Nuclear fusion is an attractive long-term energy solution, although it is unlikelythat the technology will be ready for commercial power generation in the near future. Nevertheless, fusion energy has made significant progress over the last few decades and is now considered as a credible option for clean, large-scale electricity generation. Fusion is the process that produces the light and heat of the sun. Hydrogen nuclei collide in the sun’s core and release huge amounts of energy as theyfuse into helium atoms. On earth, fusion reactors heat gas to extreme temperatures to produce a plasma similar to the conditions found within a star. Fusion’s many benefits include an essentially unlimited supply of fuel, passive intrinsic safety and no production of CO2 or atmospheric pollutants. It is one of the very few candidates for the large-scale, carbon-free production of base-load power. Compared to nuclear fission, it produces relatively short-lived radioactive products, with half-lives limited to less than 50 years.
Nuclear Fusion Power
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Do you have a great idea for a new technology that is not possible yet? Could it become real if Europe's best minds were put on the task? Share your view and the European Commission can make it happen via the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme.
The aim of the public consultation is to identify promising and potentially game-changing directions for future research in any technological domain.
This conference will explore the most suitable and efficient ways to build a better energy system. It will examine new thinking about the structures, processes and policies that are needed to ensure technology integration and drive a step change in investment, whilst considering the overall impact of these initiatives at the system level. Outcomes will be published in order to provide recommendations for policy and decision makers.
The WNE will be a worldwide platform for the entire nuclear energy sector, dedicated to sharing, sourcing and doing business on a global scale. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for companies of all sizes to display their know-how and skills in all areas of the nuclear energy industry. It will be a place to share experiences, with exhibition spaces, technical workshops, networking receptions, conferences on the latest developments and visits to sites of particular technological interest.
The European Energy Research Alliance Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials held its kick-off meeting on 30 June. In this interview for SETIS, Concetta Fazio, of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), who is the Joint Programme’s overall Coordinator explains what the JP hopes to achieve.
Could you outline what the Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials is and why it was set up?
In June 2010 Henrik Bindslev, Director of the Danish National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy (Risø DTU), was named chairman of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), replacing Ton Hoff (ECN). Here, Mr Bindlev outlines how he sees the development of the EERA and how alternative energy technologies are emerging faster than anticipated.
What is your research background?