Why Don't We Have Nuclear Fusion Power Yet?

күнү жарыяланды 2019-ж., 6-фев.
Thanks to LastPass for sponsoring this video. Check out LastPass here: bit.ly/2GbcEci
Fusion power is supposed to save us from fossil fuels, so when is nuclear fusion going to be a viable option and why has it been so elusive?
Hosted by: Stefan Chin
SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It's called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at www.scishowtangents.org
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scishow
Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Greg, Alex Schuerch, Alex Hackman, Andrew Finley Brenan, Sam Lutfi, D.A. Noe, الخليفي سلطان, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Patrick D. Ashmore, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Chris Peters
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook: facebook.com/scishow
Twitter: twitter.com/scishow
Tumblr: scishow.tumblr.com
Instagram: instagram.com/thescishow



  • I turn 50 this year. I've been hearing my entire life that we're "almost out" of oil. The claim no longer has any credibility.

  • ...........I still haven't worked out if LENR is real. It sounds very plausible from the videos here on the toob.

  • LastPass is crap! You guys should use bitwarden it's open source and free.

  • Don't know if the scientist on these Fusion reactors watch videos like this but a quick slightly uneducated suggestion but how about taking the pellets less use for the laser Fusion and creating a shaped like a dodecahedron and giving it a massive rotation while also heating it up at the same time with the lasers will help to get a even distribution of heat and pressure to help it undergo a fusion because it seems that rotation plays a huge roll in something like the Sun where fusion occurs often or it's just me that thinks that rotation please roll and evenly Distributing heat and pressure to an object but anyways hope this helps on the quest to better energy for all of us

  • Damn disappointed we don’t have Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future yet. Science needs to get on that.

  • 5:40 goku and vegeta trained there

  • Sad that this won't happen in our lifetime

  • So, how much the power that the nuclear fusion could produce?

    • Look at a star. That much.

  • What about tidal currents? 24-7 free energy (except for the generators themselves ofc.)

  • Because why use Thorium, which is abundantly available (like in sand), does not require insane temperatures, whose waste materials don’t fuel the the military industrial complex, If you can make billions doing the opposite?

  • Unfortunately, fusion is a pipe dream and a great way it keeps physicists employed, at least for the next several hundred years. The “machine” would have to be huge, miles across to be viable. The second problem is extracting the energy. So much of chambers surface area is dedicated to containing the event that there is inadequate area left for energy absorption. Our efforts are better spent on LFTR reactors.

  • Since when carbon dioxide is bad for the environment? It naturally exists within our atmosphere. What's bad are NOx

  • never expected cat

  • Can't we just use magnets to levitate the small ball right in the center of the reactor?

  • Uranium is now a renewable resource, search it up. We've got unlimited supplies now and it's even commercially viable. How's that for a plot twist! "Nuclear waste" is still 99% uranium which can be used in special reactors to generate even more energy until the fuel effectively disappears.

  • 2019? anyone

  • It's actually very easy. Stop making babies. Less people means more energy, more food, more space, no need for wars, and a lot less strain on the environment.

  • always 30 years away......emm......don't think i can see it.

  • Because we are too cowardly to build the PACER fusion energy powerplant - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_PACER

  • Not even gunna mention the MIT breakthrough of a fuel mix that was producing 10x the amount of energy than every other fuel mix?

  • Well done

  • So instead of spending a trillion dollars on the Paris Accord why not put that money toward building a fusion reactor?

  • The magnetic feilds just arent strong enough

  • Why didn't you mention inertial electrostatic confinement fusion (or the Farnsworth Fusor)?

  • Could use a fusion reactor in a space ship by having that be used in a fuel cell to split water into hydrogen and oxygen to power rocket engines.

  • If you want that ICF work 4 you aleast a small amount time. You must calculate delay then lasers shots. Because motherboard who is controlling lasers must be how to say synced 1x1=1 With MCF you must calculate at lest 93% of materiel explosion way not 85% like you got it now. But its only theory.

  • How nuclear fusion goal will be achieved thermodynamically ? Its impossible to get more energy from a system that what you put in because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics ... doesn't that apply here ?

    • The enemy comes from turning hydrogen into helium. It's kinda hard to explain, but basically there's energy stored in all atoms, but it is not the same. Iron has the lowest amount of energy storage, hydrogen has the most. So turning hydrogen into helium means less energy needs to be stored, that energy is then released.

  • Fusion is a scam, it will never come true.

  • It's like humans making wheels for pottery and only later realizing that you can make a vehicle with them...something that seems very basic and obvious in retrospect. Humanity has had the tools and technology to make efficient fusion reactors for roughly 50 years now, and not the water boiling cop-outs that people are aiming for. It's equal parts frustrating and amusing to be able to watch this slow crawl and not being allowed to interfere.... Time is funny.

  • Nuclear Fusion does produce radioactive waste... it releases neutrons that bombard a shield making it radioactive. Yes its better than fission as its only hundreds of years long instead of 10,000 years.... There is a Fusion plant that could power the plant already... its called the sun.... way easier and now. Just need batteries...

  • "MCF uses magnetic fields to control plasma' *Checks Game Theory* We can make lightsabers out of that...

  • I'm not sure but I assume your editing out normal pauses in the speech which makes this sound like your speaker is on massive doses of amphetamines or is a heavy crack user. Its very annoying.

  • Fission is bad because people are dumb fearful ignorant animals and won't let us build more plants and would rather poison the atmosphere burning coal.

  • Don't be so quick to buy into the main stream hype on global warming and carbon dioxide causing global warming. You seem smart. Look at some of the alternative arguments about CO2.

    • CO warms. That's just a scientific fact. The thing that we are not 100% sure about, is how much and if the amount we release is the cause of the warming

    • +Crystal Heart You obviously are not smart

    • Lol

  • Nice video, just one question. What in the world was that pellet made out of in ICF?

  • Technology was developed many years ago for clean energy ok, but banned for economic reasons oil first big money, so old news to me.

  • If you play it at 0.5 even the intro sounds drunk

  • Fusion does create radioactive waste. It just decays in decades rather than thousands of years

  • Coming from an engineering background, I'm utterly flabbergasted that someone thinks they will have viable product in 30 years. They haven't even moved out of the theoretical phase with regards to generating power. Can that gold pallet thing even output net power of any significant amount in an ideal world?

  • correction: you said they blast it with a beam of neutrons, that's not what "neutral beam injection" is. it's actually way cooler! they put duterium nuclei (proton+neutron) in a particle accelerator, but since the nucleus is positively charged, it can't penetrate the magnetic confinement. so they fire electrons at the nuclei while they're going top speed, towards the inside of the reactor, so it becomes a neutral composite particle (a whole atom) that deposits its kinetic energy in the center of the reactor when it bumps into the plasma inside, and the beam de-couples into plasma once inside. so imagine, you're running 100mph towards a brick wall, and then at the last second somebody fires something at you that turns you into a ghost so you can move straight through the wall

  • You once covered Azoazide Azide which was ridiculously unstable and exploded constantly. Would something like that be useful?

    • +Dschinghiss Seems legit

    • No, because its uncontrollable. You cant even move it around not to mention put it into a reactor without it going ham

  • Nuclear power is the only way to save the planet from apocalypse.New 3+ generation reactors are much safer,with the adition of fast neutron reactors in the near future nuclear fuel cycle is closed and there will be no nuclear waste or shortage of fuel

  • Have you seen a stellerator? Its like a piece of modern art or like a shape in extra dimensional space. Hurts my brain.

  • So... nuclear fusion is the Half-Life 3 of science

  • Isn't solar power actually nuclear fusion power because that is how the sun creates energy? In that way we (as humans) have always benefited from nuclear fusion power.

  • Perhaps a way of containment is by adding motion to create some forces of inertia, such as centrifugal and gyroscope like effects.

  • Precisers of Fission were ratioactive before they were dug up from the ground so back in to the ground they go once they are used

  • Thorium is everywhere, the reactors are cheap and it generates much less wast and is self extinguishing in a catastrophe. The containment for fusion is not simple. The elements are rare and expensive. Eventually a fusion reactor will be feasible, until then we should use thorium reactors. PS: Thorium reactors are not encouraged by the governments because it does not generate weapon grade nuclear wast.

    • That last part is completely false. The government has specific nuclear reactors to generate weapon grade nuclear waste, it does not use the regular nuclear reactors that are used for energy.

  • Nice Video, Need ur attention for, Here's 1 Concept, which helps to Run Country, Completely on Solar Power in Very Less Time & Benefit All (Govt., Private Firms, Public) at Same Time🤔👇 Complete Details can be checked at kg-tv.com/tv/video-iQwhWgXmKQk.html OR More Details with Multiple Advantages👇 lightenmyways.blogspot.com Kindly Share, to implement it soon, If You like & are really concerned about your Family !!!

  • "The old joke, 'fusion is always 30 years away.'" I'm old enough to remember when fusion was only 20 years away.

  • liquid fluoride thorium salt reactors as a fuel source for fission would work for a long time as the planet has about three times the reserves of thorium than uranium. Just thought to add that to this.

  • Concerning nuclear fusion energy: Remember Mars, RIP. At least they had earth to fall back on. LOL, j/k. We need to do something. At the rate we are going. The very least no gas at the very worst no life. None of those sound fun.

  • They have been saying fusion is 20 years away since 1960 - Should have been here three times already. I am beginning to think you can't do it without gravity and a big ball of hydrogen.

  • Why not just focus on solar, battery storage and nuclear?

  • Carbon dioxide havoc? You are an idiot. CO2 is FOOD FOR PLANT LIFE!

  • Great job, that's good explanation.

  • No words about Wendelstein 7-x?

  • They’re using Gold but why not Diamond?

  • Sodium cooled thorium power plants have been proven, are runaway safe and will use the nuclear waste already produced by uranium plants .

  • Nuclear waste doesn't pollute the environment for thousands of years. The super radioactive stuff decays in a couple weeks, the somewhat radioactive stuff decays in a couple decades and the rest, while still technically radioactive, is pretty safe. Just put it in an old mine and be done with it.

  • Typo at the start! Fusion power based on Deuterium tritium does create waste. Just nowhere near as much or as long lasting as fission.

  • Barely produces any CO2? How about no CO2?

    • Taxoro Elysium The dame could be argued for the human operators or the cars they would use to drive to the plant. My point was the fusion reactor produces no greenhouse gasses itself.

    • It produces CO2 from being built and the electricity used. If we had free energy, then this would be free energy. So if fusion is our sole energy source it would actually be completely zero co2.

  • I'm willing to bet the room-temperature superconductors that a scientist working with the U.S. Navy just released a patent for would probably go a long way to helping with solving the whole fusion thing, if it's for real. phys.org/news/2019-02-navy-patent-room-temperature-superconductor.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

  • Tough times create tough men. Tough men create easy times. Easy times create weak men. Weak men create tough times.

  • Amazing how Spider-Man2 has it so accurate all those years ago.

    • Fusion has been an idea for way way longer.

  • *Nibba just push the reverse button on a nuclear fission thing*

  • @SciShow please do an episode on the teaser you dropped at the end about advancements in nuclear fission! There really is awesome work being done there

  • Why use LastPass, when we have KeePassX?

  • Have you ever started a fire in a cold environment? It's not quite like you explained.

  • Research fusion reactors typically use plain hydrogen plasma (that doesn't fuse at all) for experiments to avoid regulatory difficulties. The results can then be extrapolated to D-T plasma. And the current experiments are also more specific, they focus on particular nuances of plasma behavior.

  • Because the sun is electric and not gravitational...gravity is magnetism...the reason why you can see a star behind the Sun during an eclipse is not because of space being warped...but because the light from the star behind the Sun gets repelled around the Sun because light repels light and 2 separate photons can not occupy the same space..Big Bang only explains 4 % of the universe and the rest is dark matter and dark energy or another words... I don't know...the electric universe theory explains the unknowns of the Big Bang Theory... Just don't believe the religious crap the electric universe proponents tie to the electric universe... Same exact people are on both sides of the argument

  • Enough Climate Change....We need Climate Constant!

  • "It wont be that way for long" well ya in ten years it wont be 30 years from now itll be 20..

  • Black holes are measurable. Black holes are created as stars implode. The star no longer emits energy, it sinks energy. What if the energy coming out of the sun is the energy being sunk into black holes somewhere else? All the funding would have been wasted. All the experts would be relying in a lie from another expert to get their full perspective. (As Christians, or funded by christians, do.)

    • Remember electromagnetic waves propagate even if there is no matter.

    • Has anyone ever physically proved that the energy being emitted by the sun is actually energy extracted from fusion of the elements in the sun? Has anyone ever physically proved where is the energy sunk by black holes going?

  • i don't know about you but i've been powered by NF for a while kg-tv.com/tv/video-efZ-8EbFWic.html

  • Power storage improvement will do more to stop pollution that any new power source. Storage is the key.

  • Because Financiers demand that Scientists predict their discovers, literally violating the process of science replacing it with the process of money.

  • #FundNuclearFusion

  • That 1 second hair cut at 9:49

  • this is cause they want to find a way to weaponize it as they did with nuclear …………a more powerful and cleaner source of power has excisted since the 50's

  • turbines ? all this work and we still cant find a way to get electricity more efficiently ?

  • The benchmark is producing energy at a cost that's equal or less than the current sources of energy. If you're spending billions to produce a few MW of energy, when you can spend millions to produce GW of energy, then fusion isn't worth it. I'm sure that one day we'll get there, but maybe in another 30 years ;p

  • In the meantime, Thorium nuclear energy: kg-tv.com/tv/video-k6BXvw6mxtw.html

  • So many experts in the comment section.

  • Ummm, did this guy use "likelier" instead of "more likely". I'm gonna use that as my password, and by the way. Why wasn't he using grammarly, I bet he was and it just fkd him over..... fkn grammarly

  • so many chair engineers around here xD

  • It's not true that the benchmark of whether fusion is practical is when you have more energy out than it takes to run - it's when you get more money out than it takes to run.

  • Fusion produces also radioactive Waste ... but the alf life time is quite lower

  • In about 100 years we look at this video and go HAHA did we really needed to have such a big fusion reactor to gain such a luttle amount of power? or something like "dad didnt they really have fusion cars?

  • Stars don't work like we think we know they do.

  • With all of the progress, I think we can say that fusion is now ten years away - and always will be.

  • and i live Wright next to ITER so is it saff!!!!

  • My hopes are pinned on the stellerator tocamac. Wendelstein 7-X has been posting some really nice plasma confinement results in the past few years.

  • Disappointed you didn't mention SPARC and the promise that the newer, more powerful superconductors hold.

  • Who said that you need extreme temperatures to reach fusion? What about Brioullin energy and other LENR concepts? There are even ambiant temperatures fusion occurring in ass of chickens :) Concepts presented in the video are so primitive and inefficient. I am considering LENR less fringe than hot reactors and if you want to remain immediately realistic do thorium which have been abandoned because of the military motherfuckers.

  • why nowbody talk's about proton+boron aneutronic laser fusion? No neutrons, no long-term radiactive waste and much smaller devices This is a much more exciting way for fusion. www.nature.com/news/two-laser-boron-fusion-lights-the-way-to-radiation-free-energy-1.13914

  • Why isn‘t there any talk about the stellarator? There is a german research facility making good progress in the field.

  • Thermonuclear bombs are still mostly atomic bombs. They use the second fusion stage to generate neutrons which causes fast fission (i.e. more complete fission that otherwise possible) in a third fission stage. Most of the energy released by a thermonuclear bomb is from fission. The exception is the Tsar Bomba which had it's third uranium stage removed at the last minute. As originally designed it was supposed to be 100 megatons but even the soviets got nervous about that.

  • Lets say for arguments sake, that these experiments, over decades, have cost in the order of some trillions of dollars, minimum. Where would the human race be today if we had spent that money just on solar and wind? We would have a global solar economy, that's what. We hear talk of problems storing energy but if you were a Roan over 1000 years ago, they would not have even thought twice. Solar farms can pump water by day and the water can flow through generators 24-7, simple hydro power. Add to that possibilities with proven geothermal and we already have a range of effective wind turbines, although far too few horizontal micro turbines suitable for homes and businesses. Electricity is critical to a clean future and the solutions need to be foolproof and have longevity few engineers bother planning for these days.

    • If we spend all that money on solar and wind we would have an unstable power grid that relies on overpriced gasoline and coal to throttle the supply and keep it from collapsing. Sure, carbon emissions might be lower overall, but at the same time, they are floored with absolutely no viable alternatives to reduce them to zero, in at least a century to come. With all the money in RnD of nuclear fusion we have a reasonable hope to start switching to 100% green power grid within our lifetimes.

  • you lost me at man made global warming. he's a tip.....nuclear fission power generation is greenhouse gas free and something we can do NOW. don't like it? too bad. it's the best thing to use to get to something better. and you didn't even mention MSR's which is a nuclear reactor you could have in your back yard.