Peak Oil is You

Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)

Page added on February 27, 2015

Bookmark and Share

Nuclear Fusion Reactor ITER

The world’s most powerful countries are collaborating on the ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in France.

12 Comments on "Nuclear Fusion Reactor ITER"

  1. Plantagenet on Fri, 27th Feb 2015 8:12 pm 

    Atoms attracted by great gravity
    To be compacted into new nucleate
    Absorbing energy to smelting rate
    Combining into the next unity

    The elements increase atomic weight
    New ones form inside plasmatic sea
    Reach critical mass from forces that be
    The unstable fissure then detonate

    That is the reason the solar flares warm
    It’s also the reason white dwarfs are hot
    And the reason the red giants are not
    It is why sun spots tend to cool the storm
    The fusion-fission process of the sun
    Emits light and heat for us to have fun

    Fusion takes energy
    Fission gives off energy
    Power of the sun


  2. GregT on Fri, 27th Feb 2015 8:49 pm 

    “The atomic weight of hydrogen is not exactly 1, but by careful measurement is found to be 1.0077. Who could imagine that in this slight discrepancy — which indeed needs some explanation to make intelligible — an immense store of possible energy is indicated, which some day, when we have learned how, may become accessible for good or ill to the human race ? […] And if ever the human race get hold of a means of tapping even a small fraction of the energy contained in the atoms of their own planet, the consequences will be beneficent or destructive according to the state of civilization at that time attained.”

    Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S. Scientific American, May 1924

    I think that it’s pretty safe to say, that civilization is not mature enough for Nuclear Fusion. It would only add more fuel to the fire, for the children to play with.

  3. Westexasfanclub on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 7:10 am 

    So civilization is not mature for fusion but for half a century now has managed hydrogen bombs? I mean, as we don’t have annihilated ourselves until now we should deserve at least to try fusion.

    Anyway, even if fusion becomes a feasible energy source, it still would take two to three generations until it becomes a major energy source: After ITER they plan to construct the first electricity producing reactor DEMO which will start to produce energy for the grid around 2040. You will need at least twenty more years to spread that technology around the globe. My question is: What energy sources are we going to use in the meantime? There’s probably a big gap between the potential of fossile energy sources and the time fusion goes online in a big scale.

    Or, to put it different: Our civilization has to evolve BEFORE fusion energy is available. Otherwise we will never get there.

  4. Davy on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 7:50 am 

    That is the energy trap WT. We are out of energy, capital, and time. There is no other energy sources to replace liquid fuels in time. AltE and batteries has proven it will never scale. AltE will never crank up and scale for a dominant role in grid power. That points to lower economic activity and a poorer world. That is putting it nicely. The fact is we are in a debt bubble in our complex financial system and a bumpy descent of the POD & ETP of our foundational commodity oil.

    Systematically BAU cannot degrowth BAU has to grow. This has never been truer then now. We are more complex, interconnected, and energy intensive then we ever have been. We are clearly a population past the overshoot point. We are in overshoot and currently over overpopulation and overconsumption is managed by energy intensity and complexity. Energy and intensity are at limits and in the state of diminishing returns. The point of bifurcation to a lower level of economic activity and complexity is near.

    There is no way in hell we will be able to build out a vast fusion network. We are BAUbroke we are BAUdoomed. We sowed the seeds of our destruction 40 years ago when we maybe had the chance to begin the transition. Instead we built out a vastly BAUefficient system that is non-resilient and unsustainable relying on cheap oil. The biggest early example of this is the US suburbia build out. We then had the development of mega urban cities throughout the world. We finally had the largest and biggest mal-investment man has ever witnessed in China. IMA a country that once had the right stuff to be resilient and sustainable albeit with famines to check there high population.

    We are done WT with no hope for a transition to a BAU alternative or a BAU.2. The greenies, the techies, and the BAUist are in a state of delusion and unreality. What we now need is a crisis to end all crisis. This will have to happen soon and there will have to be global cooperation. We will have to lower consumption and acknowledge and adapt to the fact that we will have 200MIL excess deaths a year for a generation to get back to a normal carrying capacity in line with a return to far less technology, complexity, and energy intensity. Our future energy sources will have to come from natural solar sources, human power, and animal power. Technology from low tech sources. Complexity in smaller communities.

    During this process we can salvage BAU in a hybrid effort of old and new. We can try to retain the best of BAU’s knowledge with healthy, sanitation, and a long list of other essential knowledge’s. Entropic decay will swallow up most complex infrastructure. The highways and vast urban areas will decay and man will relocate and downsize.

    Will this happen, yes, but it most likely will be by a natural process of descent. Man will initially fight, kick, and punch resisting the end of BAU. Nature will force this change and we may not survive as a species because of this resistance. AGW will await us midway in this process. As 7BIL people are reduced to 1BIL these hungry and desperate people will scoured the land like locust. This will further destroy the ecosystem in spite of the huge reduction in AGW pollution.

    So, as you see WT fusion has little chance of saving us. It will likely be the last gasp effort of BAUtopians at complexity, technology, and energy intensity to save BAU. It will likely soon be scraped. Maybe one or two viable plants will be built but nothing will come of it at scale. We are done as a BAUspecies.

  5. Perk Earl on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 11:48 am 

    The pursuit of fusion energy is fascinating from the standpoint of ‘timing’. It’s slated to move through a series of tests that stretch into a future in which complexity will begin to be replaced by simplicity due to diminishing returns from oil. Less techie toys and more hands on physical labor. The timing is so off what will likely happen is the ITER will be abandoned at some point. It will symbolize the height of complexity while reflecting our inability to conserve energy, because if we had maybe fusion could have come to fruition. We were so hell bent on growth without consideration of limits, we will run out the clock on fully developing fusion long before it’s fully developed into a power source.

    By way of our headlong pursuit of growth we may have been able to slam nature, but in the end it will be noted we slammed ourselves for failure to provide enough time at the height of complexity to succeed with fusion.

  6. chilphil1986 on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 12:50 pm 

    Oh, how fateful the Cold War may yet turn out to be. The ease of weaponization being the key factor in the decision to pursue fission research over fusion, delaying crucial years, sealing the fates of billions to countless wars over diminishing resources.

    Overdramatizing, probably. Taking energy constraints out of the cost of living equation would probably exacerbate the overpopulation problem if that were possible.

    In discussions like these, I always presume that the colonization of other planets is, if not impossible, several centuries of technological advancement beyond where we are. All of this means that are woefully prepared for the sustainable style of living that would have afforded us the time to develop such tech. Hell, 150 years of abundant and cheap oil, and look how crowded this place is getting.

    I shudder to think what would happen if we actually got this oversized money-sink to produce electricity on an industrial level.

  7. chilphil1986 on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 1:02 pm 

    Then again, petrol alone is where we have the means by which we have our current population and current standard of living. Plastics, foremost, which allow for high-level sterile medical care. Even if we did discover how produce electricity through fusion, you still have the scenario where you have the blueprint to build what you need, but not the raw materials. For example, you know how to build the batteries to store the electricity from your fusion plant, but don’t have the oil or the lithium to manufacture and distribute them.

    No; fusion will delay the inevitable at best. At worst, it diverts investment needed elsewhere.

  8. steve on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 2:30 pm 

    The peak oil is being beaten up all over….I am starting to question the validity of whether we will see a change in the next 10 years…

  9. GregT on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 2:37 pm 

    “I am starting to question the validity of whether we will see a change in the next 10 years”

    If you are unable to see the changes that have occurred already over the last 6 years, it is doubtful that you will notice much at all, until well after the 2×4 of reality has smacked you squarely between the eyes. By then it will be too late for you to do anything to help yourself.

  10. Westexasfanclub on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 3:31 pm 

    One thing I have always observed in 3rd world countries is that give or take 20% of the population has a high standard of living and that these 20% are enough to maintain a complex societal structure.

    I strongly suspect that the world after the peak will look like that even in the developed world. Chaos and demise won’t be equal all over the planet and throughout societies. There will rise a new class system. That’s not a nice perspective but looking at such complex things like fusion it might help to kick the can to get that energy source working.

    Even if not, high standard of living and the related complexity might be maintained by several hundreds of million people worldwide. Hopefully, that would only be a transition to a better and juster world, but at least this perspective looks better to me than total doom.

  11. Davy on Sat, 28th Feb 2015 4:25 pm 

    WT, if we could have a degree of complexity and a population level closer to 1960 maybe your ideas would work. Today the complexity, energy intensity, and global interconnectivity of all locals is to a point of near complete delocalization of those locals. This means all locals depend on the global for their survival in a complex state. This state is generally in an overshoot situation without fossil fuels and globalism as support. This is a trans-global condition. Go anywhere on the globe and the situation is the same IF there is complexity at that place.

    The globe is full of subsistence and low complexity but even here this lower complexity is still subject to the stability of the surrounding locals that are complex. IOW there are areas of subsistence that can practice subsistence because others in that area are supported by the complexity and energy intensity of BAU.

    If we have loss of complexity and energy intensity the interconnectivity of the complexity will fail. Energy intensity will fail. With complexity and energy intensity failures will come global JIT production and global distribution failures. Global finance and the internet will fail. Control of borders and security will buckle under the weight of desperate masses of people on the move. Military, police, and emergency services will be overwhelmed.

    This is a worst case scenario but even a lessor case scenario of a long emergency cannot end well because of the fact of a carrying capacity breach of 6BIL people. We will be in a world without significant fossil fuels and complexity. Without this we will be lucky to support 1BIL. We have AGW waiting in the wings to likely drop the 1BIL carrying capacity to an even lower level.

    This is doomerism at its strongest. The world is so large and the framing of any collapse difficult to fathom hence generalizations and abstractions. Yet, this cannot end well anywhere. It is all too apparent that the case almost everywhere is either consumption overshoot to carrying capacity or population overshoot to carrying capacity. In several areas we have both. This is truly a dangerous situation that is made worse by hopium from the BAUtopians. Their inability to prepare a plan B of crisis management now may mean the death of 1BIL relatively quickly. This may just be for the better for those that survive. The sooner we get to a manageable level of population the better.

  12. Westexasfanclub on Sun, 1st Mar 2015 6:04 pm 

    Davy, I wished we had some more decades and the will to manage all what you described in a controlled and civilized manner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *