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It seems to me that the recent few articles on fusion have inspired a lot of people - who now seem to be thinking "hey you know what would be great? If we moved back to fission reactors!"

I'm not talking about people writing these articles. I'm sure there's one appearing on the Web every week. I'm talking about people who are suddenly upvoting these articles.

But to me that doesn't make any sense. Fusion, I get. It's something like 10x more efficient than fission, and it's not radioactive or as dangerous as fission. But just because I support having more companies and research into fusion, does not mean that I would support fission reactors.

Despite this article, solar power is still the most practical way of getting renewable energy in the next 20 years. Thinking about building new fission reactors is like getting excited about some "breakthrough gas-powered engine that uses 50% less fuel", when everyone is already thinking about getting an EV for their next car.




One thing I want to point out that a lot of the recent articles seem to ignore. With fusion reactors there is absolutely no risk of runaway reactions like those observed at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island but there is a huge potential (and likelihood) for local material being radioactively contaminated due to neutron bombardment over long periods of time (this is the principle material science challenge faced in attempting to make fusion practical).

Fission reactors operating in this country are all over 40-year old designs. The newer designs actually have substantially improved safety capabilities over the old models, but political and economic challenges have prevented the adoption of new plants.




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