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Fusion Milestone

January 13, 2023

Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion could Massively Alter Future of Clean Energy

Ask students: Who are the individuals or organizations involved in the nuclear fusion breakthrough? What is nuclear fusion and how it is different than nuclear fission?

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Summary

For the first time, scientists have produced a fusion reaction that created more energy than was expended, a breakthrough to tap into the same kind of energy that powers the sun and stars. It could have huge implications for potentially creating clean and limitless energy. You may choose to watch the NewsHour story here OR the YouTube show Breaking Points below to learn about the nuclear fusion story.

Remote video URL

Breaking Points is co-hosted by progressive Krystal Ball and conservative Saagar Enjeti. Ball and Enjeti keep their conversations civil, engaging and thoughtful and present various sides of the issue, even if they don’t agree with personally. Start at beginning and stop at 5m:24s “just sort of continues”:

Remote video URL

Five Facts

  • Who are the individuals or organizations involved in the nuclear fusion breakthrough?
  • What is nuclear fusion and how it is different than nuclear fission?
  • Where and When did the breakthrough occur?
  • Why is the nuclear fusion breakthrough significant?
  • How is the breakthrough involving nuclear fusion related to clean energy?

Focus Questions

What next steps do you think should happen regarding the nuclear fusion breakthrough?

Media literacy: What additional information would you have included in the segment?

For More

What students can do: Are you still a little unsure about what nuclear fusion is? You are not alone. Use this BBC article that answers some basic questions on many of our minds: Nuclear fusion breakthrough – what is it and how does it work? You might also read the following article from PBS NewsHour: What a breakthrough in nuclear fusion technology means for the future of clean energy.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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