what would happen if a fully operational fusion reactor exploded in the possibly worst way?


what would happen if a fully operational fusion reactor exploded in the possibly worst way?

In: 1

Since fusion requires (at least now) and extremely high energy input – the reaction would just stop

It can’t really explode. The fusion reaction requires extremely high temperatures to keep running. If the reactor is damaged, that temperature would immediately drop and that would stop the reaction. So some plasma might escape, some part of the reactor and/or the power station would melt and/or burn, but that’s it. There are also no long-lived radioactive isotopes in a fusion reactor, so no permanent environment damage. Also I should probably add that there are currently no working fusion reactors with positive energy output, so it’s all a bit theoretical at this point.

the worst possible outcome is, that you just blew a fucking expensive piece of technology. And maybe the lights won’t turn on until you fix it.

The only really explosive thing in there is the hydrogen, which could produce a nasty mundane fire on a par with a gas-fired power station.

This would shut off the fuel or power supply to the fusion, which would blow out like a candle.

I guess some designs might use liquid metal coolant, which could produce poisonous smoke if it caught fire?

The current biggest fusion reactors have enough fuel in its core to generate about a gigajoule of energy. It all that was released at once it would have roughly the energy of 200 kg of TNT. Normally it discharges over almost two minutes. The entire fusion reaction takes place in about 15 minutes normally. So having it all release at once is unrealistic. But even if that were to happen the resulting explosion could not get larger then a medium sized bomb.

As for radioactivity a fusion reactor does not really generate the same kind of long lived radioactive minerals that a fission reactor can make. There may be some radioactive materials being created but not the same type and not in nearly the same quantities.