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Nuclear Fusion

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Net energy production from controlled nuclear fusion—the fusing of two atomic nuclei—has long been considered the Holy Grail of clean energy: if we can accomplish it, we can provide enough zero-carbon energy to power the whole world. However, the very significant science and technology challenges associated with achieving controlled fusion have prevented the demonstration of net energy production to date, in spite of more than 60 years of research in this field. If and when net energy production from fusion is achieved, making it cost-effective will remain a very significant challenge as well. However, innovative new approaches in recent years have given rise to a nuclear fusion technology renaissance of sorts that may hold promise to open the way to providing the world with cheap, reliable, emissions-free fusion energy for the first time.