1. All current commercial power plants use the process of fission to produce electricity. What would be the GREATEST benefit of switching to the fusion process, when and if this becomes viable? A) Fusion is not a radioactive process
B) Fusion is much more easily controlled
C) Fusion requires less money to develop
D) Fusion does not create nearly as much radioactive waste
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The most hazardous and often costliest assignment of running a nuclear power plant, fuelled by nuclear fission reaction, is disposal of radioactive waste materials. The greatest benefit of using fusion as the power generating reaction (if and when possible) is that the by-products are nonradioactive in most of the cases and hence their disposal becomes quite easier. For example, consider the common fusion reactions that are being targeted as possible source of power generation: fusion of two deuterium (heavy hydrogen) nuclei and fusion of a deuterium nucleus with a tritium (extra heavy hydrogen) nucleus, both producing helium nuclei, which is non-radioactive.
Deuterium + Tritium → Helium-4 + Neutron + 17.6 MeV
Deuterium + Deuterium → Helium-4 + 23.5 MeV