Australian news, and some related international items

International nuclear fusion project may be delayed by years, its head admits

Facility in France still far from being able to show feasibility of generating carbon-free energy despite recent breakthrough in US

Guardian, AFP in Saint-Paul-Les-Durance Sat 7 Jan 2023

An international project in nuclear fusion may face years of delays, its boss has said, weeks after scientists in the United States announced a breakthrough in their own quest for the coveted goal.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) project seeks to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.

Installed at a site in southern France, the decades-old initiative has a long history of technical challenges and cost overruns.

Fusion entails forcing together the nuclei of light atomic elements in a super-heated plasma, held by powerful magnetic forces in a doughnut-shaped chamber called a tokamak.Q&A

The idea is that fusing the particles together from isotopes of hydrogen – which can be extracted from seawater – will create a safer and almost inexhaustible form of energy compared with splitting atoms from uranium or plutonium.

Iter’s previously stated goal was to create the plasma by 2025.

But that deadline will have to be postponed, Pietro Barabaschi – who in September became the project’s director general – told Agence France-Presse during a visit to the facility.

The date “wasn’t realistic in the first place”, even before two major problems surfaced, Barabaschi said…………………………………



January 6, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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