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Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion for Everybody

by Milan Ripa, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Plasma Physics


The Mystery of the Sun

A children’s story about the quest for fusion power. Two kids, Philip and Sophia, want to know what makes the sun shine – join them as they learn about all the different types of energy, especially nuclear fusion, which powers the sun.

preview picture of Focus on: JET

Focus on: JET – The European Centre of Fusion Research

by Jan Mlynář

PDF 5.41MB , 2007


Cover Fusion CD

Fusion, Power for Future Generations

This CD-ROM holds multimedia contents like animations, movies, pictures and text on the principles of fusion energy and fusion research in seven languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Hungarian).

ZIP 258.53MB


EUROfusion Logo

EUROfusion Logo


Scientific & Technical Publications

Fusion Electricity – A roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy

PDF 3.46MB , January 2013

Strategic objectives for fusion materials modelling and experimental validation (2010-2015)

PDF 204.48KB , March 2009

PPCS overall report

Final Report of the European Fusion Power Plant Conceptual Study (PPCS)

PDF 1.46MB , April 2005

PPCS overall report with annexes

Final Report of the European Fusion Power Plant Conceptual Study (PPCS)

PDF 10.09MB , April 2005

European Material Assessment Meeting report

PDF 1.1MB , June 2001

SERF report

Socio-Economic Research on Fusion
Summary of EU Research 1997 – 2000

PDF 1.06MB , July 2001

SEIF report

Safety and Environmental Impact of Fusion

PDF 409.85KB , April 2001

The Potential Role for Fusion Power in Future Energy Markets

PDF 196.92KB


Classroom Poster

Classroom Poster: Fusion Energy – Cleaner Energy for the Future


Fusion 2100 preview picture

Fusion 2100

The movie is set in a classroom in the year 2100. A teacher explains to students the basics of fusion and the history of fusion research using furturistic teaching kits.

starmaker preview picture


The movie introduces a future fusion reactor, explaining basics of fusion.

Right-click the link to open the context-menu then left-click “Save Target as…” to download the movie in your language:


preview picture of animation fusion in the sun

Fusion reaction in the Sun

The Sun is powered by the fusion of hydrogen into helium, which is quite a complex process, involving many intermediate states. Here is a simplified version of this fusion reaction, to contrast with the more efficient process (fusion of deuterium and tritium) that physicists use to generate fusion power on Earth.

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preview picture of animation repelling of fusing nuclei

Repulsion and fusion of nuclei

Fusion power on Earth uses the fusion of deuterium and tritium, both positively charged. However, like charges repel each other and so fusion can only be achieved by speeding up the nuclei to extraordinarily high temperatures as shown in this animation. In fusion experiments and in future power plants the required temperature is around 100 million degrees Celsius – even at this temperature only one in ten thousand collisions results in fusion.

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preview picture of fusion reaction inside powerplant

Fusion reaction in a power plant

This animation combines reactions from the energy generation process and the breeding of tritium, one of the fusion fuels.

1) D + T  =>  He + n + energy  – deuterium fuses with tritium, producing a helium nucleus, which stays within the magnetically confined plasma because it is charged. A neutron is also produced, which escapes the magnetic field and enters the wall, depositing its energy as heat.

2) Li + n  => T + He + energy – the neutron released by D-T fusion enters the blanket which contains lithium. As well heating the blanket, the neutron reacts with the lithium to generate tritium, with helium as a by-product, which produces more heat. The tritium can then be captured, purified and fed back into the tokamak as fusion fuel.

3) Heat => electricity – The heat deposited in the blanket is used to create steam, which turns a turbine, as in a conventional power plant

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preview picture of animation magnetic field lines

Magnetic confinement

Without the presence of a magnetic field, charged particles move randomly similar to the Brownian motion of gases or liquids. As soon as a magnetic field is switched on, nuclei and electrons of the plasma spiral around the magnetic field lines because they are charged, as shown in this animation. Movement and direction can be explained by the Lorentz force.

In a fusion experiment, a combination of coils create a donut shaped magnetic field which prevents the plasma particles from escaping. That is why this branch of fusion research is called magnetic confinement fusion.

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preview picture of animation Fusion reaction on earth

Fusion reaction on Earth

The fusion reaction that occurs in the Sun would not be efficient enough for a power plant on Earth. The fuel of choice for a power plant is deuterium and tritium. Because the two isotopes of hydrogen are bigger in diameter they are more likely to meet and fuse in a given volume.


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preview picture of animation Fusion reaction and breeding

Fusion reaction and breeding

This animation shows the creation of the fusion fuel tritium from lithium, and its subsequent fusion with deuterium.

1) Li + n  => T + He + energy – tritium is generated by bombarding lithium with neutrons, in the process releasing energy. Helium is also produced as a by-product.

2) D + T  =>  He + n + energy  – deuterium fuses with tritium, producing a helium nucleus, and a neutron which can be used to bombard lithium to create more tritium.

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preview picture of animation The four states of matter

The four states of matter

All of us are familiar with at least three states of matter: gas (steam), liquid (water) and solid (ice); however there is a fourth: plasma (flames)

The differences are due to forces between the molecules or their nuclei and electrons, as shown in this animation.  It is not common knowledge that 99 per cent of our universe consists of the fourth state of matter: plasma. We might not be aware of the fact that we are surrounded by plasma: for example plasma screens, fluorescent lights, lightning or the aurora borealis.

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Hydrogen – Deuterium – Tritium

Deuterium and tritium are isotopes of hydrogen. This means that they differ from hydrogen only in the amount of neutrons in their nuclei. Deuterium has one extra neutron, and tritium has two.

SWF 147.35KB

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This work has been carried out within the framework of the EUROfusion Consortium and has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No 633053. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission.

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