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11-21-2012, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Oilbleeder View Post
As Unaffiliated said, I do think fusion will be the end game. Problem is, as you said, it's perpetually over the horizon. I don't know as much as I would like to about fusion, but what exactly is the biggest set back for fusion?
By far the biggest is that we can't get more energy back from fusion than we put in to start it right now.

There are also other things. For example:
Virtually all fusion reactor designs use deuterium and tritium as fuel, which are heavy isotopes of hydrogen (they contain neutrons). A neutron is released during fusion.

The neutron radiation (the flying neutron above coming out of the reaction) can and will combine in some part with the reactor material, inducing radioactivity.

So if your reactor is made of steel, the steel becomes radioactive eventually. Then you have to have some good method of storage for the radioactive reactor material.

That being said, there is no danger in a fusion reactor of a meltdown, like in a fission reactor (Chernobyl, Fukushima, The Simpsons power plant, etc.). There is no chain reaction: when the reactor is breached, the fusion fuel will lose its compression and heat and fusion will stop.

I could easily write past the character limit, but it's easier to just check wikipedia, which is very accurate in cases like this.

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