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One Step Closer to Clean Fusion Power

fusionNew Technique with Lasers, No Radioactive Waste:

‘Australian physicists have devised a technique for creating fusion with lasers that doesn’t need radioactive fuel elements and leaves no radioactive waste. A new paper from scientists at UNSW Sydney and their international colleagues shows that advances in high-intensity lasers makes what was once impossible a reality – generating fusion energy from hydrogen-boron reactions.

Lead author Heinrich Hora from UNSW Sydney has been doing this work this since the 1970s. He contends that their approach is closer to realizing fusion than other attempts like the deuterium-tritium fusion pursued by science facilities in the U.S. and France…

Hydrogen-boron fusion is produced by two powerful lasers in rapid bursts, which generate precise non-linear forces that compress the nuclei together. The process does not create any neutrons and as such – no radioactivity. What also sets this energy source apart – unlike coal, gas or nuclear that utilize heated liquids like water to drive turbines – hydrogen-boron fusion can be converted directly into electricity.

The problem with hydrogen-boron fusion has been that it required temperatures 200 times hotter than the core of the Sun. That is until dramatic advancements in laser technology that allow for an “avalanche” fusion reaction to be triggered by super-fast blasts taking no more than a trillionth-of-a-second from a petawatt-scale laser pulse…’

via Big Think