- "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
– Arthur C. Clarke
Nuclear Fusion is the process by which two atomic nuclei combine to form one heavier atomic nucleus, giving off tremendous energy as a by-product. This type of nuclear reaction, which is the process by which stars such as the sun produce heat and light, requires very high temperatures and an enormous amount of pressure to initiate, and a reliable system of fuel containment to sustain. Fusion reactions have been produced in artificial environments on Earth by bombarding deuterium with high-energy particles accelerated in a cyclotron. Unfortunately, the amount of energy released in the reaction was considerably less than the energy required to accelerate the particles. Brief fusion reactions have been demonstrated in the detonation of thermonuclear weapons, but these reactions are useless for power generation because they cannot be controlled. If a way can be found to produce a controlled fusion reaction, this technology offers great promise as a source of electric power. The combination of abundant fuel sources and no harmful byproducts makes fusion power a safe alternative to the dangerous side effects produced by nuclear fission.