MIT to develop better ways to harness fusion energy


US scientists are working on developing a technology to produce energy from nuclear fusion that would help the world to unlock the source of energy that is limitless and pollution free.

The research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge in partnership with a private firm plans to develop it within next 15 years, raising US$50 million so far.

The scientists seek to use high-temperature superconductors, which are now commercially available, to strengthen the magnetic field that contains the hot-plasma fuel used in conventional tokamak reactors to produce fusion energy.

The technology is expected to make the method smaller, cheaper and easier to build, compared to the methods employed in the ITER project, an international initiative, going on in Frace, say scientists.

Conventionally nuclear fission, a method of splitting big atoms to produce energy, is used in atomic reactors to produce energy. But it is less efficient and produces radioactive waste that is harmful to the humans and environment.

Nuclear fission, or combining of smaller atoms to produce nuclear energy is considered highly efficient and non-polluting, although the technology is still under development.



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