Nuclear Fusion versus Nuclear Fission

YouTube Video of presentation

  • This short, 30 min,  presentation will outline issues and make assertations without much justification because of time limitations. Here is the list of themes addressed.
  • The focus is on “Mainstream Fusion”, as well as large scale fission reactors. I will make clear what mainstream fusion is but not discuss the alternative technologies for which there is much revived interest recently.
  • The talk is about the prospects of fusion to produce electricity on a commercial scale. So, the discussion is about what is needed for power plants and not details about past experiments.
  • A theme of the talk will be responses to “Fusion Propaganda” saying that fusion is “better” than fission.
  • Radioactivity and safety are essential for the discussion to counter the fusion propaganda but can only be briefly presented.
  • The enormous size required for fusion power plants lead to enormous costs.
  • The byzantine complexity of fusion reactors will inevitably make them unreliable. The many ancillary systems also add to the cost.
  • The conclusion, that will be obvious from the tone throughout the talk, is basically that commercial fusion will never happen.
  • Why there is so much current interest in fusion is a subject which I cannot answer, so here I will be just making some technical arguments which seemed to me to be solid.
  • A lot more detail can be found on my website “Climate and Hope” which I will refer to during the talk.