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Page added on January 27, 2013

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Roadmap for Fusion Power Released

Alternative Energy

While solar and wind power may be hot topics at the moment, it is nuclear fusion which many scientists are looking to for providing clean power to the world. The ITER experiment is an effort by multiple nations to build the first prototype, commercial fusion reactor. Now researchers at the European Fusion Development Agreement have released a roadmap for ITER and the DEMO power plant to follow.

Nuclear fusion releases energy by combining the nuclei of light atoms including deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen. These materials, especially deuterium, are relatively common, and the fusion process produces little, harmful waste as even the radioactive waste is short-lived. One of the challenges with associated with a fusion reactor though is having it produce more power than it takes, and that is part of the focus of the roadmap. The document lays out the current status of ongoing research, identifies open issues, and even estimates the materials required for completion by 2050.

The roadmap describes three time phases in it with the first period (2014-2020) focused on the construction of ITER itself, the second period (2021-2030) further developing ITER to its maximum potential, and the third period (2031-2050) dedicated to creating DEMO. DEMO is to be the actual power plant that will be connected to a power grid, while ITER is the experimental precursor.

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13 Comments on "Roadmap for Fusion Power Released"

  1. BillT on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 3:51 am 

    Overclockers Club should have been named the Dreamers Club or the Denier’s Club, but definitely NOT the Reality Club…lol.

  2. Norm on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 4:11 am 

    i was just thinking, they always have a roadmap. but since its not been technically feasible so far (too much heat, too much radiation, too hard to contain) then they just keep redrawing the road map. ‘fusion is the energy of the future, and always will be’. Or does this roadmap result in a generating station that works?

  3. EnergyUnlimited on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 9:43 am 

    2050 is 40 years in the future.

    “Commercial fusion is 40 years in the future… and always will be”

    Someone have said it about 60 years ago…

  4. Arthur on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 10:06 am 

    ‘Roadmap’: fusion scientists securing their own careers and income for another 40 years. You had your chance for 50 years and you blew it.

    But it will go ahead anyway as long as governments can pay for it. Deep in their hearts governments prefer fusion over wind and solar, as a means of centralization.

  5. SilentRunning on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 10:22 am 

    I have a roadmap where my personal wealth goes from its current value to greater than 50 times the planetary GDP. All my “roadmap” needs to get to completion is making investments that double my money every month for the next few years.

  6. Rusty Baker on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 11:33 am 

    This is more propaganda from the liberal establishment. Nowhere does it mention the potential fallout were there to be an accident(perhaps Fukushima x300). Honestly, this fusion dream seems like smug, Ivory tower, technocratic mental masturbation in order for liberal scientists to keep gorging on the taxpayer trough, like the good ole commies they are. This project is estimated to be complete in 2050! Hell, the world could be in sheer ruins by then-conceivably even earlier-especially when factoring in financial collapse, social unrest and catastrophic climate change. People will be lucky to have a plate of food and clean water in 2050, let alone fusion energy.

  7. Feemer on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 2:40 pm 

    yes fusion has been a minimum of 30-50 years into the future for the last 60 years,i’m not electrochemisist or physicist but i’ve had some classes, and it doesn’t take a genius to know hydrogen is incredibly hard to concentrate, the only reason the sun can do it is because of the shear size and weight and density all converging, do not hold your breath for fusion, the world will have no oil by 2050, and thus no oil platform to implement it even if we had it by then

  8. econ101 on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 3:48 pm 

    It gets funded because the payoff is so huge. Its a funding project that engages the educated to employ resources that will eventually benefit all. This is real science being funded for the right reasons. It is not politically driven science being funded for political reasons ie. global warming. I have had some classes too, fusion is inevitable. It takes longer to develop because it is always harder to make something which is fusion than break something apart which is fision.

  9. rollin on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 4:14 pm 

    I remember my physics professor giving me a tour of his fusion experiments. That was a long time ago. Some private companies were even running research/engineering programs in fusion just a few years later. Monies dried up, interest waned and governments did not push this energy system (no real direct military uses nor a producer of radioactive by-products).
    Here we are decades later, with almost no effort compared to the GDP,still hoping for success. A far less harmful system of energy production that could transform the world, with so little focus and effort.

  10. LT on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 10:28 pm 

    Basic thermodynamics teaches that all systems are IRREVERSIBLE processes. It means all systems must take in energy in order to do work. And the amount of work output are always less than the amount of energy put in, always.

    Basic thermodynamics also teaches that REVERSIBLE process only exist on black board, never be found in real life. It is a DREAM process used as a theoretical limit for purposes of evaluation of other irreversible processes.

    All fuels on Earth are, in essence, sun energy stored in some forms:

    Fossil fuels are sun energy stored in the form of petroleum, coals.

    Bio-fuels are also sun energy stored in the form of plants.

    Hydro-power are also sun energy stored in the form of rain/river systems.

    Uranium and other radio-reactive elements are also sun energy stored in the form of radio-reactive elements.

    All of these fuels are consumed in IRREVERSIBLE processes, making system entropy always increasing.

    Fusion in theory is a form of reversible process of fission. It exists only in paper, not in reality.

    Bottom line: Whatever one wants to try, reality dictates that input energy will always be greater than output energy.

  11. jeannick on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 10:33 pm 

    Even if the fusion reaction could self sustaining , there is the conversion problem
    how to convert the net energy ( if any !) into good old electrical Kw
    so far ……… nothing.

    it should also be pointed out that if one play with Gigawatts of power
    one is playing with a very powerful and angry dragon

  12. KingM on Mon, 28th Jan 2013 6:43 pm 

    “Fusion in theory is a form of reversible process of fission. It exists only in paper, not in reality.”

    You might have heard of a little fusion reactor called the sun. You might have also heard of the atomic bomb.

    But don’t let scientific illiteracy keep you from spouting off.

  13. econ101 on Mon, 28th Jan 2013 10:15 pm 

    The atomic bomb is a fission reaction. You are correct about the sun and your advice is priceless!

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