The BBC Radio 4 series “In Our Time” broadcasted a program on nuclear fusion. Hosted by Melvyn Bragg, panelists Philippa Browning, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, Steve Cowley, Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and Justin Wark, Professor of Physics and fellow of Trinity College at the University of Oxford discussed the mechanics and developments of fusion.
After explaining what fusion is, the scientists discussed its history- how it was discovered from determining the age of the sun, and its terrestrial birth after the Manhattan Project with the creation of the Hydrogen bomb. Both magnetic confinement and inertial confinement fusion were explained and modern experiments discussed. Fusion as a power source was described as a safe, clean alternative. Cowley ended the program, saying
It’s the perfect way to make energy, except one thing: it’s really hard to do. That, of course, is why it’s so much fun to work on, because as a scientist, there are all these challenges. But the thing is, we’ve done it! …We have to have fusion energy. We’re running out of good ways to make energy and fusion can do that for us.
Fusion energy offers carbon-free clean energy and is an ideal power source in terms of security and the environment. American Security Project’s Fusion White Paper outlines a plan on how to accelerate the development of fusion power in the United States.