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Nuclear Fusion is constantly present in our solar system In the core of the sun Hydrogen is converted to Helium providing enough energy to sustain life on earth This process occurs at temperatures of 10-15 million degrees Celsius Scientists are now trying different methods here on Earth to make fusion the next large-scale energy source The most suitable reaction occurs between the nuclei of the two isotopes of Hydrogen - Deuterium and Tritium Scientist have already begun to test reactions involving just Deuterium or Deuterium and Helium 3He The basic equation for D-T is Deuterium Tritium Helium-4 neutron The amount of material fuel needed for fusion is rather low For example 10 grams of Deuterium and 15g of Tritium would produce enough fuel for the lifetime electricity needs of an average person in an industrialized country The problems with fusion have been numerous One of the problems is attaining the correct temperature for fusion to take place without using more energy then you produce Fusion reactions occur at a sufficient rate only at very high temperatures Over 100 million degrees Celsius is needed for the Deuterium-Tritium reaction while other reactions require even higher temperatures The density of fuel ions must be sufficiently large for fusion reactions to take place at the required rate The fusion power generated is reduced if the fuel is diluted by impurity atoms released from surrounding material surfaces or by the accumulation of Helium ash from the fusion reaction As fuel ions are burnt in the fusion process they must be replaced by new fuel and the Helium ash must be removed To fuel nuclear fusion reactions scientists heat a gas until its components separate in a process appropriately named dissociation Once the gass particles are separated into a mass of charged particles ions and electrons plasma is formed Plasma characterized by very hot temperatures is the actual fuel of
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