“As previously described, nuclear fission works by breaking apart an element such as a heavy uranium-235 atom into two smaller atoms (krypton and barium).
“However, something interesting also occurs: If two light nuclei (i.e., hydrogen) can overcome electrostatic repulsion, they fuse together to form a heavy helium-4 atom — sort of like fission but in reverse.
“Similarly, following the E=MC2 equation, this process produces a tremendous amount of energy and heat. This is known as nuclear fusion, and it’s the atomic science that is the energy-producing engine of stars.
“On paper, nuclear fusion could provide the answer to humanity’s expanding energy needs. There’s no enriched material involved; nuclear proliferation with fusion reactors isn’t a worry; a meltdown is scientifically impossible; there’s no radioactive material produced as a byproduct; it’s completely carbon-free; and fusing atoms together releases 4 million times more energy than the chemical process of burning coal.
“There’s just one catch: Building a fusion reactor is immensely complicated. That’s never stopped people before, though. An international coalition of scientists and agencies is hard at work creating the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, which is set to go online in 2025.”
I drive a Ford Fusion. That might give me a free pass to visit ITER.