Will Fusion Power ever work?

The production of power from Nuclear Fusion has been researched for many decades but, as yet, not a single watt of electricity been produced by any fusion device. This website illustrates the difficulties of this technology and demonstrates that it has very little chance of ever being used to produce commercial electricity. 

Scope of Fusion Web Pages

Nuclear fusion power generation only makes sense if this technology has an overall advantage over the nuclear fission technology which has been producing a significant percentage of the world's electricity for the past 50 years. The website makes extensive comparisons between these two methods. 

This website focuses on the engineering difficulties of building fusion power plants and emphasises the size and complexity of fusion reactors compared to equivalent fission reactors.  Most of the pages relate to the mainstream fusion technology, which is the basis of the JET, ITER and DEMO projects. Only a few details are given on the alternative technologies. Little of the long history of fusion research and development is given and the accent here is on the present and the future.

Content of Fusion Web Pages

The site starts with four introductory pages presenting the difficulties of achieving commercial nuclear fusion, together with some physics and concepts needed to follow the subsequent pages. 

The relative costs of fusion and fission power generation will be the ultimate decider if fusion is ever proved to be technically feasible. Details of costs are difficult to find in open literature, but a page presents some estimates:

Neutron activation and radiation damage are very serious problems for the materials used in fusion reactors. As well as the radioactivity, reactor safety is a decisive factor in general public attitudes to nuclear power. Detailed technical pages cover these issues:

Most of this website focuses on the mainstream technology of magnetic confinement fusion using the fuel of heavy isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and tritium. This technology has an enormous problem with fuel supply, and this is described here:

This mainstream technology of tokamaks, which is the basis for the JET, ITER and DEMO machines, is introduced and followed with technical details of engineering challenges related to some components, construction and operations:

Two pages present issues related to the timescale for mainstream fusion:

The mainstream fusion portion of the website concludes with the summary page:

After the conclusion on the mainstream approach, a segment explores the other methods of achieving commercial fusion, which in recent decades have seen significant developments:

The website concludes with two pages with synthesize arguments from throughout the website and give the final conclusion.:

Link style convention

Sources used for website

Whenever possible the information presented comes from published sources and references are given in the text. 

Occasionally when published information is unavailable, subjective opinions are given and, in a few instances, new calculations have been made.

The following books have been used extensively: