Upon doing research on tge nuclear fusion reactors people build at home, Ive always heard that I will be using more energy than I make. So how could I change that and make energy off of the reactor?


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    $\begingroup$ Nuclear fusion reactor build at home? Please consult your neighbours before installing this in your backyard. $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero May 9 '18 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ See here. $\endgroup$ – Count Iblis May 9 '18 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ I can’t help it: goo.gl/images/8FUdpo $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero May 9 '18 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ You say you did research on nuclear fusion, but if you had you'd know we can't do what you say. $\endgroup$ – StephenG May 10 '18 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero Ah yes. Duh. Well, I'll change my suggestion to: better proofreading, please. :-) $\endgroup$ – garyp May 10 '18 at 3:10

The question you pose- "how to change that and make energy off of the reactor"- has been an area of intensive research and experimentation for the last 60 years or so, upon which billions of dollars have been spent. The fact that we still haven't achieved that indicates how hard the fundamental problem is, and that this is a problem you will be unlikely to solve in your own back yard.

I recommend a book called "Sun In A Bottle" by Charles Seife which explains both the history of fusion research and why the physics of it are so difficult.


Have you ever heard of a man-made nuclear fusion reactor that adds power to the grid? As of today, there is none.

In other words: No one knows how to make energy off a fusion reactor, yet. If you have a large reactor, it might becomes easier. The biggest hope at the moment is ITER, but they are far from achieving their goal soon.

  • $\begingroup$ Note that not everyone thinks it will be easier with a large reactor. For example, MIT just initiated a 15-year startup-style project to build a small, high-field reactor called SPARC, that is projected to have a gain of roughly 3. psfc.mit.edu/research/topics/sparc $\endgroup$ – probably_someone May 9 '18 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ There are a dozen or so small fusion reactors in development. Some use aneutronic reactions, so they won't suffer from the problems of neutron radiation. (Replacing radioactive structures.) ITER is an engineering research device. It will not produce energy for the grid. The next reactor after ITER is DEMO, a pilot plant for commercial energy production. Construction of DEMO is scheduled to start in the 2030's. After DEMO commercial plants may start to be built. By then, solar and wind are likely to be widespread, efficient, and cheap. No one will want to pay for fusion. $\endgroup$ – garyp May 10 '18 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ @garyp I think you are not taking everything into account, wind and sun need a strong backup grid that can be powered at will. The hope is that the need of oil and coal, for enviromental reasons, will be replaced by fusion reactors, because their radiation damage is contained and limited , in contrast to fission. $\endgroup$ – anna v May 10 '18 at 4:48

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