Nuclear fusion – expensive, far away in time, and not clean, not safe


Nuclear fusion ‘holy grail’ is not the answer to our energy prayers, Dr Mark Diesendorfquestions the claim thatnuclear fusion is safe and clean, whileDr Chris Craggsuspects true fusion power is a long way off.

You [The Guardian] report on the alleged “breakthrough” on nuclear fusion, in which US researchers claim that break-even has been achieved (Breakthrough in nuclear fusion could mean ‘near-limitless energy’, 12 December). To go from break-even, where energy output is greater than total energy input, to a commercial nuclear fusion reactor could take at least 25 years. By then, the whole world could be powered by safe and clean renewable energy, primarily solar and wind.

The claim by the researchers that nuclear fusion is safe and clean is incorrect. Laser fusion, particularly as a component of a fission-fusion hybrid reactor, can produce neutrons that can be used to produce…

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