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Flashcards in Nuclear Fusion Deck (5):

What is nuclear fusion?

The joining of small atomic nuclei to create a larger nucleus


Fusion release a lot of energy (more/less than fission for given mass) - all the energy released in [ ] comes from fusion. So people are trying to develop [ ] to generate electricity.

Fusion reactors


What are the advantages of fusion?

Doesn't leave behind radioactive waste like fission and there's plenty of hydrogen available to use as fuel.


What is a problem with fusion?

The big problem is that fusion can only only happen at really high temperatures - about 10,000,000°C
You can't hold the hydrogen at the high temperatures and pressures required for fusion in an ordinary container - you need an extremely strong magnetic field.


What progress has been made with making reactors?

There are a few experimental reactors, but none are generating electricity. At the moment, it takes more power to get up to temperature than the reactor can produce.