For nuclear fusion

  • Nuclear fusion could solve the world’s energy needs because hydrogen and deuterium are widely available as the constituents of seawater and so are relatively cheap and nearly inexhaustible.
  • Fusion does not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  • There is no radioactive waste with a fusion reaction. The major by-product is helium, an inert, non-toxic gas.
  • Fusing nuclei together in a controlled way releases four million times more energy per kg than a chemical reaction such as burning coal, oil or gas. This keeps transportation and mining costs low and reduces the associated hazards.
  • Nuclear fusion releases four times more energy per kg than a nuclear fission reaction.

Against nuclear fusion

  • The technological difficulties of fusion reactors are difficult to overcome.
  • Temperatures approaching the temperature of the sun (approximately 150,000,000 °C) are required for fusion to occur on Earth. Reaching this very high temperature and containing the reaction at it for a sufficiently long time is very difficult.
  • There are many difficulties to overcome before nuclear fusion provides electricity on a commercial scale and it may be another 50 years before that happens.
  • Nuclear fusion reactors will be expensive to build because of the technology required.
  • The system used to contain the nuclear fusion reaction will be expensive to operate because of the very high temperatures needed for the nuclei to fuse.
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