Fusion: A true challenge for an enormous reward
Plasmaphysics Laboratory, Royal Military Academy Renaissancelaan 30, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Published online: 27 August 2015
From nuclear physics we know that energy can be released not only from the fission of heavy nuclei but also from the fusion of light nuclei. Steady progress shows that fusion—one of the few possible options for the future—can be a clean and safe solution for mankind’s long-term energy needs, with minimal environmental impact. A source of energy which would be inexhaustible, inherently safe and environmentally friendly, is this not a marvellous prospect? Nuclear fusion has been the energy source of our Sun and the stars in the universe for billions of years. This process requires temperatures of tens of millions of degrees, so extremely high and foreign to our daily experience as to seem out of reach. Nevertheless, these extremely high temperatures are routinely realised in several laboratories all over the world, and since the early 1990s, large amounts of energy have been released in a controlled way from fusion reactions. We are witnessing the birth of a new technology destined to meet the gigantic future energy needs of mankind with minimal impact on the environment.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.