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Question:
What are the dangers of nuclear fusion, and does anyone know when it should be the primary source of fuel in the world, or at least when it will be made available to large corporations?



Replies:
Progress has been made on a variety of forms of fusion, but a practical reactor that produces energy for sale to the public is probably at least 20 years away. Basically, we probably could build one within 5 years given enough money, but the cost of the resulting energy would make it not commercially viable (because of the cost of the components going into it, not the cost of the fuel). There are plenty of other energy sources in the world that are likely to help replace fossil fuels before fusion comes on line though, simply because they (direct solar, ocean temperature, etc) can be utilized practically for a much lower capital cost. Dangers: the only real danger from a fusion reactor is the gradual accumulation of radioactivity in the components and other materials used in the area. This should be much lower than the equivalent from fission energy.

Arthur Smith



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