The science of nuclear energy
The science of nuclear energy

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The science of nuclear energy

Week 4: A future for nuclear power?


In the following video, Sam and Gemma discuss developments in energy sources in a replica of the JET facility at Cullham.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_nuclear_energy_vid_1076.mp4
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In this last week we're going to look to the future. Can we afford nuclear energy? Can we afford to do without it? We're going to be looking at all of this in the context of climate change, and the need to find cleaner and more renewable energy sources.
You'll also be looking at some of the developments in nuclear energy, and the way in which current reactors differ from previous reactors.
Not least, we'll be looking at the research that's going into fusion here at JET. Now so far in the course, we've just looked at fission, which is splitting large nuclei apart. Fusion involves smaller nuclei coming together, and that's much more difficult and requires a lot of energy, and very high temperatures.
We're standing in a replica of the Torus. Now, if this was real and switched on, right here it would be 200 million degrees C. That's 10 times hotter than the centre of the sun.
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