Scientists report major breakthrough creating nuclear fusion energy

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 09, 2022, 10:08 PM(IST)

This handout photograph released by The European Space Agency (ESA), shows an image of the Sun, roughly halfway between the Earth and the Sun, taken by The Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) and Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (PHI) instruments onboard The Solar Orbiter spacecraft Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

If humans are able to master nuclear fusion, there will be no need to use fossil fuel-based energy sources and even nuclear power. Nuclear fusion energy would become an ideal source of low-carbon, low-radiation energy

Scientists in Europe have reportedly made a major breakthrough towards achieving practical nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun and enables all life on Earth. BBC reported that UK-based JET laboratory has broken its own record in achieving practical nuclear fusion.

As per the report, the laboratory was able to produce energy of 59 megajoules (11 megawatts) over five seconds. This may not sound much but it is more than double the energy that was formed in a test held in the year 1997. And the breakthrough takes us one step closer towards obtaining energy from practical nuclear fusion.

If humans are able to master nuclear fusion, there will be no need to use fossil fuel-based energy sources and even nuclear power. Nuclear fusion energy would become an ideal source of low-carbon, low-radiation energy.

"The JET experiments put us a step closer to fusion power," said Dr Joe Milnes, the head of operations at the reactor lab. "We've demonstrated that we can create a mini star inside of our machine and hold it there for five seconds and get high performance, which really takes us into a new realm." Dr Milnes was quoted by BBC.

Nuclear fusion is a process of fusion of hydrogen atoms that creates helium and energy. This is different than nuclear fission which involves splitting of atoms to release energy. Nuclear fission reaction is involved in atomic bomb explosions and Nuclear power plants. While nuclear fusion reaction takes place in the Sun.

Does the latest breakthrough mean that energy from nuclear fusion can immediately be used to power our factories and vehicles? No. Because large scale, stable production of such energy can reportedly be achieved in few decades.

Read in App