The Universe is powered by the energy from the stars. Light and heat from our Sun has been the driver of life on Earth. Nuclear fusion is the power of the Universe and our life. I’ve always had this feeling that nuclear power, based on nuclear fission was somehow dishonest, not right. I remember it from the 60s when I was 6,7 or 8 and got my first science books.
They promised electricity would be virtually free because it would be so cheap to produce it would be uneconomic to meter. They said that street lamps would be on all day as it would be cheaper than paying somebody to turn them off. Somehow I just didn’t buy into the dream. I just didn’t like it or the idea. I didn’t hate it, it just didn’t appeal to me.
Perhaps then I was making some subconscious choice to go more towards ecology rather than engineering. The thing about nuclear fission was it seemed clumsy. It seemed complicated. Complicated in that it was easy to produce the power, but the consequences there after were just too much. The waste, the radioactivity, the half lives, the pollution the danger.
Now fusion appealed to me. It was pushing the frontiers of science and knowledge. Pushing them to the unattainable. But it was elegant and simple. Hydrogen plus hydrogen= helium plus energy. All the plasma, the temperatures, the containment in electromagnetic fields, all this was complex and challenging. Underneath though was the choice of nature to power the Universe. Why disagree?
Tonight I watched Horizon on BBC a programme by Brian Cox Can We Make a Star on Earth? About the present developments in the quest for commercial reliable fusion. My view is still the same. We need to put more resources into obtaining the power of the universe here on Earth. Star power just seems appropriate on our journey to the future and the stars.
We will bring the importance of fusion into sustainable planetary management as the Celtic Lion Option progresses.