Question: What is nuclear fusion technology? How will nuclear fusion technology help India in achieving its sustainable energy goals?
Answer: Nuclear fusion is a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei are combined to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles. The resultant reaction produces energy that can be used to generate electric power.
Working of fusion technology
- The process makes use of deuterium and tritium, which are isotopes of hydrogen. They are combined using external force and heat.
- The fuel gets converted into plasma under high temperature and pressure. The reaction has to be sustained for a longer period if energy can be reaped.
Role of fusion technology in achieving sustainable energy goals
- Unlimited clean energy
Fusion energy will provide a source of unlimited renewable energy that if harvested provide a green alternative to existing thermal and gas based plants.
- No waste products
The reaction does not produce any waste and harmful elements such as radioactivity. This will ensure that process takes place without worrying about disposal of waste.
- No greenhouse gases emissions
Thermal energy, hydro energy or gas powered plants have large carbon footprint that cannot be offset easily. This alternative does not leave any carbon footprint and good for controlling climate change.
Issues in fusion technology
- Harvesting fusion technology
The conditions required for working of fusion technology is difficult to achieve on Earth. The reaction chamber should have high temperature and pressure to emulate this method.
- High costs
The cost of setting up fusion plants and running them to extract energy is very high. It will take decades until the technology becomes feasible for commercial exploitation.
Thus, nuclear fusion technology is indeed a prospect for future that will ensure that energy needs of the world are looked into without resulting in climate degradation.