Talking about the artificial sun in detail: how much energy can nuclear fusion produce at one time?
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On Earth, humans mainly drive machines by collecting energy Operation, such as: collecting the energy of falling water and converting the potential energy of water into electrical energy in a hydroelectric power plant. In order to create energy, people must convert matter into energy.
Generating energy One of the methods is fission atoms. Atoms are the basic components of all matter in the universe. Therefore, how to control the chain reaction of fission atoms can produce a stable energy flow. Once the reaction is out of control, the fission atoms will be in a nuclear explosion. Will release a lot of energy at the same time.
The core of each atom, the nucleus, is made up of smaller particles, namely protons and neutrons. The force that holds the nucleus together stores a lot of energy. In order to obtain energy from the nucleus, scientists have proposed a process of splitting heavy atoms into light atoms, because lighter atoms do not need as much energy as heavier atoms , Is used to gather atomic nuclei and release energy in the form of heat or light. This process is called nuclear fission.
When an atom is split, a chain reaction begins: the split atom triggers another atom to split, and so on. In order to keep the chain reaction in a controllable range, scientists have developed methods to slow down the splitting of atoms, such as absorbing some split particles.
Nuclear power plants collect the energy released by atomic splitting. The world’s largest nuclear power plant is the Kashiwazaki Kariya Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. It consists of 7 nuclear reactors with a maximum power generation capacity of about 8,000 megawatts. The world’s largest single nuclear reactor is The link between the two nuclear reactors of China’s Taishan Nuclear Power Station. Each reactor at Taishan Nuclear Power Station has an installed capacity of 1,750 megawatts.
Single nuclear reactors produce much less energy than uncontrolled nuclear reactions (such as atomic bomb explosions). Nowadays, the energy generated by detonating an atomic bomb is equivalent to the power generated by the Kashiwazaki Karawa Nuclear Power Plant in half a year.
One disadvantage of the nuclear fission process is that nuclear waste is produced. The fissioned atoms are usually unstable and produce dangerous radiation. More importantly, nuclear waste needs to be properly stored for many years. Once released into the environment, it will bring risk.
Scientists have also discovered another type of nuclear reaction, a reaction that produces energy without producing nuclear waste. When two lighter atoms combine to form a heavier atom, the mass lost Converted into energy, the process is called nuclear fusion. At the same time, fusion will also occur in the core of the sun. Every second, the sun burns about 600 million tons of hydrogen into about 596 million tons of helium, which generates energy equivalent to trillions of atomic bombs.
However, it is very difficult to achieve nuclear fusion on the earth. The fusion can only happen under extreme conditions, such as the high temperature and high pressure environment of the sun. So far, scientists have not effectively proved controllable nuclear fusion. It generates more energy than it consumes, but they are trying to do this. One way is to use high-power lasers to shoot tiny hydrogen isotope particles from different directions.
Nuclear fusion will be a very promising energy solution in the future, but it is easy for people to overlook that there is a huge nuclear fusion reactor above our heads. This is the sun. With the continuous improvement of solar energy efficiency, we You don’t even need to create other energy sources. You only need to capture more solar energy to meet the energy needs of humans. (Ye Qingcheng)
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