Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Zero Waste Nuclear Reactors - Phase 3

In order to create a zero waste nuclear reactor, the process of fusion needs to take place. The most common type is the fusion of two hydrogen isotopes: deuterium (2H) and tritium (3H). It is the easiest fusion reaction to achieve[1]. A model of this fusion reaction is found at

However, even with this reaction, radioactive waste is created by the neutron that is cast off. Research has been underway to form the fusion process by using deuterium and helium-3. This process produces very little in the way of waste and looks like a promising technology[2].

The issue with this technology is the availability of helium-3. It is not in abundant supply naturally.

If this technology could be harnessed and made compact, current technologies indicate that the reactor could be the size of a bathtub[1].

A vision of the future could be, if the technology could be made compact enough as well as economically viable, would be to have one located in every household. Image the possibilities if you could essentially have in your house a 50 year power supply to power your house, electric car, etc. Not having to worry about balckouts. Below, I present an sketch of that model. The model is not that exciting since the concept would be a sealed unit that you set in the corner and forget.


1. Retrieved 9/17/08.

2. Zucchetti, M., Sugiyama, L. (2006). Advanced fuel cycles for fusion reactors: Passive safety and zero-waste options. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 41(1). 496-501.

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