Fusion – Energy Source of the Future?
Speaker: Alan Cairns (Maths, St Andrews)
It is sometimes said of controlled fusion that it has been promising unlimited cheap power for the last forty years, but always forty years in the future. I will outline the basic physics and the benefits this process might offer if it can be made to work. I will then discuss where the difficulties lie and what is the current state of progress, paying particular attention to ITER (International Tokamak Experimental Reactor), a 10bn Euro international project whose construction is just beginning in France. This is intended to come into operation in about ten years and demonstrate that reactor conditions can be achieved.