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It may not be obvious but everything we can see is powered by nuclear fusion. This is because this is what powers the sun and the sun powers the earth. In this video by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, nuclear fusion is explained. They explain that energy is everywhere and powers our homes, powers our computers and grows our food. They highlight that a lot of our energy comes from either burning fossil fuels, splitting atoms (as in nuclear fission) or shining sunlight onto solar panels. And there are serious downsides to all these methods since burning fossil fuels is toxic to the environment, nuclear fission produces dangerous nuclear waste, and we don’t have the capacity to store energy generated from solar panels.
As a solution to these issues, the video explores the concept of building a “sun on earth” allowing us to have unlimited amount of cheap energy. The video explains the different types of nuclear fusion experiments that are taking place at the moment by scientists around the world, and the difficulties that they are facing.
The video also mentions the incredible efficiency of this method by outlining that a single glass of sea water could be used to produce as much energy as burning a barrel of oil and yet produces zero waste.
They even talk about establishing a moon base to harvest Helium-3, a perfect isotope which is rare one earth, but could be found in abundance on the moon. The video explains that if we could sift the lunar dust for Helium-3, then we could have enough fuel to power the world for thousands of years.
The video then concludes that, although there are huge benefits to building a fusion reactor, the downside as always is cost, as it might not ever be commercially viable. Its unproven technology and money spent on it might be better spent on other renewable energy types.
I think this is a fantastic video and explains nuclear fusion really well. Personally, the promise of unlimited power for everybody makes me think that this technology is definitely worth pursuing, despite decades of failed attempts to keep the fusion reaction going for long enough to produce more energy than is put in.