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THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby Rune » Tue 08 Oct 2013, 16:38:00

Subjectivist wrote:I have always thought it odd that fusion research focuses almost exclusively on deuterium-deuterium or deuterium-tritium fusion. Both mixtures are gasses and handeling them can be quite problematic. On the other hand a compound of protium-lithium is a solid, stable at a broad range of temperature, and can be pre shaped into BBB sized spheres to be rargeted by inertial confinement lasers.


It has to do with research and experimenation and the easiest way to go about doing it, getting the lasers to function just right, etc.

There is still a whole lot to be done. At this point, researchers are shooting for a research LIFE reactor in the 2020s and the first commercial fusion reactor in the early 2030s.

I found a better article at LiveScience about it:

Fusion Experiments Inch Closer To Break-Even Goal

Fusion energy has proven an elusive goal — a running joke is that humanity is 20 years away from a practical power plant, and has been for 60 years.

That could be changing, said John Edwards, associate director for inertial confinement fusion and high-energy-density science of the National Ignition Facility.

In a recent piece published in the journal Physics of Plasmas, Edwards said NIF scientists are getting closer to reactions that produce more energy than they need to get going, and added that the obstacles to realizing nuclear fusion involve engineering problems rather than basic physics.


There are also still technical hurdles even if the NIF achieves ignition. The fusion reactions NIF is investigating all produce neutrons. Neutrons, which don't have an electrical charge, can pass through any material that's not properly shielded. But when they hit other atoms, they can break them up, or make whatever material they hit radioactive; they can even weaken metals. That means in order to fulfill the promise of eliminating radioactivity, the fusion reactions can't involve neutron fusion, as happens for deuterium and tritium. On the other hand, the neutrons might be a source of extra energy — at least one fusion reactor design makes use of fluoride salts of boron and lithium to shield the reactor walls from the neutrons, and carry away their heat — which could be used to drive turbines with steam.

François Waelbroeck, director of the Institute for Fusion Studies at the University of Texas, said that even though there are problems with deuterium-tritium fusion — the type being studied now — the idea is that once scientists learn to make that reaction work, they can move on to reactions that don't emit neutrons. Such reactions involve lithium or boron.
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Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 08 Oct 2013, 23:33:12

PrestonSturges wrote:We will see. Nothings creates a flood of success like the certain knowledge that a goal is in reach.

For instance, people long thought the 4:00 mile might be impossible until one guy did it. Within a few years, people were breaking the 4:00 mark all over the place because they knew they could.
And more recently with a little pharmaceutical help. :lol:
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Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby Anvil » Wed 09 Oct 2013, 05:16:58

Any progress is good progress.
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Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 09 Oct 2013, 05:36:56

Anvil wrote:Any progress is good progress.



Tell that to the Passenger Pigeon, and the Dodo, and the Moa, and the Quagga, and the Short Face Bear, and all the other species we have 'Progressed' into extinction.
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Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 09 Oct 2013, 11:57:13

Whoa! Rune, this is one of the few threads I've ever seen you make that was not about snake oil. There may be hope for you yet. As for the fusion news, thanks for the update!
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Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby Rune » Wed 09 Oct 2013, 13:09:37

kublikhan wrote:Whoa! Rune, this is one of the few threads I've ever seen you make that was not about snake oil. There may be hope for you yet. As for the fusion news, thanks for the update!


I read a lot. So sue me.

This is news related to alternative energy. I posted it.

There is not a strong, frequent news stream about Laser Inertial Fusion Energy, so there probably will not be many posts.

If there is a frequent news stream about alternative energy and a whole lot of credible, educated people are involved in it, I will pay attention to it - and post news and make comments.

I don't make any of this stuff up. It is just there.

You don't seem to understand any of these very basic things, so it inclines me to think that you have some sort of mental block or are simply not very bright or curious.

You are not curious about a frequent news stream if it appears to be about multiple alternative energy scams suddenly assaulting the world.

You are not curious about some sort of massive, global, long-term scientific delusion having to do with alternative energy.

You are not curious about the possibility of some sort of mind-blowing new phenomenon in physics that could radically change the world.

You don't seem to be very bright or curious about anything. So I don'lt really have much regard for your opinion.

At any rate, your comments are almost always about me. This seems kind of homosexual and rather distasteful to me since i am not gay.

Nothing that I post here should be about me. What I usually post about is energy or economics-related news.

And if the news stream is frequent and strong, then it gets mor interesting to me.

Hope this clears things up.
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Re: BBC: Fusion Energy Milestone Passed At US Lab

Unread postby Rune » Wed 09 Oct 2013, 13:26:00

Tanada wrote:
Anvil wrote:Any progress is good progress.


Tell that to the Passenger Pigeon, and the Dodo, and the Moa, and the Quagga, and the Short Face Bear, and all the other species we have 'Progressed' into extinction.


Earth's Life has been extant for some 3 billion years.

It has been a beautiful, diverse and wonderful place from about 200 million years ago to roughly the present. But for 99.999% of that time, there was no one around to be aware of the beauty or terror of it.

Then, Homo Sapiens Sapiens arrived and changed all that.

Maybe an asteroid will hit, destroy humanity and everything else for 10 or 20 million years, and Earth's evolutionary attempts at consciousness and awareness will be decimated, put to an end once and for all.

You have to keep your hope alive somehow.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 19 Dec 2013, 15:35:33

Breakthrough: One step closer to nuclear fusion power station

The superconductivity research group of the University of Twente (UT) has made a technological breakthrough crucial to the success of nuclear fusion reactors, allowing for clean, inexhaustible energy generation based on the workings of the stars in our galaxy.

The crux of the new development is a highly ingenious and robust superconducting cable system. This makes for a remarkably strong magnetic field that controls the very hot, energy-generating plasma in the reactor core, laying the foundation for nuclear fusion. The new cables are far less susceptible to heating due to a clever way of interweaving, which allows for a significant increase in the possibilities to control the plasma. Moreover, in combination with an earlier UT invention, the cables are able to withstand the immense forces inside the reactor for a very long time. The increased working life of the superconductors and the improved control of the plasma will soon make nuclear fusion energy more reliable: the magnet coils take up one third of the costs of a nuclear fusion power station. The longer their working life, the cheaper the energy will be. The research is a project within the context of the Green Energy Initiative of the University of Twente.


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

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 12 Feb 2014, 18:32:19

Fusion energy: NIF experiments show initial gain in fusion fuel

Ignition – the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel – has long been considered the "holy grail" of inertial confinement fusion science. A key step along the path to ignition is to have "fuel gains" greater than unity, where the energy generated through fusion reactions exceeds the amount of energy deposited into the fusion fuel.

Though ignition remains the ultimate goal, the milestone of achieving fuel gains greater than 1 has been reached for the first time ever on any facility. In a paper published in the Feb. 12 online issue of the journal Nature, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) detail a series of experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), which show an order of magnitude improvement in yield performance over past experiments.

"What's really exciting is that we are seeing a steadily increasing contribution to the yield coming from the boot-strapping process we call alpha-particle self-heating as we push the implosion a little harder each time," said lead author Omar Hurricane.


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

Unread postby Quinny » Sat 15 Feb 2014, 04:16:09

Article outlining progress made in NIC fusion research. I not proposing this as a solution or panacea just posting a report from UK newspaper.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-lasers-fuelling-hopes-of-unlimited-clean-nuclear-energy-9124237.html
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby lasseter » Sun 16 Feb 2014, 03:50:09

SilentRunning wrote: I have 1 ounce of pure gold that says that Lockmart will not have a fusion unit delivering a net energy of 100 MEGA watts of power by March 11, 2017. If they do, I will give you the gold.


When they began devising nuclear power stations the planners were sure that electicity from them would be too cheap to meter. In reality the only way they are cheaper than coal today is by omitting the de-commisioning costs.

I suspect that even if fusion becomes an economic reality it will suffer the same fate. At the moment though it looks as likely to go on-streem as the warp drive engine or molecular transporter unit. But what the hell, at least the concept gives hope to the vast majority who have not prepared to survive in a world without cheap oil and abundant credit.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 25 Apr 2014, 19:14:25

UK centre to shoot for nuclear fusion record

The director of a UK science facility says scientists there will try to set a new world record in nuclear fusion.

The Jet experiment in Oxfordshire was opened in 1984 to understand fusion - the process that powers the Sun.

Prof Steve Cowley told the BBC a go-ahead to run Jet at maximum power would allow scientists to try for the record by the end of the decade.

This could bring Jet up to the coveted goal of "breakeven" where fusion yields as much energy as it consumes.

Fusion is markedly different from current nuclear power, which operates through splitting atoms - fission - rather than squashing them together as occurs in fusion.

"We're hoping to repeat our world record shots and extend them," Prof Cowley, who is director of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy - which hosts Jet, told BBC News.


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

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 16 May 2014, 20:56:31

Complex fusion reactor takes shape as start date slips

Nobody said it was going to be easy. After years of delays, work has finally begun on key components of ITER, the ambitious international project to build a revolutionary nuclear fusion reactor. ITER remains dogged by its own complexity, however, and its director-general says that it may not now fire up until 2023 – three years later than the most recent official deadline.

ITER's ultimate aim is to generate energy in the same way that the sun does, by fusing hydrogen nuclei to form helium. It will do this by using a magnetic field to confine a superheated hydrogen plasma inside a doughnut-shaped reactor called a tokamak.

A collaboration between China, Russia, India, Japan Korea, the US and the EU, ITER's reactor will be larger and far more intricate than any previous tokamak. It will have as many as 10 million parts – its builders call it the puzzle with 10 million pieces – and will sit at the centre of a vast support system. The result will rival the Large Hadron Collider for the title of most complex machine on earth.


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

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 17 May 2014, 13:00:22

Graeme wrote:Complex fusion reactor takes shape as start date slips

director-general says that it may not now fire up until 2023 – three years later than the most recent official deadline.
That director general needs to be replaced. Someone with vision to move the damn thing alone once and for all.

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

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 22 May 2014, 19:40:21

Fusion Stellarator Starts Up

The construction of ITER, the 23 000-metric-ton tokamak-style fusion reactor is under way now in France. But a smaller reactor of a different design might be the key to its success. That reactor, the US $1.45 billion Wendelstein 7-X, was inaugurated yesterday, and researchers expect that it will ignite its first plasma a year from now.

Housed at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, in Greifswald, Germany, Wendelstein 7-X is a “stellarator,” a term coined in the 1950s by the Princeton astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, who designed the first such machine for exploring the fusion reactions in stars. It’s a design that predates the tokamaks in use today but one that had fallen out of favor because the computers of the day weren’t able to properly model the 3-D magnetic field confining the plasma.


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Fusion Idea Mentioning It Again

Unread postby Kylon » Tue 03 Jun 2014, 00:05:16

I mentioned this idea a long time ago(like 2005), but I think it's a good idea, and I got a lot of positive feedback over it.

It's an idea on how to achieve fusion, in a way we know has high EROEI.

Basically the government could build giant holes in the ground, use coat the walls with a water and heat resistant metal, and cap the top of the device with a large metal structure that would use the pressure and steam generated as a power source.

In this pool of water small nuclear devices could be detonated, with a very small quantity of uranium or plutonium, but an extraordinarily large amount of deuterium. The higher the deuterium to uranium/plutonium concentration, the more cost effective it would be. Of course you need a minimal amount of uranium/plutonium to reach critical mass for such an explosion.

Anyways, most of the energy in the explosion would be generated via deuterium fusing, created helium, with a small amount generated by the plutonium/uranium. As the explosion occured, it would generate massive amounts of heat and pressure. The pressure could drive turbines, and generators. You could effectively achieve fusion via these means.

It's really quite simple. Build a big hole in the ground. Encase it and setup generators and turbines. Fill it with water. Set off an explosion inside the big pool of water. Collect all the pressure and steam and convert it to energy.
Once the energy is disappated and has been used, set off another explosion inside the big pool of water, collect all the pressure and steam and convert it to energy. Just do that over and over again, to produce more and more energy.

Oh another thing, these things would have greater economies of scale. The bigger you built them, the more efficient/more power you get from one reaction. Smaller generators like this would mainly be powered by fission. But larger reactors would mainly be powered by fusion. Thus you'd have more energy produced more efficiently, at higher EROEI with larger/bigger holes in the ground, than smaller ones.

Oh Also, another great possible application, I think I remember reading about this a long time ago, but high temperature electrolysis. I think I remember reading that it takes less power to induce electrolysis of hydrogen from water if the water is at a higher temperature. So you could concievably produce lots of hydrogen gas with a system like this, which could be used to create ammonia, which could be used for fertilizer and as a replacement fuel for cars (although it has much lower Btus than gasoline).

Also the ammonia could be shipped/sold all over the world as a fuel/energy source for other countries. It could be an export that we sell to other countries (I say this from a U.S citizen's perspective).

This could also create a huge number of jobs. There would be a lot of people needed to build a project like this. It would basically provide tons of clean energy, a valuable export to pay for itself, and create thousands if not millions of low wage(and a few high wage) jobs so that people wouldn't be out of work.


What does everyone think?
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Re: Fusion Idea Mentioning It Again

Unread postby radon1 » Tue 03 Jun 2014, 01:20:39

Kylon wrote:
In this pool of water small nuclear devices could be detonated, with a very small quantity of uranium or plutonium, but an extraordinarily large amount of deuterium. The higher the deuterium to uranium/plutonium concentration, the more cost effective it would be. Of course you need a minimal amount of uranium/plutonium to reach critical mass for such an explosion.

Anyways, most of the energy in the explosion would be generated via deuterium fusing, created helium, with a small amount generated by the plutonium/uranium. As the explosion occured, it would generate massive amounts of heat and pressure. The pressure could drive turbines, and generators. You could effectively achieve fusion via these means.


Not a new idea, actually, afaik. The main problem with it is that it generates a lot of energy within a very short time span, and it is impossible to capture this energy to transform it or store for useful application. As a result, it will mostly dissipate. Turbines need a continuous inflow of constant amounts of energy to be effective, not peaks and drops.

Overall, deuterium should hold promise imho. Energy generation normally involves sources of abnormally high concentration that represent an unbalanced state. FFs are one example of such a source. I have once noticed on these pages that concentration of deuterium on Earth is abnormally high, due to Earth having a luck of capturing comets' deuterium at earlier stages of its life. I was ridiculed then here (and deregistered from the website then).

The problem with fusion may not be as much with the existing technical competence, but with the people. Basically, the entire fusion research currently is just a reproduction of old devices with new features. Not different from developing new models of iPonds. It is not even clear that they do research the energy generation from fusion, rather than simply use it as a gimmick to obtain funds. The problem is that no one seems to be genuinely interested in really addressing this.

Historically, most of scientific research has been driven by the "elites" in their fight with each other (i.e. was military in nature), and that kind of research was mostly based on inventions. An alternative is the "capitalist" research, where the technical advancement is driven by profit motive. This one is mostly "combinatorics", development of something new on the basis of compositions from the existing technological variety. The latter approach appears to be employed in the fusion research currently, and is apparently failing.

There is no longer us vs su to motivate real breakthroughs. :(
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Re: Fusion Idea Mentioning It Again

Unread postby diemos » Tue 03 Jun 2014, 07:06:25

A standard 1GW (electrical) fission reactor releases as much energy as the Hiroshima bomb every 6 hours.

To contain, store and deal with that much energy release in a fraction of a second is beyond our engineering capabilities by several factors of ten.
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Re: Fusion Idea Mentioning It Again

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 03 Jun 2014, 09:01:52

Deuterium-deuterium fusion rarely leads to normal Helium, the predominant product of the reaction is Tritium, a radioactive isotope of Hydrogen, and the second most common reaction leads to Helium-3. The Helium-3 reaction ejects a high energy neutron in the process that can activate any material it encounters making them radioactive as well.
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Re: Fusion Idea Mentioning It Again

Unread postby Quinny » Tue 03 Jun 2014, 11:24:40

I think it's a totally stupid idea.
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