Energy info zone
Energy Energy today Energy futures energy action

Is it worth it?

Nuclear fusion is a way of releasing the energy stored inside hydrogen atoms.

Scientists have been trying to make electricity by using nuclear fusion since the 1950s, but so far have not had much luck. Now, lots of countries are working together to build a new fusion reactor.

They hope that if this works well nuclear fusion could be used to make some of our electricity by about 2050.

One of the really good things about using nuclear fusion to make electricity is that it is very efficient.

In fact, weight for weight, nuclear fusion releases 10 million times more energy than burning the same amount of a fossil fuel such as oil, coal or gas.

But there are some problems to deal with first before we can tap into this very valuable energy source.

To release the energy stored inside hydrogen atoms we first have to heat them up... and you can't do this on the cooker at home.

The hydrogen atoms have to be at 100 million degrees - and under an awful lot of pressure - before they will fuse to each other and release any energy.

This means that a fusion reactor is expensive to build. Is it worth splashing out on?

What is "Fusion"?
What is "Fusion reactor"?
What is "Hydrogen"?
Fascinating fact
Fascinating fact

The Sun
The Sun

Funky fusion
Watch: Funky fusion