Archive for August, 2006

JET Nuclear Fusion

August 15, 2006


Today I had the chance to have a look around the Jet fusion reactor in Culham. For those that don’t know what fusion is, it basically is a method of creating plentiful nuclear energy that has no atmospheric pollution, is inherently safe and creates no long-term nuclear waste.

The only problem is that it doesn’t work, yet. Jet is currently the largest such reactor in the world, and runs for a few minutes at a time. ITER is an international effort to be built in France, that should run for hours at a time, one step closer to sustained power. However, it is likely that it will take until 2050 to get usable energy out of fusion.

Some scientists believe that it will ultimately work, others don’t. The scale of the site is amazing though; you get tired walking from one end of the experiment to the other.