NUKLEONIKA 2009, 54(4):305-310



George J. Linhart

Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Ferrara, Italy
Mailing address: Villa Letizia, via XXIV maggio, Grottaferrata 00046, Italy

A brief history of the discovery of nuclear fusion, first as the motor of the stars and subsequently its first realization as H-bombs, is described. The efforts of trying to make it into a source of energy for mankind as a controlled nuclear fusion (CNF) are sketched out. We shall mention the main research approaches, so far explored, i.e. the magnetic confinement fusion (MCF), the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and the beam-target fusion (BTF) and point out the main difficulties connected with these three ways to CNF. The present trend to concentrate the main research potential on just two embodiments of MCF and ICF, i.e. the Tokomak and the laser driven spherical pellet, is criticized arguing that other promising approaches may be left unexplored. Such approaches, some in which the use of advanced, a-neutronic fuels is envisaged appear at present more arduous, but perhaps eventually more simple and safe. A promising symbiosis of fusion-fission is also mentioned.

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