ITV NEWS: What is nuclear fusion energy and what does it mean for future power supplies?

Press/Media: Expert comment

Period13 Dec 2022

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleWhat is nuclear fusion energy and what does it mean for future power supplies?
    Media name/outletITV News
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Description“Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the Sun, where two atoms fuse together, liberating huge amounts of energy," Dr Aneeqa Khan, Manchester-ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion at The University of Manchester explained.

    Dr Khan said: "Recreating the conditions in the centre of the sun on Earth is a huge challenge.

    "We need to heat up isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) gas so they become the fourth state of matter, called plasma. In order for the atoms to fuse together on Earth, we need temperatures ten times hotter than the Sun – around 100 million Celsius, and we need a high enough density of the atoms and for a long enough time."

    Dr Khan adds: "If we can make it work it has the potential to provide a stable baseload of electricity to the grid, as well as the potential for secondary applications such as hydrogen production or heating.

    "It is not ready yet and therefore it can’t help us with the climate crisis now, however, if progress continues it has the potential to be part of a green energy mix in the latter half of the century and should be part of our long term strategy, while we use other existing technologies such as fission and renewables in the near term."

    But despite its significance and the excitement of many scientists, Dr Khan said fusion "is already too late to deal with the climate crisis".
    PersonsAneeqa Khan

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy


  • nuclear fusion