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The predictive powers of artificial intelligence could help scientists bring nuclear fusion closer to actually working, researchers from Princeton and Harvard working with the Department of Energy hope.
The team, working at the DoE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, says they have applied deep learning techniques to computers in order to be able to forecast sudden outages in the reactors used for nuclear fusion that can halt the energy-generating reaction.
Implications - Success - Fusion - Power - Leap
The implications of a success here could be major: nuclear fusion can theoretically supply emissions-free electric power indefinitely. However, making the leap from theoretical to practical has proved challenging.
Nuclear fusion, unlike fission, which is what takes place in traditional reactors, involves smashing particles together and turning them into plasma to generate energy. This takes place in what is called a magnetic fusion machine, or a tokamak. The tokamak produces magnetic fields that keep the superhot plasma inside and keep it moving—and hot—but controlling it for ever-longer periods of...
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