Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on August 28, 2017

Bookmark and Share

Researchers Announce Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough

Alternative Energy

For years nuclear fusion was the stuff of sci-fi books and movies, but technology has brought it, like so many other things, closer to reality. So close, in fact, that there are plans to build the first nuclear fusion reactor by 2025 – a reactor that could yield a lot more energy than is fed into it and provide vast amounts of clean, sustainable energy.

Nuclear fusion, unlike fission, involves smashing particles together to generate energy. Basically, as Bloomberg Energy author Jing Cao explained in a detailed June overview, it’s like recreating the Sun on Earth.

An international team of scientists is working on the biggest project in nuclear fusion in France, to build the largest magnetic fusion machine – a tokamak – and test the commercial-scale viability of this clean energy source. The ITER project is based on the pretty simple premise that the larger the vessel in which fusion reactions occur, the more of them occur, generating more energy.

The ITER tokamak will be ten times larger than the largest existing such device, capable, as per plans, to produce 500 MW of fusion power. To compare, the record so far, set by European tokamak JET (the largest existing one), is 16 MW, from input of 24 MW. The goal of the ITER team is to produce these 500 MW from an input of just 50 MW. Recently, a team of researchers from the MIT published a paper that suggests this achievement is realistic.

The MIT team tweaked the “recipe” for nuclear fusion in such a way that the output of power was ten times greater than with the original composition, which consists of 95 percent deuterium ions and 5 percent hydrogen ions, forming plasma heated to incredibly high temperatures in the tokamak from the movement of the ions.

The tokamak produces magnetic fields that keep the superhot plasma inside and keep it moving – and hot – but controlling it for ever-longer periods of time and making it move faster to produce more energy has been a challenge. Now, the MIT scientists may have found the secret ingredient in an isotope of helium, helium-3.

The team, from the Plasma Science and Fusion Center of the MIT, added trace amounts – 1 percent – of helium-3 to the traditional combination and tested the new combination at the Alcator C-Mod tokamak. The results showed that the hydrogen-deuterium-helium plasma got wrigglier and hotter, producing 10 times more energy than before. The amount of energy produced after the addition of helium, the researchers explained, increased output by an order of magnitude, bringing it into the realm of megaelectronvolts.

One of the scientists involved in the project, John C. Wright, explains,

“These higher energy ranges are in the same range as activated fusion products. To be able to create such energetic ions in a non-activated device — not doing a huge amount of fusion — is beneficial, because we can study how ions with energies comparable to fusion reaction products behave, how well they would be confined.”

The test results were so exciting that another team, the one working with the JET in the UK, decided to replicate them. The replication confirmed the results, raising hopes that a fully functional nuclear fusion reactor may indeed be on the horizon. This horizon is still far, or near, depending on your perspective. According to the head of the Alcator C-Mod project, Earl Marmar, we could see fusion reactors in the 2030s. The main problem: keeping the process going.

OilPrice.com



29 Comments on "Researchers Announce Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough"

  1. Cloggie on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 6:31 am 

    Nuclear fusion, unlike fission, involves smashing particles together to generate energy. Basically, as Bloomberg Energy author Jing Cao explained in a detailed June overview, it’s like recreating the Sun on Earth.

    Where would we be without Jing Cao to get difficult things explained to us.

    According to the head of the Alcator C-Mod project, Earl Marmar, we could see fusion reactors in the 2030s. The main problem: keeping the process going.

    Not to mention the funding.

    By the “2030s” (add ten years to factor in the usual calculated professional optimism) the North Sea will be one giant wind farm.

    Perhaps that prez Mugabe of Zimbabwee is interested in juggling with Helium-3 atoms at zillion centigrade. He is used to heat.

  2. Lawfish1964 on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 6:50 am 

    Fusion power – ten years away. Always has been; always will be.

  3. CAM on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 6:52 am 

    Once again, nuclear fusion energy is just around the corner!! Or, maybe not!

  4. Davy on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 7:09 am 

    I am behind moving aggressively towards renewables. Where I am not convinced is the degree of transition. In any case the details can be battled out and the results will still be more sustainability with a more renewable world. That said at a point there are huge hurdles that may not be overcome and the attempts to overcome these hurdles will be little more than malinvestment. If we cannot become wiser as a species then we will continue to try to power the status quo consumer world with alternative energy. This will never work because our existential crisis is deeper than energy. This existential crisis is about how we live. We have more to pay for than an energy transition. Fixating on energy misses other very real and dangerous multidimensional risks.

    Fusion to me is still a nonevent. I am not sure we should end research because we are going to need more potent energy sources than renewables for industrial activities if we have any hope of an energy transition. If fusion becomes technically viable then it must become commercially practical. It then must become commercial with huge investments and public support. That could take 20 years. In 20 years we could be at 40%-60% renewable energy penetration with significant public support. This renewable penetration may be primarily in rich regions. I am not sure the poor parts of the world will ever afford more than a small amount of a renewable transition. Ideally Fusion might come on stream at the right time to supplement those industrial activities that renewables will struggle to overcome. We likewise should keep supporting EV’s because we may one day pass a threshold where EV’s are greener because of a grid that is more renewables. A technology must have a critical mass to be viable as a transformative technology. EV’s have a long way to go.

    Personally I feel none of this will save us but it might give us time to prepare for a world that will be drastically different and not in a good way. I am also not sure we will have the economy to get us there. It is already teetering on systematic decline that would end many expensive and organized activities. All these dreams have to be paid for. The issue of getting along is likewise very important. Any largish war will end or greatly diminish efforts by destroying the global economy. This does not mean we should curl up in a ball and sob. We have no choice but to fight entropic decay and attempt to become a wiser species.

  5. peakyeast on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 7:16 am 

    “Now, the MIT scientists may have found the secret ingredient in an isotope of helium, helium-3.”…

    Even the Nazis knew that before they built their secret base on the backside of the moon.
    Codename “Iron Sky”

    lol

  6. shortonoil on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 8:06 am 

    “The main problem: keeping the process going.”

    Yep, that’s the problem – it don’t work! 50 years, and a few hundred billion and they have got the problem isolated. It don’t work!

    Maybe a few governments can help; they are specialists on things that don’t work! When in doubt hire a professional!

  7. Cloggie on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 8:20 am 

    I am behind moving aggressively towards renewables.

    Welcome to the club.

    Where I am not convinced is the degree of transition.

    We’ll see how far we get.

  8. Cloggie on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 8:26 am 

    Even the Nazis knew that before they built their secret base on the backside of the moon.
    Codename “Iron Sky”

    Nazis are sexy.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/S-IC_engines_and_Von_Braun.jpg

    It is just that they had a bad press.

    Which is not surprising if you know who owns the press.

    http://nazizombies.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/nazi-zombies.jpg

  9. paultard on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 9:42 am 

    i’m against fusion because humanity’s problem is spiritual and material. we can’t just have more energy so we can destroy our biosphere further. we need to kill tard nazi extremist preachers before we develop fusion.

    most tard extremist preacher would go to heaven with just a single shot. are we waiting for them to go to jail and produce main camp reloaded? that’s boring. shoot and kill like duterte is doing.

    thanks to all the scientists and engineers who work hard on this intractabl problm.

  10. paultard on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 9:49 am 

    this video came to me last night. a very tough nazi was sent to heaven by a 10 y/o son.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT_bNKBcalI

    a lot of supertards are so fearful of nazi’s. i know everything unfamiliar is hard but firing a weapon takes a little practice with proper training.

  11. Cloggie on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 10:15 am 

    we need to kill tard nazi extremist preachers before we develop fusion.

    Uhuh. The story of the moonlanding has otherwise shown that Americans won’t get very far without Nazi engineering genius. It is unlikely that the “new Americans” will get much beyond the SuperSoaker:

    https://espntheundefeated.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/ap_9811120675.jpg?w=1992

    But perhaps paultard’s women can achieve a breakthrough in fusion. Should be a piece of cake considering the stellar historic female achievements in sciences, technologies and arts.

    Snicker.

    Back to paultards real world:

    The face of True Love:

    http://tinyurl.com/y7qdf2hv

    Videos from Berkeley today:

    https://www.geenstijl.nl/5138278/vanavond-niet-op-de-nos/

    (Won’t be broadcasted on tonights news, since the news is the ally of Antifa, the shock troops of the US red deep state).

    Internal kill rate in historic comparison:

    Italians Fascists: less than 10 between 1922-1943
    German National-Socialists: ca. 600 between 1933-1939 (just like Britain who also had capital punishment, like everybody)
    Russians Bolsheviks: 20 million between 1917-1941

    Neverthess, until today Americans love to howl about “fascists” and never lose a word about communism… because communism was the US ally they needed to destroy Europe.

    But what do drugged punks like paultard know.

  12. Shortend on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 10:30 am 

    Oh, how long did the test last?
    Yep, just what I thought….
    Nanosecond…LOL

  13. GregT on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 10:30 am 

    ” a reactor that could yield a lot more energy than is fed into it and provide vast amounts of clean, sustainable energy.”

    To power vast amounts of dirty, unsustainable electronic gadgets, that will mostly end up as landfill within a decade or two at the most.

  14. Kenz300 on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 11:42 am 

    Wind and solar combined with battery storage are safer, cleaner and cheaper.

  15. jerome purtzer on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 11:42 am 

    Hey Cloggie, the black gentleman that invented the supersoaker, Lonnie Johnson also invented the stop/go light systems used worldwide to control traffic. Looks like the world would be one big traffic jamb without the supersoaker guy. He also invented/patented an electric generator that works off of temperature changes.

  16. GregT on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 12:14 pm 

    “I am behind moving aggressively towards renewables.”

    I would be too, if they actually existed, and realistically, even if there were such things, they would merely be used to sustain our non-renewable, unsustainable way of living on this planet, for a little while longer.

  17. Apneaman on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 12:51 pm 

    clog, without women folk you would not have your smart phone and by extension your well used gay sex rendezvous app’s.

    Hedy Lamarr
    Invention of Spread Spectrum Technology

    “Although better known for her Silver Screen exploits, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States. The international beauty icon, along with co-inventor George Anthiel, developed a “Secret Communications System” to help combat the Nazis in World War II. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel.

    Lamarr and Anthiel received a patent in 1941, but the enormous significance of their invention was not realized until decades later. It was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications. But most importantly, the “spread spectrum” technology that Lamarr helped to invent would galvanize the digital communications boom, forming the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.”

    http://www.women-inventors.com/Hedy-Lammar.asp

    Do you ever think that none of those Nazi fuck stick scientists or Heady, would ever have accomplished anything if not for them coming to a free society and given the chance to flourish?

    Did you ever think how god awful fucking stupid it was for the Nazi’s, who were in a technological world war, to be deporting or gassing to death the smartest (JEW) scientists they had instead of putting them to work building super weapons or looking for the Ark of the covenant or Zeus’s lighting bolt so they could smote their enemy?

    Do you ever wonder just how many valuable resources and man hours the little nazi’s blew on their fantasy occult endeavors? What else would one expect from a bunch of queers whose leader was a junkie?

    It’s pretty obvious that you have inherited the fantasy thinking. You just call it alt energy.

    Alt energy the Teutonic wunder weapon 2.0

  18. Mark on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 3:23 pm 

    Trying to duplicate what happens in the core of our sun without the benefit of gravity acting as a containment field. Who knew that it would be so difficult! 🙂

  19. Antius on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 4:43 pm 

    “i’m against fusion because humanity’s problem is spiritual and material. we can’t just have more energy so we can destroy our biosphere further. we need to kill tard nazi extremist preachers before we develop fusion.”

    Great. I will be sure to tell my children that they are starving to death for a good cause. I’m sure it will be a great comfort.

    I am sick to death of far-left dimwits, who aren’t even clever enough to realize that they are in the pocket of Bolshevik Jew Zionist media bosses. You are more interested in your perfect little political ideals than you are real people.

  20. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 5:21 pm 

    It’s a fantastic breakthrough. The researchers
    figured out how to double their pay, without
    any extra papers to write, and no extra time
    hanging out at the office.

  21. Sissyfuss on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 5:26 pm 

    JP, Clogaganda only prints enough news to keep you in the dark.He’s very Fox like in that regard.

  22. Anonymouse1 on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 5:36 pm 

    I read this entire farticle and I am still not clear on what, when, or where, the ‘breakthrough’ ahem occurred.

    If the retard that wrote this is talking about helium-3, it is such a new, stunning breakthrough that it figured prominently in the plot of the 2009 Movie, Moon

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_(film)

    I cant say precisely when He-3 first came into wide-discussion on this topic, but its likely been at least one to two decades. I recall clearly it being mentioned in the early 2000’s. I guess no one told the retards at Oilfarce.com though. Hence, ‘breakthrough’.

  23. Cloggie on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 5:54 pm 

    “Hedy Lamarr
    Invention of Spread Spectrum Technology”

    How could I forget het. And of course the Serbian wife, whose work was plagiarized by Albert E.

    But for the rest, give me a brake/break with science and women, jews, africans, asians, muslims, eskimos.

    White man rules.

    https://www.famousscientists.org/list/

    Sorry.
    Now get out of the light.

  24. Antius on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 6:52 pm 

    Anonymouse1, take a look at the link:

    http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Researchers-Announce-Nuclear-Fusion-Breakthrough.html

    By adding 1% He-3 to the deuterium (& tritium?) mix, the energy yield jumped by a factor of 10, that is to say reaction rate per cubic metre. This presumably makes it easier to reach breakeven. If higher temperatures are easier to sustain due to the Q boost from He-3, the power density of the reactor may improve also. Kind of like a cave man trying to light a fire with damp grass, discovering that he can boost heat output by adding petrol.

    Unfortunately, huge problems remain. Most of the energy output of the reactor (80%) is released as fast neutrons. These irradiate the inside of the reactor making it brittle and radioactive. The interior wall must be replaced every few years using robotics, as the activation products are gamma emitters. Heat must be removed from the reactor by a liquid lithium blanket, which reacts explosively on contact with air. The reactor core has only a fraction of the power density of a bog standard pressurised water reactor and requires a lot of rare earth magnets, particle accelerators and other high-tech gear to work. Much of which gradually gets ruined by neutron fatigue.

    I could go on. The bottom line is, it may be possible to build a fusion reactor that achieves breakeven in the next 10 years. Turning into a power plant that can produce power at affordable prices is a much more ambitious goal. From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t really give us anything that fission doesn’t do already.

  25. antaris on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 8:44 pm 

    Antius, it gives the brilliant minds something to do and seems like a great make work project for the rest.

  26. antaris on Mon, 28th Aug 2017 8:48 pm 

    Kinda like buying lottery tickets. Thousands of minds going ” wow if I win this is what I’m going to do” even though the odds of winning are very small.

  27. peakyeast on Tue, 29th Aug 2017 8:52 am 

    @Cloggie: That is one hell of a monkey with 5+1 asses (southpark s01e05 i think)..

  28. Anonymouse1 on Tue, 29th Aug 2017 10:07 pm 

    Sorry, but if the retards at Oilprop.com think a new *theoretical* variant on the long discussed He-3 fuel cycle is a ‘breakthrough’, then the word has no meaning. There is nothing in this farticle, that is about to make controlled nuclear fusion suddenly practical. Not in 10 years, not the in the 10 after that.

    Maybe Ant, you should also link the announcements of all the other fusion breakthroughs that have occurred in decades past. Add all of them together if you like, or dont, they still dont add up to anything like a working source of energy.

    Want cheap electricty? Build a wind farm, or a solar plant, or better yet, reduce your electrical usage to the minimum. Almost every single option out there(besides trying to beam solar power to earth from orbit I suppose), for generating electricity is far cheaper, safer, and doable right now, than fusion ever could be.

    But yes, by all means, keep pursuing the most costly, and difficult way to boil water ever conceived by the mind of man.

Leave a Reply

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