From fission to fusion: the need for a quick transition

Aug 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Energy

by Jason Parisi 

When the first atomic bomb test, code-named “Project Trinity,” was conducted on July 16, 1945, civilization moved from the chemical era—during which atomic energy was outsourced to the sun—to the nuclear era, when induced atomic reactions on Earth could produce energy. Humanity’s relationship with the atom may be about to change again, into an age of controlled nuclear fusion for electricity generation.

If handled skillfully and with sufficient political will, fusion could reduce the threat of both nuclear weapons proliferation and climate change, the two risks that academic Noam Chomsky claims have the greatest chance of ending our very existence in the 21st century. But the transition from fission-generated electricity to fusion will be precarious if appropriate safeguards are not taken.

Jason Parisi is a physics student at Yale University, an energy studies undergraduate scholar at the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, and a 2013 recipient of a Rieser Fellowship from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

For more on this story, visit: From fission to fusion: the need for a quick transition | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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