Energy is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind, nuclear fusion may be the ultimate solution, and the significance of who can achieve this technology is incalculable. RESEARCHERs at MIT’s MIT have announced an important advance in the SPARC nuclear fusion project, which has been shown to be feasible and can output up to 10 times as much energy. Nuclear fission and fusion have been learned in high school physics, the former is the large core split into small nucleus to release energy, the latter is small nucleus into large nucleus to release energy, the sun is nuclear fusion, hydrogen atoms into helium atoms, burning 620 million tons of hydrogen per second.
These two technologies are used in weapons is the difference between atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, the latter more than 10 times more powerful, and used in the civilian field, that is, the difference between nuclear power plants, the current nuclear power plant is still based on fission.
Nuclear fusion technology nuclear power plants can not be used, because now uncontrollable – to be precise, it is not out of control, humans have been able to do some degree of controllable nuclear fusion, but the problem is that the energy used to trigger fusion is higher than the energy generated, that is, the Q value (energy gain factor) is less than 1, only greater than 1 is feasible.
In the current nuclear fusion power generation technology, superconducting magnetic control and plasma Tokamak is the mainstream, there are Oriental super-ring projects in China, the international community to cooperate in the construction of the ITER thermo-nuclear reactor project is also this route.
In 2018, MIT teamed up with a company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems to create a new nuclear fusion project, SPARC, with the goal of creating commercially operational nuclear fusion substations within 15 years.
MIT recently released the latest developments in the project, with seven papers by 47 researchers from 12 research institutions published in The Physics of Isoparticles.
These studies confirm one thing, spaRC nuclear fusion project is feasible, at least to achieve the Q value of 2 goal, that is, input 1J energy can produce 2J energy, the addition of 1J is fusion energy.
The Q value of 2 is not all, and the calculation indicates that the project can reach a level of Q-10 or higher, i.e. 1J energy can produce an output of 10J, thus greatly increasing the return on power generation.
It’s too early to be happy, spaRC is still theoretically calculated, and construction is expected to begin in June and be completed within three or four years.
In addition, the nuclear fusion project is expected to cost more than $22 billion more than a burning, international itER project, but MIT did not disclose how much the SPALC project will cost, nor how these huge investments came about, so fusion power generation is still a long way off.