Sustainable and feasible energy production is something that researchers have been working on for a really long time now, and so far the ultimate form of sustainable energy is nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is a process that can provides tremendous amounts of power for a long period of time with very little impact on the environment, the concept behind nuclear fusion is to produce the same kind of environment that exists within our sun or any other star, but at a much smaller level. There has been work going on nuclear fusion technology ever since the 50s.
So when should we expect to see this technology? Is there has been work going on related to it for so long now, we should have made progress right? Well, the answer to this question is no, despite years of research, scientists are still held back by one major issue: the laws of physics. So far, if a properly working nuclear fusion plan were to be set up, it would take a lot of power to work, much more than what it will be able to produce, many scientists believe that it might take as much as 50 more years before we make a major breakthrough.
In order for nuclear fusion to take place, the atoms inside of the reactor need to constantly collide with one another, stars manage to fuse their atoms quite easily since they have massive gravitational pulls and very strong magnetic forces acting on them as well. Unfortunately, as humans we cannot produce such strong forces of attraction without sacrificing a lot of energy. Basically, the fusion reactions that we are currently capable of producing are not self-sustaining, you also need tremendous amounts of heat energy to keep the reaction continuous.
Another issue with nuclear fusion is that even if we are able to generate the amount of energy needed to fuse atoms for an extended period of time, we will need to find some way of containing it. Should we fail to do so, expensive equipment can come to harm, however that is about all the damage that will happen since the moment a reactor gets breached, the atoms will not be able to fuse, so we do not have to worry about an entire neighbourhood being wiped out in case of a malfunction.
Nuclear fusion technology is far off, but we are making progress, we can expect to see the first nuclear fusion reactor to be switched on in 2025 for the first time, this massive international project is called ITER and is currently being constructed. As long as there are no setbacks (keep your fingers crossed) we should be able to get an idea of how close are we to making use of nuclear power to create energy that does no harm to the environment and can keep our energy needs fulfilled for decades at a time. Nuclear fusion is far, but we are heading towards it steadily.