How many years before we see the first nuclear fusion reactors?

It would be very desirable if nuclear fusion reactors were around, offering a good source of clean energy, without problems that the fission reactors have, e.g. long-decaying radioactive waste.

How long do you think it will be before we see the first nuclear fusion reactors?

One problem with taking advantage of nuclear fusion is the extremely high temperature needed before nuclear fusion can occur – perhaps this temperature threshold could be lowered by triggering the fusion in low-pressure conditions?

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6 Responses to “How many years before we see the first nuclear fusion reactors?”

  1. Lub of the land said:

    I would say about 20-25. Energy cells will be coming sooner, replacing rechargeable batteries.

  2. Fred Fred said:

    I think they already managed it .. but they work crap..
    don’t know how long before they have a usable reactor?

  3. linlyons said:

    i attended a talk by a Lawrence Livermore physicist working on exactly that problem, and he thinks 10-15 years.
    they think that this year they’ll be able to create a reaction that produces more energy than it consumes, but, as far as i know, that’s not happened yet.

  4. Mark J said:

    nuclear fusion reactors already exist, however they have not yet left the research stage. The first generation fudion reactors were in what was the Soviet Union (Tokamak) and the JET (Joint European Torus). there is a version 2 reactor due to come on line mid way through next decade which is designed to run for 400 seconds. that reseearch reactor is planned to run for 30…40 years so I’d guess the scientists think its 20..50 years off.

    so a commercial fusion reactor based on a tokmak design is decades off.

    there was an attempt to make a fast breeder reactor but they haven’t entered commercial generation (just) yet

  5. lamda infinity said:

    there is an experimental fusion reactor that uses a plasma core at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. its an interesting place with a lot of very large machinery. (an interesting fact- the PPPL reactor is home to the hottest and the coldest places in our solar system, and are within about a meter of eachother!)

    as for low pressure, parts of the reactor are already in vacuum chambers, and im not sure low pressure would make a difference anyway because of the atomic nature of the reaction.

    when it comes to the first commercial nuclear fusion generators (hooked up to a turbine and generator like fission reactors), it may be a while. I’d give it at least 50 years, especially given the current global crisis.

  6. BumAppemn said:




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