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Commercially viable electricity from nuclear fusion one step closer thanks to British breakthrough | UK News

The dream of pollution and radiation-free electricity derived from nuclear fusion could be one more step towards reality thanks to a breakthrough by British scientists.

They developed an exhaust system capable of handling the immense temperatures created during the melting process and which until now have limited the viability of commercial fusion power plants.

The first results of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s MAST Upgrade experiment suggest that the world first could mean that the development of fusion energy is getting easier.

The production of electricity using a fusion reactor is still in the experimental stage, but experts have said that fusion energy – based on the same principle that stars create heat and light – could be a secure and sustainable part of our energy supply in the future.

A fusion power plant uses a machine called a tokamak to allow hydrogen atoms to fuse together, releasing energy that can produce electricity.

But fusion reactions can produce a lot of heat, and without an exhaust system to handle this, materials have to be replaced more often.

This limits the operating capacity of the power plant and increases the cost of energy.

Undated photo of the document released by the British Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) of the interior of the MAST upgrade tokamak.  Scientists have successfully tested an innovative concept in the world that could remove one of the main obstacles to the development of fusion energy.  Issue date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
A fusion power plant uses a machine called a tokamak to allow hydrogen atoms to fuse together

The system used by the MAST leveling experiment – the Super-X divertor – however, allowed tokamak coins to last longer.

Tests have shown a reduction of at least 10 times the heat, a result that could make power plants more economically viable, thereby reducing the cost of fusion electricity.

UKAEA Senior Scientist at MAST Upgrade, Dr Andrew Kirk, said the results were “fantastic”, adding: “This is the time our UKAEA team has been working for almost a decade.

“We built MAST Upgrade to solve the exhaust problem of compact fusion power plants, and the signs are that we’ve been successful.

“Super-X reduces heat on a blowtorch exhaust system …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-25 23:49:00