• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 1 hour Pioneer's Sheffield in Doghouse. Oil upset his bragging about Shale hurt prices. Now on campaign to lower expectations, prop up price.
  • 3 mins EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 17 hours Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger
  • 28 mins China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
  • 17 mins ''Err ... but Trump ...?'' #wall
  • 6 hours Passerby doused with flammable liquid and set on fire by peaceful protesters
  • 7 hours Who writes this stuff? "Crude Prices Swing Between Gains, Losses"
  • 7 hours Crazy Stories From Round The World
  • 2 days Climate Change Consensus Shifts in Wind, But Gas Is Still the Right Move
  • 18 hours Haaretz article series _ Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom in Turmoil | Part 1 - Oil Empire
Alt Text

The One Factor Driving Today’s Oil Markets

The trade war appears to…

Alt Text

Four Ways Oil Has Made Our Lives Better

Fossil fuels are being scrutinized…

Alt Text

Could The Aramco IPO Kill OPEC?

If the Aramco IPO does…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

Artificial Intelligence Could Solve Nuclear Fusion's Biggest Problem

The predictive powers of artificial intelligence could help scientists bring nuclear fusion closer to actually working, researchers from Princeton and Harvard working with the Department of Energy hope.

The team, working at the DoE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, says they have applied deep learning techniques to computers in order to be able to forecast sudden outages in the reactors used for nuclear fusion that can halt the energy-generating reaction.

The implications of a success here could be major: nuclear fusion can theoretically supply emissions-free electric power indefinitely. However, making the leap from theoretical to practical has proved challenging.

Nuclear fusion, unlike fission, which is what takes place in traditional reactors, involves smashing particles together and turning them into plasma to generate energy. This takes place in what is called a magnetic fusion machine, or a tokamak. The tokamak produces magnetic fields that keep the superhot plasma inside and keep it moving—and hot—but controlling it for ever-longer periods of time and making it move faster to produce more energy has been a challenge.

Many believe we will never be able to make nuclear fusion happen, but researchers are not giving up. Computer technology is a natural ally to scientists in this quest for infinite clean power, but the presence of data to feed into the computers has proved crucial.

The Princeton and Harvard scientists used data from two fusion reactors: the Department of Energy’s DIII-D National Fusion Facility in California, operated by General Atomics, and the Joint European Torus tokamak in the UK. What the team learns about predicting outages will be applied to the largest tokamak that is currently in construction in the ITER project in Europe. It may just help solve fusion’s biggest problem: why the particle smashing sometimes stops. If this problem is solved, the world could see a working nuclear reactor in less than 20 years, although many scientists and observers remain skeptical.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Rod Keh on April 18 2019 said:
    Wishing and hoping won't make it work, no matter how many computers you use! The problem is that these so-called Physicists know nothing about subatomic structure or fusion! If they did they would know that high energy fusion is NOT possible. Only low energy fusion can work!

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play