Has it been scientifically proven that Nuclear Fusion is actually a possibility and not a 'golden egg goose chase'?

Yes, we can do nuclear fusion just fine. There are numerous research experiments already doing it. Heck, there's even a small, but dedicated amateur community setting up experiments. A while ago there was some highschool kid who made the news by creating a small fusion device in his living room.

The problem, however, is that maintaining a fusion reaction requires a lot of energy, because the fusion plasma has to be kept at very high temperature in order for the reaction to take place. In current experiments, the amount of energy required to maintain the reaction is considerably higher than the amount of energy produced by the reaction.

But, as it turns out, the amount of energy produced by the reaction scales up more rapidly with size than the amount of energy required. So by simply making the reactor bigger, we can increase the efficiency (the so-called Q factor). But simply making the reactor bigger also makes the reaction harder to control, so scaling up the process is not a quick and easy job.

Scientists and engineers are currently working on the first reactor to have a Q factor larger than 1. That is, a reactor that produces more energy than it uses. This is the ITER project currently being constructed in France.


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