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Proton-Lead Power

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 11:16:38

When I started this thread back in 2014 the price of oil had been relatively high and relatively stable for several years and there were people planning to build a prototype 'energy amplifier' accelerator driven fission reactor. My thought was the research from building that system would be mostly applicable to the Proton-Lead reactor and would tell us if the system would be net energy positive instead of consuming more power than it produces.

Unfortunately 11 months after that initial post the price of oil dropped 25 percent and the oil service company that was planning to build the prototype in Norway scrapped the entire plan as part of their belt tightening. In the last three years they have divested themselves of everything but direct servicing of oil platforms which is their core business to survive the price downturn of the last 18 months. As a result they still own the patent for the 'energy amplifier' which they purchased almost a decade ago but they are no longer pursuing it and nobody else can without violating the patent, or buying it from them.

China continues to invest a lot in nuclear testing and development so there is still the possibility that they will seek to develop the technology, but for now nothing is being published that indicates anyone is developing the Proton-Lead technology or the Energy Amplifier technology.
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 08 Apr 2017, 21:37:01

I don't remember this thread, but the term "atom smasher" takes me back to my highschool science projects.

My Junior year, I built an oversized Van De Graaff generator. It involved two wooden pulleys (turned on a lathe in the HS wood shop) covered with a cotton belt impregnated with varnish (the belt sewn by my Mother). The top electrode was a 2' diameter aluminum sphere turned in two pieces on a metal lathe in the HS metal shop. The belt was sprayed with electrons from a Ford Model "T" ignition coil, via coronal discharge, a technique used to increase the static charge. A recycled high speed "squirrel cage" ventilator fan motor turned the pulleys. The top ball electrode accumulated several million volts of positive static charge, it could make impressive arcs in humid air about 14" long. Third place in the Science Fair that year - not bad for a project based on 1930's Physics.

My Senior year I used the Van De Graaff generator to build an electrostatic atom smasher. The top electrode was coupled to a "cloud chamber", a partial vacuum containing chilled alcohol vapors. The "target" was hydrogen gas produced by electrolysis, at the end of a 4' long evacuated glass tube (a $50 piece of lab glassware which was my major expense) wrapped with wire connected to a 12v car battery to produce an intense magnetic field. The vacuum pump was a piece of HS Physics Lab equipment. Electrons boiled off an incandescent iron wire at the far end, then accelerated down the tube where they smashed into the hydrogen, and little curly paths were recorded on Polaroid instant film by the particles as they swirled through the illuminated cloud chamber. In approximately 12 hours of operation over 3 days, I recorded particle tracks in the cloud chamber 3 times, and I spent another $30 on B&W Polaroid film packs. Third highest expense was dry ice for the cloud chamber, IIRC I spent about $8 on that.

It was good enough to get first place in my Senior year, I still have the plaque. Now I confess that the whole project was based on a similar setup I read about in Scientific American magazine in the late 1960's, in the "Amatuer Scientist" column inside the back cover of the magazine. But I'm still rather proud of that science project - genuine nuclear physics, by a HS student, and paid for by mowing lawns.
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 09 Apr 2017, 17:29:20

They had a conference a few months back. Some folks in the energy phusics field really push ADR and a subset of those want to use Thorium as the main metal.

https://youtu.be/p-o9tB2zI8E
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 10 Apr 2017, 08:50:48

It appears to me you are correct when you say these folks are pushing ADR for reasons that have not much to do with building a reliable power system. I went through a series of YouTube's on the topic and the closest I came to an admission of this was the gentleman who talked about a design that was 0.98k (barely sub-critical) with 3 Accelerators aimed at the target so that if two of them are broken down you can still produce energy. If your system is so unreliable that you have a 50 percent unavailability rate for the crucial accelerator that keeps the system producing power then NOBODY is going to buy one for commercial power production. Even worse, you would have to buy three LINAC neutron sources when you could simply substitute 1 percent U-235 additional enrichment of the fuel rods to have a critical reactor that would not need an external neutron source.
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 11 Apr 2017, 09:30:43

Try this on for size, it seems there is still a lot of interest even if American news ignores the subject.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ ... rubbia.pdf

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/us-india ... rs-1431193


NEW DELHI:
HIGHLIGHTS
The project will be the world's first Accelerator Driven System reactor
It will produce green electricity from India's vast reserves of Thorium
Scientists from Fermilab and Bhaba Research Centre will be part of team
India and America hope to build a first of its kind energy generating system, which is expected to be far safer than the nuclear reactors that are currently being used around the world. This novel reactor will produce green electricity that's carbon-free and therefore environment friendly it is called HISPA or High Intensity Superconducting Proton Accelerator by the Indian side while at Fermilab, it is called project PIP-II, Proton Improvement Plan -II.

A team of scientists from both countries -- drawn from the iconic Fermilab in the US and India's Bhabha Atomic Research Center -- has proposed to build the new energy generator, which will cost above $1 billion. Its first components will be ready by 2023.

The Fermilab, which belongs to the US government, is best known for the world's top of the line particle accelerators -- machines that send fundamental particles spinning at the speed of light in a controlled fashion.

The hallmark of the reactor, which will use Accelerator Driven Systems, or ADS, will be its safety. It is estimated that it would not suffer a nuclear accident as happened in Japan's Fukushima or Russia's Chernobyl.

"They are very safe, since you can turn off the accelerator and everything simply just turns off," Dr Nigel Lockyer, Director, Fermilab, Chicago, USA told NDTV.
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 11 Apr 2017, 14:54:47

It's a massive black hole sucking up cash. None of these HISPA reactors has ever produced more power than required to sustain the reaction itself. None has ever produced any power surplus. Nor do I believe it will "only" use $1B cash before they admit defeat. My guess would be they get $50B over a decade of operations from 2023 to 2033, then declare failure.
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby diemos » Thu 13 Apr 2017, 22:51:47

NEW DELHI:
HIGHLIGHTS
"They are very safe, since you can turn off the accelerator and everything simply just turns off," Dr Nigel Lockyer, Director, Fermilab, Chicago, USA told NDTV.


Unfortunately that is a flat out lie. They have the same problem with decay heat from the fission products as a regular reactor. Those cannot be turned off.
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Re: Proton-Lead Power

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 14 Apr 2017, 14:29:46

Not to defend bad reporting, but decay heat is not hard to deal with unless you get hit with a Tsunami.

Some designs use liquid fuel, compared to that decay heat is nothing.
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