Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Helium-3: The Future of Energy Security

Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Helium-3: The Future of Energy Security

Article excerpt

With the rapid depletion of oil and other common energy sources, alternative energy resources are being pursued. After the Fukushima, Japan meltdown, there is a renewed effort to move towards safer forms of power. Helium-3 is a source for fusion energy that has no chance of a nuclear meltdown and it produces no radioactive waste. While there are very small quantities of Helium-3 here on earth, there are vast quantities of it on the moon. It could be a very clean, abundant, and cheap energy source for centuries to come. Just one future rocket trip to the moon could return with enough Helium-3 to meet all of the U.S.'s energy needs for one full year. The fusion technology required to transform Helium-3 to commercial energy use, however, is still in its early stages. This paper addresses the importance of Helium-3 and the foundations, implications, requirements, and recommendations for developing this new energy source into an engine for future world economic development and prosperity.

INTRODUCTION

Helium-3 may be one of the greatest potential energy sources of our time. The fact that most Americans have not heard of it is an indicator of just how problematic it is to the U.S.'s future global position as well as the world's oil and nuclear energy industries in the decades to come. It also reflects the critical factor of where most of it is located: the moon. Helium-3 can generate a substantial amount of energy through the process of fusion (the combining of atoms). The fusion reactor technology is still in its early stages. It was only recently that scientists became aware that the moon has substantial quantities of Helium-3, with an estimated 1 to 5 million tons. The moon's quantities are enough to power the entire world for thousands of years to come. The additional advantages of Helium-3 include its pollution-free output and its safety in use. Helium-3 has the potential to provide the entire world a sufficient amount of long-term energy security that does not exist with current energy sources. It also provides the developing world a relatively cheap and stable source of energy supplies. Helium-3 may be the difference between international peace and war, prosperity and poverty in the coming decades.

This paper analyzes and evaluates comprehensively the Helium-3 issue and contends that Helium-3 may be one of the best solutions to the world's future energy needs. It may be the essential ingredient to global energy security and economic growth. This paper's goal is to provide the reader with a much better understanding of Helium-3 and the requirements and obstacles that exist. The paper also highlights the international balance of power implications that are and will be associated with Helium-3. The paper makes recommendations on how to develop fully the foundations and framework for Helium-3. It concludes by assessing the possibility that full-scale development on the moon will lead to a whole new era of peace and prosperity, along with the first generation of permanently stationed humans on the moon, with all of its political implications.

CURRENT AND FUTURE CONTEXT OF ENERGY SECURITY

The world's energy resources are being depleted rapidly. With the growing industrialization of China, India, and many other developing countries, there is increasing concern over how to meet the world's energy needs in the coming decades. Countries are searching for alternative energy resources but no one has found a sufficient replacement to oil. There are alternative resources like wind, hydroelectric, and solar, as well as other existing and potential sources. But most experts do not currently foresee these alternatives as meeting sufficiently the world's massive energy demands in the coming decades. This causes serious concern as to how the international community can maintain its existing and growing standards of modernity as well as enable developing countries to rise up and industrialize in the future.1

Experts recognize the world's energy demands will outpace supply in the next several decades. …

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