusion of two protons, can provide an estimation of the minimum temperature needed to initiate fusion. By using e 2 = 1.44 MeV-fm, where e represents the proton's charge, and r = 1.0 fm (the distance between two protons), we can determine the height of the Coulomb barrier:
The relationship between the kinetic energy of the nuclei traveling at speed v and temperature T is as follows:
Here, kB = 8.62*10-11 MeV/K is the Boltzmann constant. A value for the temperature of about 10 billion Kelvin (K) is obtained by equating the average thermal energy to the Coulomb barrier height and solving for T.
As a result, fusion reactions are favored by high energy or by large values of v or small λ. We can now calculate the temperature at which fusion will occur while accounting for the tunneling probability. In terms of de Broglie wavelength, the kinetic energy is the following:
If we stipulate that the distance between the nuclei and the de Broglie wavelength must be smaller than that, then the Coulomb barrier is given by:
Solving for the temperature, we obtain:
This results in a temperature of around 20 million Kelvin for two hydrogen nuclei (mc2 = 940 MeV).
Scientists have been dedicatedly working on developing a reactor since the 1950s to harness the abundant energy produced during fusion. The present objectives of fusion research are threefold:
- To attain the necessary temperature to start the fusion reaction;
- To sustain the plasma at this temperature for a sufficient duration to extract significant energy from the thermonuclear fusion reactions;
- To obtain more energy from the thermonuclear reactions than the amount utilized to heat the plasma to the ignition temperature.
Significant progress has been made so far in accomplishing these goals.
The most prevalent element in the universe, hydrogen, serves as the fuel for fusion reactors much like it does for the Sun. But since the Sun does not have a gravitational attraction, fusion on Earth needs to be achieved through a different strategy. The fusion of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium (2H) and tritium (3H), which results in 4He and a neutron, is the most straightforward process that can release a significant amount of energy.
To simplify, we will use d and t to refer to deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is abundant in ocean water and can provide a long-lasting alternative energy source. Tritium, however, is rare as it has a short half-life of around 12 years and is primarily found in cosmic rays. It can be created in a reactor through the activation of lithium, which is also used as a raw material for fusion. The abundance of fusion fuel means that the amount of energy that can be produced through controlled fusion reactions is essentially limitless. In order to initiate a d-t reaction, tritium must first be generated from either type of lithium:
Alternatively, to initiate a controlled, long-lasting chain reaction, lithium can be blasted with the neutrons produced by the d-t fusion to produce helium and tritium. The masses of deuterium and tritium are not perfectly matched to produce the mass of the resulting helium atom and neutron. Each lithium nucleus that is converted to tritium can ultimately produce roughly 18 MeV of thermal energy due to the mass defect. It could seem that the energy generated during fusion is not significant compared to the energy released during fission when each split of uranium releases roughly 200 MeV of energy.
The difference in energy between fusion and fission is due to the number of nucleons involved in the reactions. Fusion involves only five nucleons and releases 3.6 MeV per nucleon, whereas fission involves over 200 nucleons and releases only 0.85 MeV per nucleon. However, both fusion and fission have lower cross-sections and reaction rates compared to the d-t reaction by a factor of 10. Additionally, the higher Coulomb barrier of approximately 2.88 MeV means that ignition temperatures required for the 2H + 3He reaction are much higher than for d-t fusion.
The fusion process that occurs when a proton strikes boron (B) is intriguing. The proton and 11B combine to create 12C, which breaks down right away into three alpha (4H nucleus) particles. The alpha particles emit kinetic energy with a total energy of 8.7 MeV. With today's accelerator technology, it is very simple to manage the proton's energy, making it possible to start the fusion process without using any additional interaction channels.
Conditions for Fusion Reaction
For fusion to take place, certain conditions must be met by the plasma, namely the Lawson criterion and Debye length. These requirements must be fulfilled to achieve the necessary temperature for fusion.
In addition to maintaining a critical density of ions in the plasma to raise the likelihood of fusion to a level that results in a net yield of energy from the process, a temperature must be high enough to allow the particles to break through the Coulomb barrier. The need for an energy yield greater than that needed to heat the plasma is expressed as the product of the plasma density (nd) and confinement duration (τ). The solution must address the disparity:
The Lawson criterion is the term used to describe this relationship. Scientists occasionally refer to the fusion product as the triple product of nd, τ, and the plasma temperature T. The requirement for fusion to occur is determined by this fusion product:
In brief, three fundamental requirements must be met in order for nuclear fusion to occur.
- In order for the ions to merge and overcome the Coulomb barrier, a certain level of heat is necessary. To achieve this, a temperature of no less than 100 million degrees Celsius is required.
- In order for the ions to merge, they must be kept in close proximity. An appropriate density for the ions is around 2-3*1020 ions per cubic meter.
- In order to prevent plasma cooling, the ions must be kept nearby at a high temperature for an extended period. Bremsstrahlung is the radiation produced by a charged particle (often an electron) as a result of its acceleration generated by an electric field of another charged particle (typically a proton or an atomic nucleus) when the density of the plasma is high enough. Bremsstrahlung could get so strong that it radiates away all of the plasma's energy. Synchrotron radiation from charged particles circling magnetic fields and other radiation losses are quite small. Therefore, the operating temperature of a fusion reactor must be at such a level that the power gain from fusion outweighs the losses due to bremsstrahlung.
The Debye length, abbreviated as LD, is a factor that impacts a plasma's electrostatic characteristics:
In the plasma, electrons use this length scale to filter out electric fields. To put it another way, it is the range of substantial charge separation and the range of electrostatic action. The energy of the plasma particles balances the electrostatic potential energy for distances higher than the Debye length. The Debye length for a 10 keV plasma is on the order of 10 nm, and the number of particles in a volume of the plasma of one Debye length is around 104 using nd=1028 particles/m3.
For a highly rarefied plasma, let us suppose that nd = 1022 particles/m3, LD = 10 m, and 107 particles are contained in a volume of one Debye length. The actual size of the plasma is far bigger than the Debye length in any of these two extreme examples, and there are numerous particles in a spherical container with a radius equal to one Debye length. The hot thermonuclear fuel can be characterized by these two characteristics.
Similar to conventional power plants, a fusion power plant will convert the energy released during a fusion reaction into steam, which will then power turbines and generators to produce electricity. However, achieving the necessary ignition temperature for a fusion reaction is a challenging task, as this temperature is specific to each reaction and must be surpassed for the reaction to occur.
Unlike in stars, where fusion occurs due to immense gravitational forces and extreme temperatures, scientists and engineers have had to make fundamental advances in multiple fields, such as quantum physics and materials science, to create similar conditions on Earth. With significant progress made since the 1990s, a fusion reactor that generates more power than it consumes can now be built, largely due to the help of supercomputing in modeling plasma behavior.
The main challenge in developing a fusion reactor is achieving and maintaining the 100 million degrees Celsius ignition temperature of the d-t reaction, while also containing and controlling the plasma's immense heat without it transferring to the container walls for long enough periods to allow for fusion events. Failure to do so would result in the plasma exchanging energy with the walls, cooling down, and melting the container.
Numerous methods have been created, yet the primary experimental procedures that show potential for accomplishing this objective are magnetic confinement and inertial confinement.
With this technique, the heated plasma is contained and kept away from the reactor walls using powerful magnetic fields. Because of the electrical charges on the divided ions and electrons, the magnetic field lines are followed by the plasma, keeping it in a state of continual looping. As a result, the plasma does not make contact with the container wall. There are many other kinds of magnetic confinement systems, but tokamak and stellarator devices are the ones that have been developed to the point where they can be employed in a reactor. The tokamak is regarded as the most advanced magnetic confinement device because of its adaptability. As a result, it is the driver of fusion.
The tokamak was created in 1951 by Soviet scientists Andrei Sakharov and Igor Tamm. The word tokamak is an abbreviation for the Russian word for toroidal chamber containing magnetic coils. It is a doughnut-shaped device that generates a field in both the vertical and horizontal axes by combining two sets of magnetic coils known as toroidal and poloidal field coils. By compelling the charged particles in the plasma to follow the magnetic field lines, the magnetic fields retain and shape them. They effectively contain the plasma inside a magnetic "cage," or bottle. A central solenoid is used to create a powerful electric current in the plasma, and this induced current also adds to the poloidal field.
In contrast to tokamaks, stellarators do not need to create a toroidal current in the plasma. Helicoidal magnetic field lines are used instead to contain and warm the plasma. A sequence of coils, some of which may be helical in form, creates them. In contrast to tokamaks, this results in improved plasma stability. Stellarators have an inherent capability for steady-state, continuous operation due to the ease with which the heating of the plasma may be adjusted and perceived. The drawback is that stellarators are more challenging to design and construct than tokamaks because of their more intricate form.
Low-density mixes of deuterium and tritium are targeted with laser beams that have an intensity of around 1014–1015 W/cm2 to establish inertial confinement. The laser's energy vaporizes the pellet, instantly generating a plasma environment that lasts for a short while. The density and temperature of the fuel increase during this phase to a level where the fusion reaction can start. Unfortunately, utilizing the inertial confinement approach, break-even conditions cannot be achieved with the present laser technology. This is because the conversion of electrical energy into radiation only has a low efficiency of 1–10%. As a result, several approaches are being investigated to obtain the ignition temperature. Using charged particle beams rather than lasers is one such method.
Back in 1989, the University of Utah and the University of Southampton declared that they had accomplished cold fusion at room temperature in a basic experiment involving deuterium oxide electrolysis with palladium electrodes. By allowing deuterium atoms to get close enough for fusion to occur, the palladium-catalyzed fusion when an electric current passed through the water. Although their assertion could not be reproduced by other researchers, the scientific community no longer considers it a true occurrence. However, in 2005, a significant breakthrough was made in cold fusion. Researchers generated fusion with the help of a pyroelectric crystal. They heated the crystal to produce an electric field, put it into a small container filled with hydrogen, and inserted a metal wire to focus the charge. The hydrogen nuclei, which were positively charged, were strongly repelled by the focused electric field, and in their rush away from the wire, the nuclei collided with enough force to fuse. The fusion reaction occurred at room temperature.
The goal of the controlled fusion research program is to achieve ignition, which happens when sufficient fusion reactions take place for the process to become self-sustaining, after that more fuel is injected to continue it. When ignition occurs, there is a net energy yield that is around four times greater than with nuclear fission. As was previously indicated, such circumstances can arise as the temperature rises, forcing the ions in the plasma to travel more quickly until they ultimately reach speeds that are high enough to bring the ions close enough together. The nuclei may then combine, generating energy. External heating creates the plasma temperature required for ignition. For this, effective techniques were developed. Below are given examples of some of them:
- The process of heating through the injection of neutral beams involves introducing high-energy neutralized particles into a plasma. These particles, which are generated in an ion source, transfer their energy to the plasma through collisions.
- Heating through high-frequency radio or microwaves occurs when the plasma is exposed to electromagnetic waves of the right frequency. These waves supply energy to the plasma particles which they then transfer to other particles through collisions.
- The process of heating by electric current involves the generation of heat in the plasma due to its resistance when the current passes through it. However, since the resistance decreases as the temperature rises, this technique is useful only for the initial heating stage.
Current fusion devices utilize these techniques to generate temperatures reaching up to 100 million degrees Celsius.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fusion Reactors
There are multiple advantages of fusion reactors:
- They can generate a minimum of five times as much energy as is required to heat the fusing nuclei to the necessary temperature. Additionally, it is predicted that fusion reactors will need roughly 3000 m3 of water (a source of deuterium) and 10 tons of lithium ore to run a 1000 MW power plant for a year, as opposed to the existing fission reactors, which use 25–30 tons of enriched uranium. The fusion reactor dominates the energy race gram for gram.
- Fusion fuels are widely accessible and almost limitless. All types of water can be used to distill deuterium, whereas lithium deposits on land and at sea, which are used to make tritium, might supply all of the tritium needed for fusion reactors for millions of years.
- In contrast to fission, fusion generates a minimal amount of radioactive waste. It does not create high-level nuclear waste as fission does, making its disposal less of an issue. Instead, the by-product of fusion is helium, which is harmless and non-radioactive. Additionally, there is no fissile material available. Furthermore, transporting hazardous radioactive materials is unnecessary for a fusion power plant.
- The worst disaster imaginable in a fission reactor, a core meltdown, cannot occur in fusion reactors due to their intrinsic incapacity for runaway reactions. This is due to the fact that fusion does not require a critical mass. In addition, fusion reactors operate similarly to gas burners as they cease to function when the fuel supply is cut off. Therefore, even in the event of a catastrophic disaster, there cannot be any radiation-related fatalities off-site.
- Fusion offers numerous advantages over renewable energy sources while being technically non-renewable, such as being a long-term energy source that produces no greenhouse emissions. In addition, unlike solar and wind power, fusion may produce power continuously since it is not weather-dependent.
There are some challenges with the radioactivity caused by the high-energy neutrons (about 14 MeV) that are created during the d-t reaction, even though fusion does not yield long-lived radioactive products, and the unburned gases may be handled locally:
- While some radioactive waste can be produced as a result of the neutron activation of lithium to form tritium inside the reactor, the amount would be far lower than that of fission, and the radioactive waste would be of much shorter duration. However, tritium might continue to be radioactive for at least 10 half-lives, or 120 years, if it were to be unintentionally released into the air or water.
- The neutrons can irradiate the nearby structures, producing radioactive nuclides that should eventually be disposed of at a waste facility. But compared to actinides utilized in fission-based reactors, their supply would be far lower.
- Since the neutrons carry away the majority of the energy in the d-t reaction, this might result in neutron leakage that is more significant than that of uranium reactors. Increased shielding and better worker protection at the power plant are caused by increased neutron leakage.
Fusion torches, which may be used to discharge all waste products, including solid industrial waste and liquid sewage, into a star-hot flame or high-temperature plasma, are an intriguing use for the extensive energy that fusion can generate. The materials would be broken down into their component atoms in the high-temperature environment and then divided into different bins, ranging from hydrogen to uranium, by a mass-spectrograph-type instrument. Thus, a single fusion plant might theoretically close the loop from use to reuse by producing a small number of reusable and marketable materials from the thousands of tons of solid trash that are disposed of each day.
The estimation for the requirement of energy is directly proportional to the population growth. This implies that with the increase in the number of people, the consumption of energy will also increase. As per the current statistics, the world population of 8 billion is predicted to grow and reach 11 billion by the year 2100. To maintain or enhance the current standard of living, global energy consumption may need to double or even triple by the end of this century. Although advancements in safety measures and new reactor technologies could lead to nuclear fission continuing to play a crucial role in generating electricity, it may face limitations with respect to public and political acceptance.
Supplies of energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind power may not be reliable due to their dependence on weather conditions. There are also technological challenges associated with other sources, such as ocean thermal energy and hydrokinetic energy from rivers, which have not yet been fully developed. As a result, nuclear fusion is seen as the answer to future energy security. While advocates recognize that fusion technology may be many decades away, they also acknowledge that the size of these systems makes it impossible to test them on a small scale before mass-producing them. This means that the construction of large, first-of-a-kind facilities takes time. To expedite the commercialization process of nuclear fusion energy, compact and modular reactors may be the only solution.
We have achieved the creation of a short-lived artificial Sun on Earth through experimental fusion reactors, despite the massive scale of the projects. The emergence of commercial fusion reactors will revolutionize the global energy mix, dramatically reducing our reliance on the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and uranium. The abundance of fuels and virtually boundless energy generated by fusion reactions make it an ideal solution for securing the future of our planet. Moreover, nuclear fusion offers a clean and relatively safe form of energy, emitting zero greenhouse gases and producing minimal radioactive waste. With the potential to generate at least 30-35% of the world's electricity in the near future, nuclear fusion can offer a long-term and sustainable source of energy without any risk for proliferation.