RTM - The United States Looks to Formulate a Fusion Future

OVERVIEW: Nuclear fusion is the energy source of the future—and always will be. That old joke has served for decades to illustrate the frustration of fusion plasma physicists and policymakers, who want a non-fossil source of energy that’s safer than nuclear reactors and operates on a larger scale than solar and wind power. But evidence has begun to emerge in recent years that fusion is coming closer to producing net energy, in large and small amounts and via a variety of technologies. International collaborations, individual government organizations, and startup technology companies are all pressing for the holy grail—a way to use the same process that makes the Sun shine to produce electricity on Earth. Increasingly, it looks like that goal may be reliably achievable by the middle of the century.

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Volume 62, Issue 3, May-June 2019