AI Holds Solution for Clean Energy Quest, Say Scientists

AI Holds Solution for Clean Energy Quest, Say Scientists

February 26, 2024 : Scientists are reporting the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) system that addresses a long-standing challenge in pursuing nuclear fusion as a source of near-limitless clean energy. The research team, hailing from Princeton University, developed an AI model capable of predicting and mitigating disruptions within plasma, a crucial component of fusion reactions.

Nuclear fusion promises vast quantities of clean energy generated by fusing atomic nuclei under immense pressure and heat. This process, mimicking the dynamics within stars, could provide a virtually inexhaustible energy source without the harmful byproducts associated with current energy generation methods.

However, scientists face the challenge of maintaining stable plasma conditions for sustained periods. The plasma’s instability can lead to disruptions that prematurely terminate the fusion reaction. The Princeton researchers’ new AI model demonstrates the ability to forecast disruptive events in the plasma up to 300 milliseconds in advance, a significant window of opportunity to take corrective measures.

The AI controller’s predictive capabilities mark a crucial step towards extending the duration of fusion reactions. Previous attempts at plasma control relied on more reactive systems that responded to disruptions after they started. This proactive approach enabled by AI can maintain stable conditions for significantly longer durations.

While the breakthrough is a major advancement, researchers acknowledge that further refinement and implementation within complex fusion facilities are necessary. This AI-driven system could pave the way for commercially viable nuclear fusion power, revolutionizing the global energy landscape and advancing toward a carbon-neutral future.


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