This means that the P-b11 reaction will have a higher percentage of energy that is directly convertible into electricity than previously believed.
Researchers have been developing reactors to slam hydrogen at high speeds into boron-11, a collision that yields high-energy helium nuclei, or alpha particles. Those alphas then spiral through a tunnel of electromagnetic coils, transforming them into a flow of electrons, or electricity.
The new insight makes the boron-fusion reaction even more interesting as a possible alternative to the nuclear fission process used in reactors in Japan and other parts of the world. A reactor based on this process could produce electricity without radioactive wastes. It also would not produce the carbon dioxide and other gases emitted by coal-powered plants.e of reactor is realistic, says Weller, whose team is continuing to study the process at TUNL.
Nuclear fusion still faces formidable challenges, one of the greatest being that hydrogen and boron only begin to fuse at temperatures close to 1 billion degrees Kelvin (nearly 2 billion degrees Fahrenheit). But building this typ
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