Would it be churlish to ask what is powering this contraption? ‘Hunting for clean energy’ implies you want to use it exclusively. Now they try to justify the thing as potentially ‘tackling the climate crisis’, which looks like two illusions rolled into one. It took seven years just to build it.
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A pioneering nuclear fusion experiment based in Oxfordshire has been switched on for the first time, reports BBC News.
Mast Upgrade could clear some of the hurdles to delivering clean, limitless energy for the grid.
Fusion differs from fission, the technology used by existing nuclear power plants, because it could release vast amounts of energy with little associated radioactivity.
The £55m machine has taken seven years to build.
Current nuclear energy relies on fission, where a heavy chemical element is split to produce lighter ones.
But nuclear fusion works by combining two light elements to make a heavier one. It’s an attempt to replicate the processes of the Sun here on Earth.
Unlike fission, it produces no long-lived radioactive waste and could transform the way we source our power – tackling the climate crisis at the same time.
Mast (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) Upgrade will use an innovative design known as a spherical tokamak.
The tokamak is a fusion device that uses magnetic fields to confine the plasma – hot, ionised gas – inside a vessel. This plasma allows the light elements to fuse and yield energy.
Full article here.
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
October 30, 2020 at 04:03AM