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Fusion’s role in fighting climate change


Physicists Robert Goldston and Jacob Schwartz with computerized image of international ITER experiment behind them. Newswise — Author Robert J. Goldston directed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory from 1997 to 2009 and is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. He conducts research on fusion energy, arms control and nuclear non-proliferation. Co-author Jacob A. Schwartz earned his doctorate from the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics in 2020 and is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. The following article appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists .

Excitement about fusion energy is growing. The international ITER project in France, which counts China, India, Europe, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States as its partners, is starting to assemble the world’s most powerful fusion experiment. It is designed to produce 10 times more fusion power, in the form of heat, than the power injected into the fuel.

Consequently it will approach what is required for a practical fusion power plant—producing 25 to 30 times more fusion power than the power put in. Meanwhile, about $2 billion of private capital has flowed into fusion […]

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