The Key to Sustainable Energy

By Amelia Lipcsei

For a long time, nuclear fusion reactions, in which numbers of atomic light nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus, have been looked at as the goal for a source of sustainable energy. As one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy, fusion avoids the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, while relying on lithium and hydrogen, two commonly available elements, for fuel. Unfortunately, to occur, fusion requires immense temperatures of around 100,000,000 degrees Celsius. This, along with high energy requirements, material needs, cost, and sustaining and containing the reaction, has made fusion power extraordinarily difficult to harness. However, in recent years, developers have become increasingly close to discovering ways to make fusion energy more attainable. Recently, the International Atomic Energy Association also referred to as IAEA, announced that “a prototype of a fusion reactor (DEMO) is expected to be built by 2040,” and that “electricity generation and exploitation is also expected to take place in the second half of the century.” With vast delight, scientists have already begun planning for this major breakthrough in technology. For centuries, power plants, generators, and other equipment have been in the making, and engineers and scientists are continuing to grow these blueprints. If advancements continue, scientists will figure out the key to truly sustainable and endless energy production by the end of the century. Truly, the breakthrough for accessing fusion energy is good news—not just for 2022, but also for the centuries to come.