Nuclear Fusion: Solution to the Climate Crisis?

by Arun

President-elect Joe Biden has a vision for the United States that sees the elimination of all greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2035, as a result of the wide-spread adoption of the economization of renewable energy from the wind and sun. Recent findings from researchers may speed up this timeline, as they found promising results that nuclear fusion may be a possible solution to the climate crisis.

The researchers are developing promising technology that generates more energy than it consumes. Though there is no prototype yet and the reactor is still in development, scientists behind what is called the “Sparc,” believe it will be capable of producing electricity for the grid by 2030. In an interview, one of the project’s senior scientists built on the optimism by saying that “fusion seems like one of the possible solutions to get ourselves out of our impending climate disaster.” 

What is Nuclear Fusion?

By definition, nuclear fusion is “a nuclear reaction in which atomic nuclei of low atomic number fuse to form a heavier nucleus with the release of a large amount of energy.” The scientists hope that by harnessing this large release of energy, they will be able to produce large amounts of energy that will supplement daily electricity usage. But what is actually the challenge of this project is actually harnessing the energy, in addition to nuclear fusion being equally very dangerous and powerful. It is more promising than the nuclear fission reactors that we see today, as fusion produces no greenhouse gases or carbon, and does not have risks of a meltdown.

The science behind the device is far more complicated, and to learn more about the MIT-based team, projects, and ventures, follow this link: https://www.psfc.mit.edu/sparc

The initial results of the project seem promising, yet being able to scale the project and effectively being able to harness the energy without letting any escape and causing related catastrophes are yet to be nailed down. The exploratory project, however, seems to be very exciting and met with a lot of optimism and it seems to be a feasible alternative to scaling renewable energy and promoting a greener world.