We Have Already Done Nuclear Fusion
Yes it’s true. On several occasions we have actually gotten the fusion process going. The so far most successful experiment was conducted in 1997, where scientists fired up JET (Joint European Torus), and generated 16 MW through fusion. On the other hand, the input of energy that was required to achieve this exceeded the output many times over.
The image to the left is an illustration of the inside of JET-reactor, which is built on the concept of nuclear tokamaks, a reactor-type that uses magnetic fields to withstand the heat, originally developed by Soviet physicist back in the 50’s.
ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which is a coalition of seven nations that continues to push fusion forward, is planning to start testing in France already in 2018. We can only speculate in if the $23 billion project will get us closer to realizing fusion power on large-scale, but ITER sure holds a lot of promise.
The achievement of fusion power represents a new paradigm shift in energy: The times where resource has dictated the energy world will be replaced by knowledge. We will no longer be bound by quantities of fossil fuels, wind or solar resources, but instead have the knowledge to derive all the energy we need through something as simple and abundant as seawater. This is why nuclear fusion is the holy grail of energy.