Fusion is supposed to be even more powerful than fission but without the baggage. It resonates with the appeal to nature fallacy with notions of bringing the power of the sun down to earth. 39 years ago Dr. L. Lidsky wrote that "The scientific goal of fusion energy turns out to be an engineer's nightmare."
Building a reliable, affordable power plant that requires achieving temperatures hotter than the sun and as cold as physically possible within several meters of each other all under the materially challenging conditions of high energy neutron bombardment is only the beginning. Low power densities and parasitic load further chip away at the potential performance of "the ultimate solution" to our clean energy challenges.
Gerrit Bruehogg is a nuclear engineer with a background in fission reactors and particle accelerators who is currently doing his thesis at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics on inertial confinement fusion. Join us for a lively discussion that leaves no subatomic particle unturned.