Rhys Counsell, a Year 12 Physics student, recently entered a competition in the New Scientist magazine in which they had a 100 words to decide which energy technology will have the biggest impact on our lives in the near future, and why.
Rhys was runner up and here is his entry.
Fusion – What could possibly go wrong? Fusion is the holy grail of power, no nuclear waste (no Chernobyl) and only abundant hydrogen used. We are on the verge of creating the power of a sun on earth. ITER (The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), designed to produce 500 megawatts of output power for 50 megawtts of input power, is only the beginning. In 20 years fusion could be possible, sooner with investment. Only direct conversion of mass into energy, such as that caused by the annihiltory collision of matter and antimatter, is more energetic per unit of mass then nuclear fusion. High gain, low risk, Fusion – How hard can it be?