Test yourself on what you’ve learned about fusion in the following activity.
What do the processes of fission and fusion have in common?
They both produce a great deal of long lived radioactive waste
Both processes produce a great deal of carbon dioxide
They both occur within the Sun
Fusion and fission release a proportionally large amount of energy
The correct answer is d.
This is true for both processes. Fission is the process used in nuclear power stations to create energy and fusion will hopefully be able to be used for this process in the future.
Why is nuclear fusion difficult to achieve?
The fuel used is very rare on Earth
The nuclei are negatively charged and repel each other
Very high temperatures are required
The reactor is likely to go into meltdown
The correct answer is c.
Nuclear fusion is difficult to achieve because very high temperatures are required – of the order 200 million oC.