Nuclear Fusion By 2040 Says UK Government
- Dec 26, 2019 12:14 pm GMT
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The United Kingdom government is confident that advancements in alternative energies have made nuclear fusion an inevitability. By Chazz Mair, DEC 21, 2019
The UK government expects to see electricity generated from a fusion reactor by 2040. £220 million has been invested in the designing of a theoretical nuclear fusion power station to replicate solar processes here on Earth. The aim is to generate power using what they are calling a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, or STEP.
A tokamak is a device that heats hydrogen gas to 100 million degrees celsius and uses a magnetic field to wrangle plasma until they can force nuclear fusion. Currently, 35 nations are working together to build the world’s largest tokamak out of a facility in southern France. The tokamak there is vaguely donut-shaped, while the one United Kingdom researchers are developing is more of a sphere. The spherical design is aimed to be more mobile than its doughnut-shaped sibling. “If you look at some of the very big units, the big machines that we are looking at, just finding geographically somewhere to put them is difficult, ”Nanna Heiberg of the UK Atomic Energy Authority said in an interview with the BBC. The goal of this design is to have the power plants of the future built closer to where the energy generated is needed.