HE-3 ON EARTH
Though MOON is a work of fiction, the hard science depicted in the film is rooted in fact. Helium-3 (HE-3), the substance that the film's lunar mining operation is harvesting, is a light, non-radioactive isotope of Helium. He-3 has been identified as an essential ingredient for nuclear fusion, a still-unproven process that could potentially generate vast amounts of clean energy to supply the Earth's energy needs. Unlike the process of nuclear fission, used in nuclear bombs and nuclear power plants, nuclear fusion would create no radioactive waste. In nuclear fission, energy is released when an atom's nucleus is split. In nuclear fusion, multiple atomic nuclei bearing the same valence charge would be fused together, creating a release of energy. Researchers are currently using He-3 in their efforts to generate a controlled nuclear fusion reaction.
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