An idea that seemed like science fiction 40 years ago

Leading scientist Rodolfo Brigliasco, of the Instituto Balseiro de Bariloche, explains the scientific achievement that moves the world.

Nuclear fusion looks straight from a Science fiction novelBut forty years ago it was a recurring theme among scientists in Argentina and the world, says Rodolfo “Willy” Pregliasco, PhD in physical sciences from the prestigious Balceiro de Bariloche Institute.

“I remember when I got to the Balseiro Institute in Bariloche, 40 years ago, they said nuclear power plants would make sense until this technology was developed,” he said. Clarion.

But a decade ago they were working on this possibility, which is to generate energy from fusion. With the advantage that this method It does not produce waste From a fuel point of view.

And he adds, “On the other hand, there are facilities related to where to find the elements. The uranium is underground, and it is difficult to find it, and those used for fusion are found in the water.”

Pregliasco tries to reduce this progression to a common language even if it is a difficult task.


An image posted by the US Department of Energy to Twitter for the announcement on Tuesday. Photo: EFE

Fission energy Separates the uranium, divides it in two, but has a downside that it also generates radioactive waste. The other strategy is the fusion of two lighter hydrogen atoms,” he notes.

“Now, for the first time, a group of scientists has generated more energy than the entire facility that was used,” the scientist assures.

“But you’re not ready yet. bulk productionStill an experience.”

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All this time, literature and cinema have been responsible for keeping in mind the higher idea of ​​having large amounts of energy without pollution and from the elements that are easy to find on the planet. In her own way and piecemeal, films such as “Chain Reaction” with Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman and books such as “Solar” by Ian McEwan have taken up the topic.

Implementing this has its technological problems. A lot of energy is needed to bring the positive signal nuclei together. But once the merger happened More energy is released than was expended all togetherPregliasco details.

“There are different strategies for this. One is to heat an electromagnetic field and one is to use a laser, which is what I use. You generate a gaseous target and bombard it with a laser. Then fusion happens because this white buoyant gas gets heated up and generates a very large amount of energy that you can convert into electrical energy,” he continues. .

Pregliasco holds a PhD in Physical Sciences from the Balseiro Institute and one of the most respected specialists in forensic physics in the country.

His work has been recognized internationally. Among other experiences, he conducted the investigation of the Teresa Rodriguez case and the reconstruction of the Trelew massacre. This latter work was used in the trial that ended in conviction of former Captain Roberto Guillermo Bravo in Florida, United States.

He also participated in an international investigation where he analyzed images of the 2018 demonstrations against the government of President Daniel Ortega to determine if there was excessive use of force by the state.

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Bariloche. Reporter

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