IFMIF(International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility)
The nuclear-fusion energy is destructive
A much bigger problem stands in the way of nuclear-fusion energy systems than merely forcing the confinement of the fuel for ignition, fire which immensely huge installations are required. The nuclear energy that is derived from the D-T fusions process is extremely damaging. The neutron energy of 14 MeV destroys everything around it.
The only fusion fuel that can be made to fuse reasonably well is a mixture of two heavy isotopes of hydrogen. One of the two is deuterium that has a neutron attached to its nucleus, and the other is tritium that has two neutrons attached. These isotopes are so heavily loaded that when they are banged together hard enough, one will break apart and a portion of it will fuse with the other to form a heaver atom, a helium atom, and the remaining portion, a neutron that doesn't fit into the new atom, will split off. In this process, the split off neutron becomes ejected at great speed that packs a wallop that is a hundred times greater than what is encountered in normal nuclear fission reactors. This wallop is so immense that a 'small' 10 MW test reactor, which achieved experimental fusion-burns for merely half a second in duration, became quickly so intensely radioactive that it had to be handled with remote control equipment for an entire year afterwards. Also the high-speed impact of the neutrons is so devastating to the internal structure of the metals of the reactors, that the integrity of the metals breaks down. The high-power impact dislodges the atoms within the lattice structure of the materials, by which the metals loose their structural strength, and this rather quickly.
In the fusion process the newly created helium atom also carries a rebounding energy (3.5 MeV) which the metals of the reactor vessel must also absorb, together with the radiated heat-flux of the 100 million degree plasma in the reactor. The materials do not presently exist that can carry the neutron stress and the heat load on a continuous basis for a commercially practical period.
Nobody knows at the moment if the fusion equipment materials challenge can be solved. The answer will be explored in the 30-year timeframe (2020-2050) with the operation of IFMIF, should it actually be constructed.
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - (C) - public domain - Rolf A. F. Witzsche