2022 brought big news in clean energy, with new developments happening all the time. All this might cause some confusion, so let’s make it nuclear.
- Fusion shoves atomic nuclei together. It’s how stars get their power. Fission splits atoms apart.
- 20% of electricity generated nationwide already comes from fission, according to the Department of Energy. That 20% is produced by just 92 nuclear reactors. Did you know? The nearest one is the Wolf Creek Generating Station, located in Burlington, KS (~1.5 hours away).
- Ignition just means they got more energy out of the reaction than they put in — fusing atoms is hard work.
Putting it all together: fusion reactions have the potential to produce much more energy than fission reactions, and the process only creates helium (read: no radioactive waste). Fusion ignition is a big step in that direction.
Now, if only we could use that energy to charge our phones…