Fusion power is distinctly different from fission power in that it produces little radioactive waste, some physicists even predict that we may have this technology by 2030. Other than being a tremendous source of potential electrical power, nuclear fusion power may also perhaps solve our biggest existential threat in this century: global warming. Part of the concern of transitioning to an all-electric future in which petroleum powered cars are replaced by electric cars is the source of the electricity itself. For example, many cities in the U.S are still powered by coal and oil power plants. Therefore, you would generate the same amount of pollution in certain U.S cities in which coal and oil is heavily used to generate electric power (after all the electric cars would rely upon local power infrastructure to meet the energy needs of the electric car you are driving). In other areas such as in British Columbia in Canada there are perhaps only some side effects of changing to an all-electric car future. We may not produce any pollution with our hydroelectric power system, but it will definitely still lead to habitat loss for fish that normally cross an area where a dam has been newly constructed.

It is then clear that nuclear fusion based power would be the holy grail for which our problems with regards to global warming would be largely solved due to that fact that it could potentially generate huge amounts of power. The fact remains that we are not there yet, in fact it was only in August 2013 that the NIF (National Ignition Facility, which is located in California in the United States) was able to generate fusion power with a net energy gain. Actual controlled releases of fusion power were first made in 1991 in England.

There also needs to be a dose of skepticism with regards to achieving full fusion power capabilities. In 1951, Argentinian President Juan Peron, claimed that Argentina had successfully harnessed the power of the sun with the help of German scientist Ronald Richter. His claim turned out to be fake, however.   

Fusion power thus offers a lot of promise, but in terms of actual power output we have only recently been able to harness it with a net energy gain. The next 10-20 years will therefore be critical in determining whether we can generate this source of power on a massive scale.

Fusion Power and Humanity's Future
Article Name
Fusion Power and Humanity's Future
Fusion power will be a key component of any renewable energy strategy. In fact, it may be the holy grail to solving our climate crisis.
Publisher Name
Cosmic Nebula
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