Nuclear fusion is considered to have enormous promise as a global energy source. The fuel is nearly inexhaustible and the waste products have less environmental impact than the wastes associated with fossil fuels and nuclear fission. Making affordable fusion energy would be a remarkable human achievement.
To analyze some of the key challenges associated with making fusion viable and affordable, 10 members of the Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars Program (PECS), along with faculty member Robert Socolow, examined magnetic confinement fusion energy from four perspectives: technology, politics and progress, economics, and fusion vs. fission. From this research emerged a report entitled “Fusion Energy via Magnetic Confinement,” the 3rd in a series of Energy Distillates administered and designed by the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment to provide succinct yet substantive information to policymakers, educators, students, and other citizens.
The PECS program is a graduate-honor society administered by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI). PECS is a platform that enables a group of Ph.D. students working on disparate aspects of energy and climate to have an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.The students involved in this Distillate have a range of expertise: biogeochemistry, climate modeling, ecology, electrical engineering, psychology, and public policy.