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THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Sat 25 Jul 2015, 14:23:14

Tikib wrote:I do not beleive a net energy magnetic confinement fusion device is possible at all.

The D-D or D-T reaction does not behave like the slow burning H-H reaction in the sun.

if the density of D-T or D-D is sufficent to release net energy it will always cause an explosion.


Then the next questions are:

1. Do you believe lasers can trigger that explosion either directly or indirectly
by causing the implosion of a target capsule of some sort? Me: No

2. If the answer to 1 is yes, can that target capsule be made small enough to be practically useful?
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Fusion Crazy

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 28 Jul 2015, 20:12:51

I have just been looking at all the different efforts at fusion. And to be honest they disappoint me, theres a lot of research going into aneutronic designs because they would be radiation free.

Which of course would be an ideal source of energy, but at the same time its also the hardest type of fusion to acheive. Its almost like they don't know a storms coming....
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 21 Nov 2015, 08:16:58

Fusion, the power of the future. Always has been, always will be.

The multibillion-dollar ITER fusion project will take another 6 years to build beyond the—now widely discredited—official schedule, a meeting of the governing council was told this week. ITER management has also asked the seven international partners backing the project for additional funding to finish the job.

It remains unclear whether the project will get what it wants: Delegations from the partners—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States—concluded the council meeting today by announcing the council would conduct its own review of the schedule and funding to look for ways to tighten them up. In the meantime, the council approved the proposed schedule for 2016 and 2017, set out milestones for the project to reach in that time, and agreed to make available extra resources to help achieve it. After consulting their governments, the delegations committed themselves to agreeing on a final schedule at the next council meeting, in June 2016.

“It was a very important meeting for us and it went well,” says ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot. “Every member expressed their concerns and in the end they reached an agreement.” Jianlin Cao, vice minister at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, stressed the challenges the meeting faced. The council delegates “have been so careful about this work. But ITER is a new thing, and success does not come easily,” Cao told Science.


http://news.sciencemag.org/europe/2015/ ... er-planned
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby dissident » Sat 21 Nov 2015, 08:56:54

The problem with ITER is that it is just another corrupt government project to feed private corporations welfare. People should not confuse the science work with the construction work. They basically have nothing in common. That the science guided the blueprint design is irrelevant.

One interesting thing about scaling up Tokomak chambers is that one can get the plasma-near-wall characteristics that were posted about before. It is not at all obvious that in fusion research it is sufficient or possible to prove the concept in a small prototype. The original prototypes could fit on a desk and for some reason nobody uses them any more. There is a good reason for this and not just the search for more grant money (a denier trope).
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 21 Nov 2015, 16:47:40

dissident wrote:The problem with ITER is that it is just another corrupt government project to feed private corporations welfare. People should not confuse the science work with the construction work. They basically have nothing in common. That the science guided the blueprint design is irrelevant.

One interesting thing about scaling up Tokomak chambers is that one can get the plasma-near-wall characteristics that were posted about before. It is not at all obvious that in fusion research it is sufficient or possible to prove the concept in a small prototype. The original prototypes could fit on a desk and for some reason nobody uses them any more. There is a good reason for this and not just the search for more grant money (a denier trope).
In your opinion, what would be the fastest avenue to commercially viable fusion power?
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby dissident » Sat 21 Nov 2015, 20:29:34

kublikhan wrote:
dissident wrote:The problem with ITER is that it is just another corrupt government project to feed private corporations welfare. People should not confuse the science work with the construction work. They basically have nothing in common. That the science guided the blueprint design is irrelevant.

One interesting thing about scaling up Tokomak chambers is that one can get the plasma-near-wall characteristics that were posted about before. It is not at all obvious that in fusion research it is sufficient or possible to prove the concept in a small prototype. The original prototypes could fit on a desk and for some reason nobody uses them any more. There is a good reason for this and not just the search for more grant money (a denier trope).
In your opinion, what would be the fastest avenue to commercially viable fusion power?


ITER is the first properly sized fusion reactor. If it fails to deliver, then we are in for a very long period of finding new physical and fluid mechanical approaches to this problem. I don't know why it took so long to try and build something like ITER. Perhaps the research was not quite as clear about the nonlinear scale effects as it is now and it was hard to make a case to funding agencies to spend billions of dollars on a prototype.

Looking at the history of the fusion reactors, ITER is a project that was launched in the 1990s and it took this long just to start construction. Every tokamak before that was small. Laser confinement fusion was the only large scale alternative and it has supposedly generated more energy than it consumed for the first time in 2014 but still far from viability. Now the problem is to scale the tiny capsule target for the lasers. In this regard, laser driven fusion research is way behind the magnetic confinement branch.

http://www.nature.com/news/laser-fusion ... rn-1.12016

It's a shame ITER is being stretched out for so long. They should have built it already.
The laser approach is really
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Thu 04 Feb 2016, 00:37:45

See the fail attitude at work here? They have given up. Its up to the rest of us to do what the stumblebums at the NIF couldn't do. Before we can turn our attention to turning Iceland into a Geothermal clean liquid fuels paradise, we have to do Gods work and make clean fusion..ahem..devices that gives us moral authority.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph241/baumer1/

Why Has the National Ignition Facility Failed to Live Up to Its Name?
Michael Baumer
March 6, 2015

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research facility constructed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) starting in 1997. After years of delays and cost overruns, "first light" of its 192 laser beam lines was demonstrated in 2009. Since then, NIF has periodically attempted to compress a cryogenic hydrogen target contained in a gold vessel, called a hohlraum, to induce the ignition of nuclear fusion (defined as the release of more fusion energy than is input to the hohlraum).

In order to ignite fusion, it is necessary to produce very high pressures and temperatures in a target, while containing the matter under such conditions for as long as possible. This is achieved at NIF via an indirect drive system, which involves sending lasers into a hohlraum rather than directly onto a target, as illustrated in Fig. 1. This increases the containment time of the target plasma by creating a more uniform bath of x-rays than is possible with a direct drive system, at the cost of an energy inefficiency in transferring laser energy to the hohlraum.

Over the past 5 years, NIF has demonstrated increasing fusion yields, by manipulating these parameters in its experiments, but has thus far come up well short of achieving its titular goal. Despite the funding issues that plagued the project, these ended up having little effect on NIF's science capability. Instead, the codes used to predict the ignition performance of NIF failed to predict the appearance of a large Rayleigh-Taylor instability at the surface of the fusion capsule, limiting NIF's ability to achieve ignition. We describe the nature of this instability, current and future mitigation strategies, and overall future prospects for NIF.
Approval and Construction of NIF

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, signed by the United States in 1996, prohibited explosive testing and use of nuclear devices and weapons. In light of this treaty, it became necessary for the US to find ways of maintaining and assuring the performance of its nuclear stockpile without direct testing via detonation. It was in this context that the proposal for NIF was presented to the Department of Energy (DOE).

Tellingly, the branch of the DOE that decided to fund NIF was not the Office of Science, which primarily funds civilian high-energy physics projects such as the Large Hadron Collider, but the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the agency in charge of developing and maintaining the American nuclear stockpile. [1] This made it clear that although much civilian hype has accompanied the development and operation of NIF, its fundamental purpose has always been to maintain nuclear expertise and advance understanding of weapons physics, rather than to achieve ignition for civilian energy purposes. [2]

The primacy of NIF's military purpose was made even clearer in 2000, by which time mismanagement of the project had led to significant delays and more than $2 billion in cost overruns. [3] Energy secretary Bill Richardson, with few other options, decided to redirect funds from "other Stockpile Stewardship Program activities" to cover the new costs. [4] Having now drawn over $4 billion from military sources, NIF would have to deliver returns to its primary stakeholders (interested in validating their weapons simulation codes) before much concern was paid to achieving ignition for civilian energy generation. Indeed, despite having failed to achieve ignition, NIF has performed many experiments aimed at improving military understanding of nuclear stockpile maintenance. [5]
Baseline Goals and Expectations

Despite the mismanagement at NIF, its performance specifications were never compromised. The conceptual design report (CDR), submitted in 1994, called for a 1.8MJ laser system, with a minimum of 192 beamlines. [6] The actual performance of NIF modestly surpasses this specification, with actual performance capability measured at 1.9 MJ. [7]
Fig. 2: This plot shows the expected performance of NIF at the time of its design. The performance specifications (red star) were achieved, but the simulations used to compute the black area were proven incorrect by eventual NIF experiments. After Paisner, et al. [6]

The failure of NIF to achieve ignition thus far has not been due to a de-scope of the experiment; rather, NIF has encountered limitations due to the fundamental physics of plasma dynamics. In the CDR, the researchers claimed: "The baseline design at 500 TW/1.8 MJ has approximately a factor of two safety margin for ignition. This energy and power safety margin above threshold provides room to trade off asymmetry, laser-plasma instabilities, and other uncertainties." Fig. 2 shows a plot from the CDR illustrating this claimed 'safety margin,' showing the NIF specification design well inside the ignition region of parameter space. Unfortunately, this estimate was based on an understanding of plasma dynamics that would later be proven wrong by NIF experiments. In some sense, this was the primary purpose of the experiment - to test simulation codes for plasma dynamics relevant to nuclear stockpile management - but was nonetheless disappointing to many in the scientific community. [8]
What Problems has NIF Encountered?

At the beginning, NIF was expected to achieve ignition with room to spare. But as of February 2015, the best results at NIF are a factor or three short of achieving the Lawson criterion. [9] How did NIF end up missing its ignition target by an order of magnitude? Part of answer lies in the fundamental fluid dynamics of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities.

A NIF target capsule is a deuterium-tritium (DT) sphere encased in an ablative shell, illustrated in Fig. 3. When the capsule is compressed by the bath of X-rays from the hohlraum, Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities can cause the ablative shell to mix with the DT fuel, interfering with the further compression of the fuel and radiating away heat, reducing overall performance. [7] The growth of these instabilities is governed by the following equation given in: [7]
Growth Rate = α ( k g 1 + k L )1/2 - β k v

where k is the wavenumber of the Rayleigh-Taylor perturbation, L is the length scale of the ablative front's density gradient, and v and g are the velocity and the acceleration of the ablator, respectively.

During the National Ignition Campaign (NIC), a technique known as a "high-foot" implosion method was developed to dampen the effect of the observed Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. [7] In a "high-foot" shot, L and v are increased due to stronger initial shocks that precede the main burst. By the equation above, both of these changes lead to slower instability growth, meaning that the desired uniform compression of the fuel lasts longer during a "high-foot" laser shot. Sample temperature profile for "high-foot" and "low-foot" implosion strategies, illustrating the pre- shocks associated with slower growth of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, are shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 3: The top image shows a cross-sectional view of a NIF fuel capsule with plastic ablative shell. The bottom plot illustrates the difference between a "high-foot" and "low-foot" implosion strategy. [7] (Adapted from Hurricane et al. by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature, © 2014.)

This "high-foot" implosion strategy led to NIF's biggest step toward ignition to date: achieving "fuel gain" greater than unity. [7] This does not meet our definition of ignition, where the energy released must exceed the laser energy input to the hohlraum. Instead, this achievement means that the energy released was observed to be greater than the energy input to the fuel capsule, based on a model of hohlraum inefficiency. While this result is just a small step toward true ignition, it provides an example of post-construction tweaks to NIF experiments leading to improved performance, suggesting that further performance improvements may be possible.
Future Outlook

In the absence of funding for major improvements to NIF, further work to tweak parameters to improve performance is ongoing. NIF is investigating adjustments to hohlraum geometry, composition, and the gases present in the chamber during laser shots, in addition to considering fuel capsules coated in diamond or beryllium rather than plastic ablator. [9] However, the primary focus of NIF has shifted back to its original purpose: sub-critical nuclear testing. Having ended the NIC unsuccessfully, NIF is also transforming itself into a part-time user facility for nuclear physics, laboratory astrophysics, and materials science at exotic temperatures and pressures. [10]

In a larger scope, the dream of near limitless energy from nuclear fusion power remains behind many more technical hurdles. Even if NIF is able to formally achieve ignition by tuning the parameters described in the previous section, it will remain a long way from providing a usable, much less affordable energy source. For one, useful power output from fusion will require more than mere ignition - a fusion gain of ~100 will be required for a reactor to be economically viable. [11] What's more, the affordability and rate of firings will need to increase by orders of magnitude in order for ICF to provide economical energy. At present, each test at NIF requires a custom precision-manufactured hohlraum and cryogenic target; the cost of both of these is much higher than will be necessary in a full-scale power generation operation. These factors, in addition to the necessary laser cooling time, mean that the maximum rate of firings at NIF is ~1 per day. This would need to increase by many orders of magnitude, to a repetition rate of 10s of shots per second in a power plant setting. [11]

Despite the large gap between even the design specifications of NIF (which optimistically estimated a total gain only slightly higher than one) and the requirements for a useful fusion power facility, LLNL broadcast the promise of fusion-driven energy production via ignition at NIF very widely. [6,11] The lab funded a program called LIFE to study practical issues surrounding producing energy at NIF once ignition had been achieved. [12] In 2014, after the NIC had failed to achieve ignition, LLNL quietly killed the program. Robert McCrory, director of Rochester University's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, said "In my opinion, the over-promising and overselling of LIFE did a disservice to Lawrence Livermore Laboratory." Though LLNL may have overstated the direct application of NIF to fusion energy production, the advances in engineering knowledge and fundamental science from NIF development and operations do constitute a step toward this far-off goal. [11]
Conclusions

Despite confident predictions in its early stages, NIF has yet to achieve its titular goal of fusion ignition due to a Rayleigh-Taylor instability at the ablative surface of the target capsule. However, it has succeeded in its primary funding goal of providing non-critical testing and validation of simulation codes for the design and upkeep of nuclear weapons. Going forward, NIF will focus on improving performance for weapons code validation as well as fundamental science as a part-time user facility. The promise of internal confinement fusion as a limitless source of civilian energy therefore remains a distant prospect for the foreseeable future.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 04 Feb 2016, 09:06:42

The problem is they insist on using cryogenic fuels that must be contained in an ablative pellet. If they would switch over to using solid Li^6/H^2 pellets coated in carbon they would have much better chance to succeed. I believe this is another case of tunnel vision, they asked themselves what fuel is the easiest to fuse instead of what fuel is the most practical to handle, maintain, store while being relatively easy to fuse.

In fact Li^6/H^2 fusion yields 22.4 MeV of energy while H^2/H^3 fusion yields 17.6 MeV. The energy loss comes from the H^3 creation process, which costs Li^6/neutron and yields 4.7 MeV in a different reactor completely separate from the fusion process. By eliminating the H^3 manufacturing step the energy used is recaptured in the fusion chamber and amounts to a 27 percent increase in yield per reaction.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Mon 08 Feb 2016, 22:02:45

Don't you just love todays Engineer. This guy George, apparently a serious engineer (electrical no doubt) with a reddit points of nearly 3000 (while I am at -100), is totally insane:

https://www.reddit.com/r/energy/comments/44rs5h/heres_why_itll_take_us_decades_to_master_nuclear/
"
[–]GeorgeTheNerd 3 points 9 hours ago

The unknown unknowns are immense and the funding is rare.

Its taking so long because the funding level is so low. The experiments are big and expensive so we have to milk as much as possible from every design. This means running a design for a decade before iterating and moving to the next design.

Big things like fusion can't be an output of pure conjecture or derived from a computer simulation. We have to build and run and fail and build and run and fail just to be able to create a computer simulation that is even worthwhile.

We are going to have to iterate through thousands of designs. Those working on it try to minimize the number we have to build to determine what will or won't work, but the number of actual builds is, best case scenario, dozens that still remain.

The question is how serious are we? Do we want to go through those dozens one at a time and finally cross sometime in the 2100's? Or speed it up."

-------------------------------------

THIS SERIOUS ENGINEER WANTS TO BUILD DOZENS OF ITER EXPERIMENTS (costing 30 billion each today) OVER A VERY SHORT TIME PERIOD.

Hahahaha...its the craziest idea ever.

Attention Space Aliens, do not help us. We are FIAT money junkies, nothing else.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby lpetrich » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 11:15:29

Aneutronic fusion would require D + He3, and He3 is rare and expensive. Even then, it's doubtful that it would be purely aneutronic, because of D + D reactions.

D + T fusion would require making tritium, and that's a problem in itself.

So I think that we are stuck with D + D fusion, since we can get all the deuterium that we could ever want from the oceans.

From Nuclear Fusion (hyperphysics)
D + D + He3 + n + 3.27 MeV
D + D -> T + p + 4.03 MeV
D + T -> He4 + n + 17.59 MeV
D + He3 -> He4 + p + 18.30 MeV

There's an additional problem with nuclear fusion: extracting the deuterium from seawater. Its abundance in the Earth's oceans is 0.0115% of total hydrogen, meaning that the fusion yield for D + D is about 300 - 400 eV per source hydrogen atom. With inefficiencies in energy extraction, that may be 100 eV per source hydrogen atom. So extracting the deuterium will have to be more efficient than that, or else nuclear fusion will not be self-sustaining.
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Fusion

Unread postby Tikib » Wed 19 Oct 2016, 08:11:58

https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/com ... t_nuclear/

Conclusion by most redditors: fusion is possible but has been woefully underfunded.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 19 Oct 2016, 10:20:53

Tikib wrote:https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/582vaf/has_it_been_scientifically_proven_that_nuclear/

Conclusion by most redditors: fusion is possible but has been woefully underfunded.

With respect, so what?

I looked through some comments, and looked up the hype in the first comment that a kid produced a "working fusion reactor in his living room". (I saw the Ted Talk the kid did -- right away he pointed out it's not break-even, so it's just a toy. Impressive for a kid, but not meaningful for the state of fusion research/progress).

The comments I saw were all roughly at that level. Very little science, logic, links or citations -- mainly just a bunch of uninformed opinions.

Until someone can actually produce a scientifically verifiable, reliable, steady, more than break-even controlled fusion reaction, we're not even REMOTELY close to a practical, economic, large scale solution.

Even if/when that's done, it would likely be decades before we know if the solution would be safe and economic on a commercial scale.

So it's just not clear to me what the average layman opinion is going to tell us about this.

(And yes, I'm a layman, but at least science is my area of expertise, I understand the principle of hot fusion, and I admit I'm no expert -- I'm just pointing out the apparent big picture issues between us and fusion as a likely global energy solution).
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Tikib » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 17:46:27

I am semi educated on fusion and my opinion is that it can definitely be done with a net positive energy output.

But as we on peakoil know EROEI is everything and the specifics of the fusion design decide EROEI and anything with an EROEI of less than 30 is basically useless. I think there are physical designs that could do better than that.

The two issues that have prevented fusion going anywhere in my opinion are underfunding and the concorde(sunken cost) fallacy, there are better ideas than the one proposed in ITER but they just keep pushing on with it regardless.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby StarvingLion » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 17:55:37

Fusion reactor isn't even an energy source. A fossil fuel power grid is required to enable the device. And fusion reactors cannot deliver grid quality electricity.

All they are weak electricity multipliers. And they can't do that either. They can't do anything. They don't ever talk about fuel fabrication because its an economic disaster.

Fusion reactor is a scam. Everything is a scam....

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor: Thorium is not fissile. Not a fuel. SCAM
Battery Electric Vehicle: Battery costly and fragile and not Robust. SCAM
PV Solar/Wind: Intermittent, fragile, and costly. SCAM
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 18:30:28

StarvingLion wrote:Battery Electric Vehicle: Battery costly and fragile and not Robust. SCAM

So the working commercially available examples of BEV's (and the EV mode of PHEV's) are "scams"?

How robust are ICE's? They are more reliable than they used to be, but they still break down quite a bit, and become geometrically more expensive to maintain at about 15 years or 150,000 miles, give or take.

Are ICE's scams? If not, then I call nonsense on the above claim.

PV Solar/Wind: Intermittent, fragile, and costly. SCAM

So in your mind, any imperfect energy source is a "scam"? (Do you even know the meaning of scam?)

If modern PV systems, which are net energy very positive over their typical life, are a scam, then basically everything is a scam. If you're going to define it that way, the word becomes meaningless, but thanks for playing.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Tikib » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 18:57:59

Yea Starvinglion is being his usual self and claiming that anything that isn't a fossil fuel doesn't work at all. Its hard to change over from fossil dependent society to alternatives and I am less and less convinced we will manage it but that doesn't mean its physically impossible.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby StarvingLion » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 20:56:05

claiming that anything that isn't a fossil fuel doesn't work at all


Thats exactly what I am claiming. Thank you!

Fusion does not work at all. It does not even work in the laboratory. And who cares? Its just the same old electricity generator and the blasted trains it ushers in.

The diesel fueled engine is it. Thats the peak of civilization. Try to improve on the diesel fueled engine...thats what matters and you can't.

Show me an island experiment with renewables that is not using diesel. Does not exist and never will.

Batteries are the biggest piles of useless junk on the planet. If the xxxxers aren't going dead just sitting there, ....then they want to blow up or start on fire and are impossible to recycle. Nobody can really ascertain the health of a battery which is why Tesla will never offer an iron-clad warranty. Like the useless windmill they require active management, in other words they aren't fundamentally reliable.

The autonomous ev taxi business model demonstrates that the battery is not a feature, but a fatal problem in private battery vehicle ownership. Let the vehicle sit for a while and the manufacturer goes out of business due to subtle issues of thermal and other damage to the idle battery. Why the ev idiots are thrilled about losing private control over vehicle ownership is beyond me.

The fusion fools are working on the wrong problem. The powerplant inside of a vehicle is where the crisis is immediate.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Tikib » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 02:50:18

hmmmm the issue of battery fires is overblown. And some people have managed 200k miles before replacing there tesla batteries.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Tikib » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 03:01:10

For me the lack of electric tractors and the lack of a reliable high eroei energy source are the killers.
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Re: Fusion

Unread postby Tikib » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 03:31:15

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/10/mi ... ecord.html

See there are better designs than ITER but they have started with the ridiculous monstrosity so they will finish.
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