A Comparison between Nuclear Fusion and Fission and their Feasibility as Fuels.


We belong to a world that uses vast amounts of electricity, as can be seen in this picture of the "Earth's City Lights".




One of the ways that we presently produce electricity is through nuclear fission. Nuclear fission occurs when a neutron is fired at a target nucleus, splitting the nucleus and releasing energy. This form of energy production has become extremely unpopular in recent years, mainly due to a few major accidents, such as the Chernobyl disaster on April 25th -26th, 1986 .


On the other hand, a new form of nuclear power, Nuclear fusion, that is now being developed, is showing signs of being far more popular.


Nuclear fusion combines hydrogen nuclei at extremely high temperatures (100 million Kelvin) to create helium atoms and a highly energetic free neutrons. The fact that such high temperatures are required for fusion to occur, has prevented it's commercial use thus far. However, with projects such as the JET project underway, it is now predicted that there will be a nuclear fusion power plant in use within 30 years.


When/if nuclear fusion is harnessed as a plausible form of power creation, it should become the most popular form of power production. It does not cause pollution, and so has not effect on global warming; produces large amounts of energy from materials that are readily available, and produces only tiny (in comparision to nuclear fission) amounts of radiation with short half-lives. This makes nuclear fusion a safe, renewable form of energy for the future; preferable to nuclear fission.