Nuclear Fusion is the process that powers Sun. The Sun, like many other stars, serves as the reactor for the nuclear fusion reaction. When two or more lighter atom fuse, vast amount of energy is released along with the production of heavier components. The device that is used to harnesses this energy is called a nuclear reactor. The amount of energy that it generates is vast and clean.
However, material that could survive the demanding conditions that is found at the very core of nuclear reactors that is use fusion reaction to harness energy has not been discovered so far.
Researchers to Enable Materials to be Nuclear Reactor Ready
The team of researchers at Texas A&M University have actually come up with a way that would, in future, make materials suitable for use in nuclear reactors without being a threat to the environment. Helium is a byproduct of the fusion reaction that occurs in the Sun. Helium is considered by researchers for the purpose.
Associate professor from the department of Material Science and Engineering, Dr. Michael Demkowicz, opines that Helium is an element that we don’t think of as a harmful one. It is neither a greenhouse gas nor a toxic one and that is why it has attractive fusion power.
Explaining the usage of Helium, Dr. Michael Demkowicz, says that if helium is forced inside a metal, then it creates bubbles and stay within it. These bubbles start linking up and end in the destruction of the material itself.
However, in a recent study, the result has been completely different. Helium was forced into non-composite solids. Helium, instead of destroying the metal, created long channels. This discovery makes way for developing materials that are helium-resistant and can be used to harness fusion energy on earth.