Why Don't We Have Nuclear Fusion Power Yet?

  • Published on Feb 6, 2019
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    Fusion power is supposed to save us from fossil fuels, so when is nuclear fusion going to be a viable option and why has it been so elusive?
    Hosted by: Stefan Chin
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Comments • 2 437

  • SpazzyMcGee1337
    SpazzyMcGee1337 4 hours ago

    What about liquid walls? Liquids can't be embrittled. Like mercury! Or maybe producing tonnes of radioactive mercury isn't a good idea...

  • St.Michael
    St.Michael Day ago

    All we need is the green new deal to pass into law, then we will all be saved. All praise AOC and her immense intelligence.

  • Mandi Blackwell
    Mandi Blackwell 4 days ago

    I love how SciShow fails to mention that patents are pending/approval pending on fission that is completely clean... using waste it can run for 50+ years powering a city of ~100k people on about 3 spent rods.... I mean wtf, why hasn't this been approved yet?


  • Rainer67059
    Rainer67059 5 days ago

    Hey, some organisations in the world don't want us to have a good energy supply. That's why they constantly make up stories why we should stop to use energy soruces.

    First, they came in the 1970s with the scare that we would run out of oil. They convinced oil companies and OPEC to stop taking oil out of the earth and make up for the loss by selling the last oil they took out for much more money per barrel. But this didn't work out well. OPEC an the companies couldn't resist to take more oil out of the earth and make new profits. So prices went down again. We have a lot of oil for a long time to come, possibly even forever.
    Then they tried it with the exhaust. In the 1980s they told us, our cars produced toxic exhaust, we'd have to withdraw from using them. But it turned out you can turn off all the toxic exhaust by unleaded fuel, catalytic converters and similar measures with other "polluters". It didn't infringe on the performance of the cars, and it didn't make them more expensive so it didn't force us to drive worse cars because we can't afford more expensive cars.
    Then in the 1990s, they came up with the claim that CO2, previously called clean, is not so clean after all.
    We can see, they use the method, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

    Since nuclear (I mean fission) is an even better source of energy than oil, gas and coal, they made up even bigger tall-tales about the supposed evils of nuclear.

    All the stories why CO2 and fission-nuclear are bad, exist only because some increasingly powerful organisations don't want us to have a good energy supply. This should be obvious. These organisations possibly engage in withholding fusion from us. They successfully withheld thorium liquid reactors from us for half a century, unsuccessful to withhold them forever.

    The intro is a bad intro. THE INTRO IS A BAD INTRO.

    Fission-nuclear is better than oil because it has a higher energy density. Uranium and thorium are more plentiful on earth (oil is pretty plentiful). They've got a lower EROEI factor, their energy is cheaper.
    Fusion has the same advantages over fission.
    That's the reasons why to want fusion. Not a search for "clean" energy.

  • Lon Groth
    Lon Groth 7 days ago

    Until fusion becomes a viable source, there's always the LFTR Reactor alternative. Much safer with no chance of core meltdown, less waste, produces energy at a lower cost than hard water reactors, they can be placed anywhere since they don't require a massive water source, even coal powered plants could be retrofitted at their existing locations. These would drastically reduce emissions, so many benefits for the here and now, and the technology is proven to work. Most countries are making great strides in development, including a new variation on LFTR technology, the DFR (Dual Fuel Reactor,) being developed in Germany. . You should re-visit that subject, a lot has changed since your 3 minute video released in 2012.

  • Bazooka Llama Productions

    ill fart in a can and power the world with MY OWN spicy heat ;)

  • Theodore
    Theodore 9 days ago

    Solar Cells + Batteries are enough to power the world. Just spend the same $$billions$$ we spend now on fuels and nuclear.

  • marc bell
    marc bell 11 days ago

    This is the most important engineering project. You don't want China to build the first practical fusion reactor.

  • Axel Shark's Theoretical Discovery

    It won't work for obvious reasons. A fusion reactor is not a star.

  • Safari Lester
    Safari Lester 14 days ago

    Reminds me of spiderman 2

  • Gary Molaskey
    Gary Molaskey 16 days ago

    A false narrative that continues to be proclaimed in mainstream science used here saying that Co2 is a greenhouse gas which it is not...it collects to close to the ground to be one therefore having little effect on the climate.

  • DeathTrooper 67
    DeathTrooper 67 17 days ago

    The research for nuclear fusion is speeding up. Why this video doesn't tell you that? Fusion may be closer then you think.

  • John B
    John B 20 days ago

    The Amish were right, lol, maybe if we lived a lot more like them the planet wouldn't be stuffed soon.

  • todd livingstone
    todd livingstone 22 days ago

    take a look at clint sewards work folks, d-d or d-b aneutronic sustained reactions,
    are past tense.
    it was my honor to have met the man

  • TheLoneCabbage
    TheLoneCabbage 25 days ago

    If/when we succeed in producing fusion energy, I think we all need to agree to go back to designing everything like we did in the 50's during the atomic age.

  • Eternia Kerbal
    Eternia Kerbal 25 days ago

    I wonder what 1 million degree Hydrogen plasma would be like in the atmosphere if it were to leak? Kind of like a propane tank rupture, except it auto-ignites in oxygen?

    • Seth Padakandla
      Seth Padakandla 23 days ago

      Eternia Kerbal it would just expand and cool. So no meltdown.

  • riujithetechnician
    riujithetechnician 29 days ago

    Love is like Nuclear Fusion, its easy to start fusion (relatively) the hard part is keeping the reaction. Its easy to be in love, hard part is staying in love

  • Edward Gilmour
    Edward Gilmour Month ago

    Fusion 30 years away? Wrong ! the nearest Fusion reactor is just 8+1/2 minutes away; Just 150,million Km away +/- just a few million km!
    I'd prefer to use that fusion reactor by just building more energy collect collectors
    plus we need some energy storage system too!
    hint: Gravity would help!

  • Simon Follett
    Simon Follett Month ago

    Can the minimum amount of constant energy imput needed to sustain a fusion reaction be measured by knowing the maximum mass of a white dwarf? If so, then could it not be mathematically proven whether a Q ratio bigger than one is ever achievable on earth? Does Einsteins' E=MC2 prove that clean or cleanish efficient fusion is impossible on earth? The space-time continuum is a mass dispersing gravity reduction process. Fission is reductive, fusion is not. Surely fusion would have to involve the impossibility of controlled destruction of space-time.

    • Simon Follett
      Simon Follett Month ago

      Maybe not a white dwarf but the lowest mass of any active star.

  • Honrarri 9K RPM
    Honrarri 9K RPM Month ago

    Huuurrry uuuupppp ! I want my fusion now !

  • Rau Kenneth
    Rau Kenneth Month ago

    Thorium fuel in a liquid salt enjoyment seems to best improvement. Forget fusion for now.

  • i420x Gaming
    i420x Gaming Month ago

    Goku and vegita did the impossible and gained fusion so why cant we o-O

  • Pup314
    Pup314 Month ago

    Forget nuclear plants of either kind. Why can't we just use liquid nitrogen turbines? Use ambient planetary heat from the atmosphere , ground, and/or sea to heat it to gas to turn a turbine, and use some solar power electricity to cool it back down to start the process over again by cooling the nitrogen back down to liquid temps. Obviously this would be a closed system and nontoxic, non-radioactive, and non-combustable if the system breaks.

  • Pup314
    Pup314 Month ago

    We've had fusion for 4.5 billion years all 93 million mile away from Earth. It is called the Sun. All you need to use it is a solar panel and some plants, and you can get electricity and food for energy.

  • Johnathan Hautz
    Johnathan Hautz Month ago

    maybe instead of trying to fuse Tritium and deuterium, we should replace Tritium with Lithium. My reasoning for this comes from brown dwarfs, which are sub-stellar bodies with an approximate minimum mas of 13 Jupiters. This is enough for brown dwarfs to being thermonuclear reactions that fuse Lithium and Deuterium. Granted this is nowhere nearly as powerful as stellar bodies with a minimum mass of about 80 Jupiters which is enough to begin a thermonuclear reaction to fuse Hydrogen to Helium.

  • I Created An Account For This

    React to my reactor.

  • cass c
    cass c Month ago


  • Les Grossman
    Les Grossman Month ago

    We do it's just not effective yet

  • ThunderTurtle
    ThunderTurtle Month ago

    There’s gotta be some way to use radioactive fission waste for energy. I wonder how much that’s been explored.

  • arturo0727
    arturo0727 Month ago +1

    Fusion energy is 30 years away? Back in the 90's they said it was 20 years away, some one is not doing the math. 😂

  • Aske Laszkiewicz
    Aske Laszkiewicz Month ago +1

    Isn't the stellarator better than the tokamak? It creates more stability. And what is the reactor that fires tons of pins every second into the plasma? I think it's for stability but I'm not sure I think it's also to 'feed' the plasma. Please help...

  • Brian Coniguliaro
    Brian Coniguliaro 2 months ago

    Can the higs boson be used to “herd the kittens”?

  • Dom Joel
    Dom Joel 2 months ago

    For whatever reason, it is always 10 years away.

  • David Stinnett
    David Stinnett 2 months ago

    I honestly don't think energy producers will allow it to happen.
    Fossil fuel companies can transition to being producers of clean energy and act as gate leapers of solar and wind, but fusion messes up the supply and demand that governs the price of energy.
    Too much supply hurts profits, ie, short of some type of major change in the way decisions are made, we won't ever get fusion.

  • icebluscorpion
    icebluscorpion 2 months ago

    You didn't mentioned LFTR... Why?

  • P Cochran
    P Cochran 2 months ago +4

    We will never run out of Thorium, or U238, for that matter.
    Fission is easy. Fusion is hard. Very hard.

  • James Scott
    James Scott 2 months ago

    While we're waiting around for fusion we should get busy building Thorium reactors.

  • Tsundere Child
    Tsundere Child 2 months ago

    Become muons are little distracted boyfriends that are expensive to produce and are here for a good time, not a long time.

  • Andrew Callaghan
    Andrew Callaghan 2 months ago

    -Why don't we have X technology?
    Because we're not at war or in some sort of race. If you want fusion now? start a war and you'll get it in a year or so.

  • Adam Churvis
    Adam Churvis 2 months ago

    Does ANYONE here remember the Baseball IHT fusion reactor? Not nearly as famous as the Tokamak, but it DID exist, and I was just wondering if anyone near the industry remembers it ever existing.

  • John Veneruso
    John Veneruso 2 months ago

    Solar Power plus onsite lithium battery storage (Tesla Powerwall). Or, Solar and Wind power with reservoir water energy storage. Or, solar and wind power with continent spanning high efficiency high voltage transmission lines. Or use the millions of EV cars spare battery capacity while they're plugged in to balance the load with zero cost to the utilities. Why mess with spent fusion containment vessels that are radioactive for over 100 years and the incredible cost of building those high-temperature, extremely high-pressure fusion containment vessels? Solar is already less expensive per kW than coal, oil, and natural gas and best yet, it's available right now!!! There are infinitely more homes powered by solar power than there are Earth-generated fusion power!!! So far over $23 billion has been spent on ITIR, an experimental fusion reactor that will produce by design zero output power to the grid. Currently commercial solar is 2 cents/kW (2019). If went spent that on commercial solar, we'd be happily generating 1,150 Gigawatts during the daytime for the next 25+ years.

  • Justin Beaird
    Justin Beaird 2 months ago

    I am convinced that I could live with 4-5 100w solar panels, but the batteries still suck and the ones that suck less are way too expensive.

  • TheLambo2
    TheLambo2 2 months ago




    I am now 60, I heard this load of tripe when I was 10 years old and was looking forward to endless clean energy, every 10 years someone comes out with this bollocks.
    Its just around the corner.
    Its just an excuse to throw money away and keep these so called boffins in work at our expense.
    Leave it to people like Elon Musk and geniuses like him and stop with the vocal bollocks and help starving people.
    What a load of hot-air

  • TheLambo2
    TheLambo2 2 months ago




    I am now 60, I heard this load of tripe when I was 10 years old and was looking forward to endless clean energy, every 10 years someone comes out with this bollocks.
    Its just around the corner.
    Its just an excuse to throw money away and keep these so called boffins in work at our expense.
    Leave it to people like Elon Musk and geniuses like him and stop with the vocal bollocks and help starving people.
    What a load of hot-air

  • Basil
    Basil 2 months ago

    Nuclear fusion reactors are not going to happen, ever. Just live with it and stop getting excited about something that will never happen.

  • Dee James
    Dee James 2 months ago

    Huhhh?... Hmmm? "Birkeland Current Generator" that can Burn up this Rediculous BullPuckey!

  • Sean Regehr
    Sean Regehr 2 months ago

    Those working on "Fusion energy" are lacking in knowledge clearly. They are more likely to destroy themselves and the earth than achieve success going down this road. Time will show and reveal the Truth.
    All I can do at this point is laugh real hard and enjoy the laugh. The situation is like watching primitive apes try to discern how to open a rock. lol
    Maybe you could do yourselves a favor and take a step back to re-evaluate all you do know. Based on what you do know, it should be obvious why these current approaches as well as everything tried and tested since you began have all failed and at a great cost of time, resources and capital that could have solved the world's problems many times over by now.

  • steve gale
    steve gale 2 months ago

    Did not understand any of what you said.

  • Hey Paulman
    Hey Paulman 2 months ago

    because fossil fuel companies dont want us to go green

  • Zack Yezek
    Zack Yezek 2 months ago +6

    ITER's unlikely to ever lead to energy producing fusion reactors. It's taking forever to go anywhere because it's run by a classic example of a dysfunctional, international government bureaucracy, and has no pressure to actually deliver anything. They're not even committed to START building a real net-power plant there until the 2040s! And whenever they miss deadlines they just move them back; there's no penalty for delay or nonperformance.
    My guess is that it'll be some sort of university-corporate partnership that produces the first useful fusion reactors. People who have all sorts of incentives to get a working prototype in more like 5 years than 50, and whose management structure isn't a crappy knockoff of the UN or EU. The MIT group is a decent bet, as are a few others. Somebody will be demonstrating real reactors while 'ITER' is still under construction.

    • X's Blog
      X's Blog Month ago

      This. Companies like General Fusion are the real game-changers and deserve more attention and support.

  • Ananya Sahoo
    Ananya Sahoo 2 months ago

    What is DEMO?

  • Andre P
    Andre P 2 months ago

    If tomorrow “”scientists” said they cracked fusion power. It was 100% safe. Needed no substrate. Generated no waste. It needed no maintenance. What’s more, they also developed a distribution network that was safe, efficient, was already in place, needed no maintenance and could be accessed throughout the world. Oh and yes, it was free to build...THE ONLY CATCH... is you could only turn on the reactor on for 12 hours a day... would you BUY stock in this company???
    Now consider that everything said above is true. It’s the SUN... and we already have it in place.

  • Joseph Priolo
    Joseph Priolo 2 months ago

    a pellet inside a gold cylinder? Fusion cores are coming!

  • worbucks777
    worbucks777 2 months ago

    Turbulent Juice...here come the muscular Mannys!

  • Leisa Irwin
    Leisa Irwin 2 months ago

    How much nuclear waste is there already and where is it stored?

    • Leisa Irwin
      Leisa Irwin 2 months ago

      👋 Those aren't the droids you're looking for.

  • Maxwell Vandenberg
    Maxwell Vandenberg 2 months ago

    MIT designed a reactor with active cooling channels running through it and a design that allows the vacuum chamber to to more easily be replaced. Should make it easier to test different alloys quickly when they get it up and running in the next decade and a half or so. They got funding from a big energy company to get it off the ground. Maybe they can make a hybrid fusion/fission system and dissolve the radioactive materials in the liquid blanket after separating them out chemically? Then get them to decay to something stable faster by hitting them with more neutrons. Or just have a separate reactor that does that specifically.

  • Ty Farr
    Ty Farr 2 months ago

    promote truth thorium heavy water salt reactors check that out smart guy

    • steve gale
      steve gale 2 months ago

      Why? They are a total dead end.

  • Corrine Tsang
    Corrine Tsang 2 months ago +3

    China is going to the far side of the moon to mine Helium-3 for nuclear fusion.

    • Bandit Leader
      Bandit Leader Month ago

      But deuterium produces helium-3

    • Aeturnalis
      Aeturnalis 2 months ago

      hopefully... if anyone is going to get it right, it'll be China.

  • Didivs Ivlianvs
    Didivs Ivlianvs 2 months ago

    Simple. Climate "scientists" want to push the world into socialism before anything is done that solves peak oil/AGW.

  • dr.chapook dlzar orthopedic surgeon

    I have brilliant idea.
    1- use hydrogen from petroleum or melatonin hormone or other biological sources.
    2- put laser machines inside the reactor that uses photons from the explosion to form laser and direct the beam outside the reactor

  • Joseph McCarthy
    Joseph McCarthy 2 months ago +1

    The solution comes in the form of the squared cubed law.

  • OriginalTharios
    OriginalTharios 2 months ago

    Until we crack gravity, or the production of antimatter, we'll never have fusion. We might be able to one day build a facility at the Jovian moons to take all their water and convert it into fuel for a planet-sized reactor...but that's it. They'll never be smaller than that without at least one of the two techs mentioned above.

    • Tall Troll
      Tall Troll 2 months ago

      Except we have already achieved fusion. The issues remaining are about getting it out of the experimental stage and making it a commercial source of energy, able to compete in the market with existing power generation techs. I don't understand what gravity or antimatter have to do with fusion, since neither is necessary or even particularly closely related to fusion energy. Also, FWIW, we do currently produce and store antimatter (in tiny quantities. Like 19 atoms tiny, but once it has been done, all that's left is engineering. Lots and lots of engineering)

  • Khelthrai Hellbane
    Khelthrai Hellbane 2 months ago +4

    Easy steps to get a very strong password:
    1-Type a "shape" on your keyboard.
    2-Substitute the actual letters for leet
    3-Roll a joint or something, you were basically done at step 1.5

    • Robin Gilliver
      Robin Gilliver 2 months ago


    • Rusty Shakleford
      Rusty Shakleford 2 months ago

      add the first and last letter from the website at the beginning and end of the password and you have a unique and rememorable password for every website, further insulating you from a hacking event.

      also, hit the joint again

  • Jan Sitkowski
    Jan Sitkowski 2 months ago

    Emm... As have been brought up by some people... Why use something as inefficient as water-turbines to collect energy from heat?
    Because it's pretty inefficient.

    • Tall Troll
      Tall Troll 2 months ago

      Mostly because it's a mature technology, with existing infrastructure and supply chain. Various research groups and companies are looking at alternative ways of generating useful energy in other ways, but so far as I am aware there isn't a currently available, commercially useful device that can do the job

  • JavierCR25
    JavierCR25 2 months ago

    Why don’t we just improve rocket tech so we can send all the nuclear waste to outer space. Or to the sun!

  • Diana Gibbs
    Diana Gibbs 2 months ago

    In other words, it's complicated. *sigh*

  • Grungepuppy 99
    Grungepuppy 99 2 months ago

    I can never forgive you for the cat joke

  • Seniorfungi
    Seniorfungi 2 months ago

    Not one Word about the German Stellarator Testreactor Wendelstein 7-X? Sad.

    • brayden
      brayden 2 months ago

      Seniorfungi lol ok nerd

  • ุ ุ
    ุ ุ 2 months ago +1

    Humanity won't be here for longer to succeed in fusion because of Alzheimer, Parkinson, Cancers, Heart diseases and immense amounts of self-righteousness and ignorance. Good luck.

  • Life Is Short
    Life Is Short 2 months ago

    Maybe we won’t need fusion if this new engine the Wall Street journal just reported on, that’s run by magnets, turns out to work. Not perpetual motion. But close!

  • ginger nut
    ginger nut 2 months ago +3

    Litteraly every video about fusion:
    "Fusion will probabily be good but we haven't invented yet"

    • Jan Sitkowski
      Jan Sitkowski 2 months ago

      We already have invented it actualy.
      We just have problems containing it in such a way that would make the energy production safe.

    • FGV Cosmic
      FGV Cosmic 2 months ago

      Not really “probably”. If we can get it to work, it WILL be good.

  • ken smith
    ken smith 2 months ago

    wouldnt that just make life on earth alot simper and cleaner

    • ken smith
      ken smith 2 months ago


    • ken smith
      ken smith 2 months ago

      you what amazing most people see this video and scifi doesnt seem as many people working on it as should be and alot of igornce on the subject about it by the genral public thank
      heluim topamak fusion? saw a doumentry on it seemed more efficent as they where able to start at lower working temp.....

  • Travis Smith
    Travis Smith 2 months ago

    Would it not make more sense to redesign a fission reactor that would.
    1. Burn its own waste as fuel and reduce or completely eliminate waste.
    2. Be designed in a way that a meltdown is impossible.
    3. Be designed to NOT produce nuclear weapon materials.
    I know we can do these things for sure.

    • rationalmartian
      rationalmartian 2 months ago

      You DO???
      That is remarkable. Pity you eschewed the option of educating us all in respect to how they are actually achievable in reality.
      I'm sure I won't be on my own in being intrigued to understand how these can be done. Number one especially.
      You are aware that a Fission rector doesn't actually burn fuel, as such? It is not a chemical combustion process. It is an indirect nuclear process. As the the massive nucleus of such heavy elements is unstable, due to the sheer size. The string nuclear force holding the nucleus together is very strong, but acts over a short distance, as the nucleus of an atom increases in size the outer protons and neutrons are held less securely making them much more likely to split and turn into different elements. There is however a mismatch in the masses of the two products left over and the original mass. This small amount of mass is liberated as energy. As in Einstein's famous equation.
      This is where the energy comes from in a fission reactor.

  • radzewicz
    radzewicz 3 months ago +1

    Nonsense. Fusion, if it ever is somehow made to work, produces radioactive by-products such as radioactive tritium. You still are left with a huge radioactive disposal problem. This business about "no radioactive disposal" is total nonsense. But after almost 100 years of working on it, we are still no closer to making it work, and we probably never will get it to work. Consider that the sun, halfway to the core, only produces about 270 watts per cubic meter, a very pathetic power output, and that's with half of the mass of the sun driving it. I don't think controlled fusion will ever work.

    • radzewicz
      radzewicz 2 months ago +1

      It most definitely is! Listen to the video dumbass, even he says so towards the end of the video, if you bothered to listen: usclip.net/video/riOvBEEs9WY/video.html You mouth the same crap that idiots used to mouth about breeder reactors, lol. Additionally radiation contamination from the by-products of fusion will also be a disposal and environmental problem. Fusion, if it ever does manage to work (and after almost 100 years no one has gotten it to work!), will have its own disposal and contamination problems, plus probably a few others that no one has thought of yet. There is no such thing as "perfect" and there are no free lunches dumbass.

    • Zane Shute
      Zane Shute 2 months ago

      It is most definitely not a "huge radioactive disposal problem." Tritium is not especially radioactive and quite small amounts of it would be used in fusion reactors equating to insignificant radiation release.

  • SteveVi0lence
    SteveVi0lence 3 months ago

    All I need are the six infinity stones