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THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 10 Apr 2019, 18:48:43

EnergyUnlimited wrote:@Tanada,
OK, lats say that they (whoever are "they") got this fusion reactor working.
Now tell me, how they are going to handle these pesky 14 MeV neutrons?

There will be an immense corrosion of reactor walls... very frequent maintenance and associated costs etc.
This problem is going to be explored in the IFMIF project. IFMIF-DONES is currently in the engineering design phase.

The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility, also known as IFMIF, is a projected material testing facility in which candidate materials for the use in an energy producing fusion reactor can be fully qualified. IFMIF will be an accelerator-driven neutron source producing a high intensity fast neutron flux with a spectrum similar to that expected at the first wall of a fusion reactor using a deuterium-lithium nuclear reaction.

Background
The deuterium-tritium fusion reaction generates mono-energetic neutrons with an energy of 14.1 MeV. None of the commonly available neutron sources are adequate for fusion materials testing for various reasons. The construction of IFMIF is recommended in the European Roadmap for Research Infrastructures Report.
International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility

The early construction of an 'Early DEMO' requires the accelerated construction of a neutron irradiation plant. This initial irradiation plant will have reduced specifications in terms of accumulated damage of the irradiated materials (30-40 dpa instead of 150 dpa). Thus, in the European framework it was decided to design and build a facility capable of producing the specified amount of damage as soon as possible. A discussion period was opened to determine the specifications of this so-called Early Neutron Source (ENS).

Following a proposal by the LNF, the design adopted for ENS is DONES (DEMO-Oriented Neutron Source), which basically consists of a simplification of IFMIF. Currently, the ENS is one of the EUROfusion Work Packages.

DONES will thus be similar to IFMIF but will only have one accelerator, and it will only include the irradiation modules required to test the structural materials, without a laboratory for the characterization of the irradiated samples. Based on these simplifications, both the cost and the time required for the design and construction of the facility will be significantly reduced. Also, DONES is being designed in such a way that it could eventually be upgraded in order to meet the full capabilities of IFMIF. The objective of the ENS project in the framework of EUROfusion (2015-2018) is the development of the R&D and the engineering activities required to start the construction of the facility before 2020.
IFMIF-DONES

In this paper, an overview and the present status of the IFMIF-DONES engineering design is presented for a generic site, making emphasis on the recent design evolution from previous phases.
The IFMIF-DONES project: preliminary engineering design

steps for implementation
EUROfusion and Fusion for Energy (F4E) started in 2015 a process to develop the engineering design of DONES and to identify possible EU sites to host the facility. In December 2017, F4E positively evaluated the joint Spain-Croatia proposal to site DONES in Granada. As the IFMIF-DONES enters the Roadmap 2018, it will be eligible for the Preparatory Phase grant by the EC and, simultaneously, will begin the Implementation Phase with the initial steps for the construction of the civil engineering infrastructure.
IFMIF-DONES
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 11 Apr 2019, 03:20:25

EnergyUnlimited wrote:@Tanada,
OK, lets say that they (whoever are "they") got this fusion reactor working.
Now tell me, how they are going to handle these pesky 14 MeV neutrons?

There will be an immense corrosion of reactor walls... very frequent maintenance and associated costs etc.


Personally I would line the walls with cadmium steel tanks and fill the tanks with asphalt, but it is not my project. Cadmium is a good neutron absorbent and asphalt has serious advantages over water as a neutron moderator. Its a solid at room temperature and doesn't boil until it gets above 500 C degrees so it acts as something of a heat sink if an emergency takes place.

Failing that you can always go with the old standby, heavy water using deuterium isotope of hydrogen like Canada uses in their fission reactor designs. You can also add a lot of boron to the water as was originally done in the emergency shutdown systems for fission reactors.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Thu 11 Apr 2019, 16:00:15

Tanada wrote:
EnergyUnlimited wrote:@Tanada,
OK, lets say that they (whoever are "they") got this fusion reactor working.
Now tell me, how they are going to handle these pesky 14 MeV neutrons?

There will be an immense corrosion of reactor walls... very frequent maintenance and associated costs etc.


Personally I would line the walls with cadmium steel tanks and fill the tanks with asphalt, but it is not my project. Cadmium is a good neutron absorbent and asphalt has serious advantages over water as a neutron moderator. Its a solid at room temperature and doesn't boil until it gets above 500 C degrees so it acts as something of a heat sink if an emergency takes place.

Failing that you can always go with the old standby, heavy water using deuterium isotope of hydrogen like Canada uses in their fission reactor designs. You can also add a lot of boron to the water as was originally done in the emergency shutdown systems for fission reactors.

These neutrons are needed to breed back trithium (from Li-6 lets say). You cannot afford to waste them. Another thing is that you need to make inner walls of reactor out of something. Any known solid materials are going to be eroded in no time at all. I don't think that cadmium steel would be an exception.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby Antaris » Sat 15 Feb 2020, 00:05:27

Lion
Maybe maybe not.
Got to give it a try as we are running out of other options.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby dissident » Sat 15 Feb 2020, 11:52:47

For some reason the most obvious issue with toroidal magnetic confinement fusion reactors is not mentioned in the coverage of these devices. All of the reactors since the small desktop variants decades ago do not have enough plasma isolation from the wall to function. This problem is a scaling problem. Small devices (like all of the current and previous designs) have way too much deviation of plasma from the ideal magnetic torus sheets. This noise enables parasitic current into the walls of the reactor and contamination of plasma with vaporized wall material. Hence, suppression of fusion.

There was a paper on this issue that seems to have been forgotten outside the expert community. ITER is supposedly big enough to overcome the noise issue, but I have not seen any proof of this. So I suspect that it will be a flop. We may need another factor of 10 scaling (i.e. 1000 times larger reactor) to overcome the noise issue. In the large scale limit, the plasma confinement to magnetic iso-surfaces becomes more ideal due purely to geometry (note that the noise does not scale with size since it depends on the specific energy of the plasma, this enables the cross-surface mobility of charged particles composing the plasma to be scaled away). So there is a progressive isolation of the plasma from the reactor walls.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Sat 15 Feb 2020, 17:28:01

@dissident,
Those pesky 14MeV neutrons are making commercial D+T fusion non-starter.
No existing material will stand them for more than few weeks in commercial power generation reactor setup and replacing reactor walls every few weeks makes it all impractical.

Other fusion setups like He-3 + D are far more challenging on the other hand.

So we need to satisfy our energy needs with gravitational confinement fusion reactor which is about 8 light minutes away.

On odd occasion we may supplement it with flash fusion setups useful for example for evaporating a city (though they really tend to be about as much fission as fusion when designed in an optimal way).
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby dissident » Sat 15 Feb 2020, 20:01:06

EnergyUnlimited wrote:@dissident,
Those pesky 14MeV neutrons are making commercial D+T fusion non-starter.
No existing material will stand them for more than few weeks in commercial power generation reactor setup and replacing reactor walls every few weeks makes it all impractical.

Other fusion setups like He-3 + D are far more challenging on the other hand.

So we need to satisfy our energy needs with gravitational confinement fusion reactor which is about 8 light minutes away.

On odd occasion we may supplement it with flash fusion setups useful for example for evaporating a city (though they really tend to be about as much fission as fusion when designed in an optimal way).



The 14 MeV neutrons are not why there is no sustained fusion. The plasma loses vast amounts of energy by "short circuiting" to the tokomak wall and at the same time is quenched by heavy, non-fusable elements from that same wall.

BTW, current understanding of solar physics is not as complete as touted. There is evidence that the Coronal Mass Ejection events are energized by fusion occurring in magnetic flux tubes being stretched and deformed by magneto-hydrodynamics of the Sun and fusion is not confined to the solar core.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Sun 16 Feb 2020, 03:03:53

dissident wrote:The 14 MeV neutrons are not why there is no sustained fusion. The plasma loses vast amounts of energy by "short circuiting" to the tokomak wall and at the same time is quenched by heavy, non-fusable elements from that same wall.

The issue with 14 MeV neutrons is not about sustained fusion.
It is about unsustainable expenses of reactor maintenance once sustained fusion is achieved.

BTW, current understanding of solar physics is not as complete as touted. There is evidence that the Coronal Mass Ejection events are energized by fusion occurring in magnetic flux tubes being stretched and deformed by magneto-hydrodynamics of the Sun and fusion is not confined to the solar core.

That is interesting but I am not surprised that we have rather patchy understanding of solar physics.
We just cannot recreate Sun in lab and the smallest possible model of Sun is Sun itself.
But we cannot observe details of interior with adequate accuracy. The inly information from the core available to us in untampered form comes in form of neutrinos.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Feb 2020, 15:50:25

Radical hydrogen-boron reactor leapfrogs current nuclear fusion tech

"We are sidestepping all of the scientific challenges that have held fusion energy back for more than half a century," says the director of an Australian company that claims its hydrogen-boron fusion technology is already working a billion times better than expected.

HB11 Energy is a spin-out company that originated at the University of New South Wales, and it announced today a swag of patents through Japan, China and the USA protecting its unique approach to fusion energy generation.

Fusion, of course, is the long-awaited clean, safe theoretical solution to humanity's energy needs. It's how the Sun itself makes the vast amounts of energy that have powered life on our planet up until now. Where nuclear fission – the splitting of atoms to release energy – has proven incredibly powerful but insanely destructive when things go wrong, fusion promises reliable, safe, low cost, green energy generation with no chance of radioactive meltdown.

It's just always been 20 years away from being 20 years away. A number of multi-billion dollar projects are pushing slowly forward, from the Max Planck Institute's insanely complex Wendelstein 7-X stellerator to the 35-nation ITER Tokamak project, and most rely on a deuterium-tritium thermonuclear fusion approach that requires the creation of ludicrously hot temperatures, much hotter than the surface of the Sun, at up to 15 million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit). This is where HB11's tech takes a sharp left turn.

The results of decades of research by Emeritus Professor Heinrich Hora, HB11's approach to fusion does away with rare, radioactive and difficult fuels like tritium altogether – as well as those incredibly high temperatures. Instead, it uses plentiful hydrogen and boron B-11, employing the precise application of some very special lasers to start the fusion reaction.

Here's how HB11 describes its "deceptively simple" approach: the design is "a largely empty metal sphere, where a modestly sized HB11 fuel pellet is held in the center, with apertures on different sides for the two lasers. One laser establishes the magnetic containment field for the plasma and the second laser triggers the ‘avalanche’ fusion chain reaction. The alpha particles generated by the reaction would create an electrical flow that can be channeled almost directly into an existing power grid with no need for a heat exchanger or steam turbine generator."

HB11's Managing Director Dr. Warren McKenzie clarifies over the phone: "A lot of fusion experiments are using the lasers to heat things up to crazy temperatures – we're not. We're using the laser to massively accelerate the hydrogen through the boron sample using non-linear forced. You could say we're using the hydrogen as a dart, and hoping to hit a boron , and if we hit one, we can start a fusion reaction. That's the essence of it. If you've got a scientific appreciation of temperature, it's essentially the speed of atoms moving around. Creating fusion using temperature is essentially randomly moving atoms around, and hoping they'll hit one another, our approach is much more precise."

"The hydrogen/boron fusion creates a couple of helium atoms," he continues. "They're naked heliums, they don't have electrons, so they have a positive charge. We just have to collect that charge. Essentially, the lack of electrons is a product of the reaction and it directly creates the current."

A small pellet of hydrogen/boron fuel is placed in a large sphere and hit with two lasers simultaneously to create a fusion reaction that directly generates electricity with no steam turbines required

HB11

The lasers themselves rely upon cutting-edge "Chirped Pulse Amplification" technology, the development of which won its inventors the 2018 Nobel prize in Physics. Much smaller and simpler than any of the high-temperature fusion generators, HB11 says its generators would be compact, clean and safe enough to build in urban environments. There's no nuclear waste involved, no superheated steam, and no chance of a meltdown.

"This is brand new," Professor Hora tells us. "10-petawatt power laser pulses. It's been shown that you can create fusion conditions without hundreds of millions of degrees. This is completely new knowledge. I've been working on how to accomplish this for more than 40 years. It's a unique result. Now we have to convince the fusion people – it works better than the present day hundred million degree thermal equilibrium generators. We have something new at hand to make a drastic change in the whole situation. A substitute for carbon as our energy source. A radical new situation and a new hope for energy and the climate."

Indeed, says Hora, experiments and simulations on the laser-triggered chain reaction are returning reaction rates a billion times higher than predicted. This cascading avalanche of reactions is an essential step toward the ultimate goal: reaping far more energy from the reaction than you put in. The extraordinary early results lead HB11 to believe the company "stands a high chance of reaching the goal of net energy gain well ahead of other groups."

“As we aren’t trying to heat fuels to impossibly high temperatures, we are sidestepping all of the scientific challenges that have held fusion energy back for more than half a century,” says Dr McKenzie. “This means our development roadmap will be much faster and cheaper than any other fusion approach. You know what's amazing? Heinrich is in his eighties. He called this in the 1970s, he said this would be possible. It's only possible now because these brand new lasers are capable of doing it. That, in my mind, is awesome."

Dr McKenzie won't however, be drawn on how long it'll be before the hydrogen-boron reactor is a commercial reality. "The timeline question is a tricky one," he says. "I don't want to be a laughing stock by promising we can deliver something in 10 years, and then not getting there. First step is setting up camp as a company and getting started. First milestone is demonstrating the reactions, which should be easy. Second milestone is getting enough reactions to demonstrate an energy gain by counting the amount of helium that comes out of a fuel pellet when we have those two lasers working together. That'll give us all the science we need to engineer a reactor. So the third milestone is bringing that all together and demonstrating a reactor concept that works."

This is big-time stuff. Should cheap, clean, safe fusion energy really be achieved, it would be an extraordinary leap forward for humanity and a huge part of the answer for our future energy needs. And should it be achieved without insanely hot temperatures being involved, people would be even more comfortable having it close to their homes. We'll be keeping an eye on these guys.


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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby dissident » Sun 23 Feb 2020, 16:04:05

This is not sustained and is not fusion. This is

H + B -> 2 He

The He produced is not cycling back into the reaction and Boron is fissioned in the process. In other words, this is a fancy conventional reactor that is burning some fuel stock in a fancy way. It is not even a standard nuclear reactor that uses a neutron cascade that amplifies the fission energy release. This concept just fissions Boron in one step.

Boron has atomic number 5 and Helium has atomic number 2. Any isotope variations would always have the Boron having a nucleus with more nucleons than the Helium. So clearly this is a fission reaction and not a fusion reaction.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Sun 23 Feb 2020, 16:21:22

dissident wrote:This is not sustained and is not fusion. This is

H + B -> 2 He

The He produced is not cycling back into the reaction and Boron is fissioned in the process. In other words, this is a fancy conventional reactor that is burning some fuel stock in a fancy way. It is not even a standard nuclear reactor that uses a neutron cascade that amplifies the fission energy release. This concept just fissions Boron in one step.

Boron has atomic number 5 and Helium has atomic number 2. Any isotope variations would always have the Boron having a nucleus with more nucleons than the Helium. So clearly this is a fission reaction and not a fusion reaction.

If anything then H-1 + B-11 ---> 3 He-4 [excited C*-12 is an intermediate]
It is fusion in the sense that we have C-12 in excited state as an intermediate. Production of this excited C-12 also releases energy.
Then there is a fission of it but some part will radiate gamma and stabilize as ordinary C-12.
I like to call it "thermonuclear fission"
Very comparable situation we have in hydrogen bombs based on Lithium-7 deuteride.
Unstable Be-8 is formed which decays to 2 Hellium-4 nuclei.
Another thermonuclear fusion - fission.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby dissident » Sun 23 Feb 2020, 23:31:10

EnergyUnlimited wrote:
dissident wrote:This is not sustained and is not fusion. This is

H + B -> 2 He

The He produced is not cycling back into the reaction and Boron is fissioned in the process. In other words, this is a fancy conventional reactor that is burning some fuel stock in a fancy way. It is not even a standard nuclear reactor that uses a neutron cascade that amplifies the fission energy release. This concept just fissions Boron in one step.

Boron has atomic number 5 and Helium has atomic number 2. Any isotope variations would always have the Boron having a nucleus with more nucleons than the Helium. So clearly this is a fission reaction and not a fusion reaction.

If anything then H-1 + B-11 ---> 3 He-4 [excited C*-12 is an intermediate]
It is fusion in the sense that we have C-12 in excited state as an intermediate. Production of this excited C-12 also releases energy.
Then there is a fission of it but some part will radiate gamma and stabilize as ordinary C-12.
I like to call it "thermonuclear fission"
Very comparable situation we have in hydrogen bombs based on Lithium-7 deuteride.
Unstable Be-8 is formed which decays to 2 Hellium-4 nuclei.
Another thermonuclear fusion - fission.


Thanks for the clarification. This approach requires a plasma temperature about 10 times higher than the Deuterium-Tritium used in tokomaks, hence the need for laser confinement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutronic_fusion

Smells like a free lunch to me.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 21 Dec 2020, 01:31:46

dissident wrote:
EnergyUnlimited wrote:
dissident wrote:This is not sustained and is not fusion. This is

H + B -> 2 He

The He produced is not cycling back into the reaction and Boron is fissioned in the process. In other words, this is a fancy conventional reactor that is burning some fuel stock in a fancy way. It is not even a standard nuclear reactor that uses a neutron cascade that amplifies the fission energy release. This concept just fissions Boron in one step.

Boron has atomic number 5 and Helium has atomic number 2. Any isotope variations would always have the Boron having a nucleus with more nucleons than the Helium. So clearly this is a fission reaction and not a fusion reaction.

If anything then H-1 + B-11 ---> 3 He-4 [excited C*-12 is an intermediate]
It is fusion in the sense that we have C-12 in excited state as an intermediate. Production of this excited C-12 also releases energy.
Then there is a fission of it but some part will radiate gamma and stabilize as ordinary C-12.
I like to call it "thermonuclear fission"
Very comparable situation we have in hydrogen bombs based on Lithium-7 deuteride.
Unstable Be-8 is formed which decays to 2 Hellium-4 nuclei.
Another thermonuclear fusion - fission.


Thanks for the clarification. This approach requires a plasma temperature about 10 times higher than the Deuterium-Tritium used in tokomaks, hence the need for laser confinement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutronic_fusion

Smells like a free lunch to me.


Until you get out more energy than you put in there ain't nothing free about it! As Grandpa might have said, "Fusion is the energy of the future, and always will be!"
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 16 Apr 2022, 08:15:46

Fusion is the answer. It is also nuclear. It just doesn't, for power generation purposes, come with any waste problems.

I was thinking, though, that humanity will go beyond power generation. Being able to make a working fusion reactor for energy purposes will be one thing. Then they will discover that they can make them for other things too.

They will be able to make things. They will be able to make anything, from basic building blocks. Discovering fusion reaction will begin something more. Things like lithium, which might be otherwise mined, could be made. It's a lighter element, so you might think it would be easier to make?

I'm, obviously, not thinking about any of the constraints upon being able to do this. How big would an actual factory that made lithium be? Would it have to exist in space? If so, would the tradeoff allow for the expense of the transportation of the new materials to earth, and still leave room for companies to make a profit? You can certainly see them pulling it off in conjunction with a space elevator.

The real challenge might become one of how to distribute the profits? That is to say, what a society that could do those things ought to look like, presuming it had avoided slipping back into barbarism while, yet, having that sort of technology. I think history teaches us that sort of thing is possible. As long as we are dreaming, we might as well dream big, and imagine the best sort of world, including how we might better share the wealth.

I think we could find ways that honored some people's 'go getter' attitudes toward life. We need those people, just like we need everybody else. An economy needs everybody. It has a sort of mechanics. It is driven by activities that people join in, that cause them to spend money. The size of the money supply is dependent, largely, upon the relative view that people take over the cost of money vs. what it means not to participate. Emotionally, though, people love to participate. When it comes to assigning importance, if we understand how important emotion is, then we know the masses are important. We want to see ourselves, in most ways, as standing out from everyone else, but also as fitting in, in essential ways.

People weigh how much they are willing to borrow, in order to engage in the economy. The money supply is connected to that level of borrowing for business, and that for real estate. Both causes weigh upon the result. It's good, to keep things in perspective, to consider the effect that things like monetary policy would still have in a world like that because more people might actually participate in such a way where costs were more important to them than they are today.

When the cost of employing people is no longer the fulcrum, it will be tempting to find another, that is to say. What the people collectively see as important will always drive the borrowing activity around which people engage the economy. Housing is just the main thing that people can agree upon is basically important. If we escape barbarism, you have to wonder what else man will come up with to redefine what he does with his time, with what he considers important?
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 16 Apr 2022, 14:43:12

evilgenius wrote:Fusion is the answer. It is also nuclear. It just doesn't, for power generation purposes, come with any waste problems.

I was thinking, though, that humanity will go beyond power generation. Being able to make a working fusion reactor for energy purposes will be one thing. Then they will discover that they can make them for other things too.

They will be able to make things. They will be able to make anything, from basic building blocks. Discovering fusion reaction will begin something more. Things like lithium, which might be otherwise mined, could be made. It's a lighter element, so you might think it would be easier to make?

I'm, obviously, not thinking about any of the constraints upon being able to do this. How big would an actual factory that made lithium be? Would it have to exist in space? If so, would the tradeoff allow for the expense of the transportation of the new materials to earth, and still leave room for companies to make a profit? You can certainly see them pulling it off in conjunction with a space elevator.

The real challenge might become one of how to distribute the profits? That is to say, what a society that could do those things ought to look like, presuming it had avoided slipping back into barbarism while, yet, having that sort of technology. I think history teaches us that sort of thing is possible. As long as we are dreaming, we might as well dream big, and imagine the best sort of world, including how we might better share the wealth.

I think we could find ways that honored some people's 'go getter' attitudes toward life. We need those people, just like we need everybody else. An economy needs everybody. It has a sort of mechanics. It is driven by activities that people join in, that cause them to spend money. The size of the money supply is dependent, largely, upon the relative view that people take over the cost of money vs. what it means not to participate. Emotionally, though, people love to participate. When it comes to assigning importance, if we understand how important emotion is, then we know the masses are important. We want to see ourselves, in most ways, as standing out from everyone else, but also as fitting in, in essential ways.

People weigh how much they are willing to borrow, in order to engage in the economy. The money supply is connected to that level of borrowing for business, and that for real estate. Both causes weigh upon the result. It's good, to keep things in perspective, to consider the effect that things like monetary policy would still have in a world like that because more people might actually participate in such a way where costs were more important to them than they are today.

When the cost of employing people is no longer the fulcrum, it will be tempting to find another, that is to say. What the people collectively see as important will always drive the borrowing activity around which people engage the economy. Housing is just the main thing that people can agree upon is basically important. If we escape barbarism, you have to wonder what else man will come up with to redefine what he does with his time, with what he considers important?


I moved your post over to the Fusion thread to avoid derailing the Fission topic before answering.

As I pointed out in response to another of your posts on this energy source Fusion is NOT waste free. It like Fission is relatively low waste for the quantity of energy it can potentially supply but low wast is not no waste and I would appreciate it if you accepted that reality before you draw perfect scenarios.

Secondly, Lithium is a fusion fuel in its own right. The original reason we explored for Lithium minerals and started developing extraction techniques is for use in nuclear explosives. Lithium-6+Hydrogen-2 aka Lithium Deuteride is the fusion fuel for hydrogen bombs. Lithium Deuteride is also the fusion fuel for use in laser confinement fusion reactors.

Thirdly, the fusion reactors we have are still a long way from "unity" which is the point when they produce at least as much energy as they consume in the process. Yes the media has glowing stories every few months to few years about breakthroughs an advances but in the last 70 years this has been the consistent pattern of unscientific non-mathematically gifted reporters trying to explain fusion to the lay public. In simple terms fusion is very hard to achieve in a controlled harnessable fashion. You have to create an environment in your media of Lithium Deuteride or Tritium Deuterium plasma (depending on which approach you use) where temperatures and pressure resemble the core of a Red Dwarf star or higher. A red dwarf is the smallest type of self sustaining star and in even that case the pressures and temperatures needed to enable the basic fusion process are out of the imagination of most humans big.
In an H-bomb you use a small fission bomb to generate the heat and pressure to ignite the fusion fuel. There were even proposals back in the 1950's and 1960's to drill a very deep well and set off an H-bomb at very great depth which would trap all the generated heat in the form of a pocket of artificial magma. Then more wells would be drilled down to extract the trapped heat in a kind of artificially powered geothermal heat source. When the magma insulated by the surrounding rock cooled off too much to provide geothermal heat you would drill a new well down to the center of the pocket and set off a new H-bomb to remelt the magma restoring its usefulness as a geothermal powerplant heat source. These schemes were never put into practice because it would have cost more for the drilling and H-bombs needed than the energy provided by the geothermal power plant could ever pay back.

So far right up to 2022 every attempt at producing usable energy from hydrogen fusion has had the same economic problem. The energy you put in, so far, has always exceeded the energy you get back out. Once upon a time I was very optimistic that scientists would figure out a way to do fusion in an energy positive fashion. Unfortunately the two methods currently under testing/development are the same methods being tested in 1985. What this means is no breakthrough new law of physics has arrived to permit useful energy extraction from fusion. The plant currently being built as a minimum scale test unit is based on the Tokamak system originally proposed almost 60 years ago in Russia which is why it has a name English speakers find mysterious. In essence the plan is to use new warmer temperature superconducting magnets to produce the plasma bottle needed to sustain the fusion reaction for more than a fraction of a second. I wish them all the luck in the world because if they can make it work then in 15-20 years we might have fusion powered electricity. But that doesn't mean I think it will work because the math is just not supportive of it. Sure you might power up for a few seconds, but you have to extract the excess energy from the system at a very precisely balanced rate so that the plasma stays in the range where the reaction can continue without the reaction rate climbing too high and melting your magnetic confinement system.

One proposed system for doing this is to have the plasma itself act as both reaction mass and coolant by circling around a torus, a magnetic bottle shaped like a ring doughnut. Over most of the circle the plasma is inside a cooling jacket that picks up the excess energy and in one very small section the jacket system is replaced with extra superconducting magnets that pulse to squeeze the plasma tighter in that spot causing a flash of fusion then relaxing so the plasma spreads the heat away from the magnets into the jacket with the pulses timed to control the rate of fusion and rate of energy extraction in the cooling jacket.

The cooling jacket has a working fluid which can be helium gas, nitrogen gas, water, or molten salt. The fluid is circulated out to a generation system that can be many option depending on the fluid and can be direct or indirect. Direct means the working fluid is used in the generator like a Boiling Water Reactor system, indirect means the working fluid is used to heat a second loop like the system in a Pressurized Water Reactor.

Alternatives include technology like using helium as primary coolant heated up to plasma temperatures by the fusion bottle being sent through a Mageto-Hydro-Dynamic energy extraction system but that requires a bunch more superconducting magnets to guide and contain the Helium plasma. Most Molten Salt systems I have seen use two extraction systems working in series, first an inert gas is passed through the salt heat exchanger and then fed through a standard gas turbine generator in a Brayton cycle, then the still hot gas is passed through a second heat exchanger to vaporize water into steam to run a steam turbine generator before being passed back through the molten salt heat exchanger in a complex loop arrangement. When using molten salt you can get the heat way up to around 900 C in the salt loop but you need to keep it up around 650 C at the end of the gas heat exchanger so it stays very fluid and is easy to return to the cooling jacket.

Anyhow your plans to make Lithium which is element 3 are fordoomed by its abundance on Earth and the fact that it is a fusion fuel for laser confinement fusion which I personally think is a much better system than the plasma torus approach currently getting major funding.

Lithium is the 33rd most abundant element in crustal rock. That makes it more common than Lead the 36th, Argon the 44th, or Tungsten the 56th all of which are used all over the place in hundreds of everyday items. Well if you still have any old fashion light bulbs or tool steel quality drill bits. Gold is 29th but for emotional reasons much more expensive than the rarer Lead, Argon or Tungsten.

In laser confinement fusion a tiny bead of fusion fuel, which in different experiments has used Deuterium gas, Deuterium-Tritium gas and Lithium-6 Deuteride or even Lithium-7 Hydride, works by dropping the bead down a tube and when it gets to the reaction spot multiple lasers focused on the spot from different direction pulse on crushing the bead from all directions heating it and confining it for a few nanoseconds. The heat and crushing ignite the mass into a fusion reaction that ends almost as quickly as it starts because the fuel is in a very small bead that is quickly consumed. The resulting plasma spread out contacting the sides of the tube which are another cooling jacket just like the one used in the plasma torus fusion concept but the tube is much smaller and the pulse is very brief. To generate steady energy flow beads are dropped once ever second or so resulting in energy pulses as each is consumed in a tiny fusion reaction and a good quality pump system is use pull the condensed plasma out of the tube after each pulse. The easiest way to do that is to have a low pressure tank attached to the fusion tubes with a valve that pulses in time with the lasers so that the plasma has time to expand transferring energy and then being extracted as reaction products and unconsumed fuel. Depending on the choice of fusion fuel consumed in the pulses the reaction products will be Helium-3, Helium-4 and the reactants will be Deuterium, Tritium and Lithium.

It has been proposed that such a system might be fueled by Boron-11 Hydride resulting in Carbon-12 plasma. The goal of Boron Hydride fusion is to avoid producing free neutrons which are not trapped by the magnet confinement system and therefore cause neutron activated radioactive isotopes in the fusion chamber materials. This gets us back to my statement that fusion produces waste, the proponents just do their best to not talk about it leading people like yourself to the false conclusion that it is a waste free energy system. The truth is no reaction using Deuterium-Tritium-Lithium is perfect. Ideally you react Lithium Deuteride and the fusion products are two atoms of Helium plasma, two Alpha particles, with no free neutrons. However when you use Lithium-6 Deuteride as your fuel inevitable a moderate percentage of the Deuterium reacts with other Deuterium instead of with the Lithium. This leaves the Lithium-6 in the plasma exhaust where it can be recovered and recycled but the issue is Deuterium-Deuterium fusion has three potential end products. Ideally you get an alpha particle, an ionize Helium nucleus just like you get from the Lithium Deuteride reaction, but this is the rarest of the three results. The vast majority of the reactions split up nearly half and half with Tritium and a free Proton being one reaction and Helium-3 and a free neutron being the other possible reaction. That Helium-3 free neutron reaction is where the trouble comes from because those free neutrons fly out with high energy and a 15 minute half life. Free neutrons at high energy will interact with many other atoms as they travel losing energy and they often get absorbed in structural materials making them into radioactive isotopes. With a half life of 15 minutes that means an hour after they are formed there are still about 8% of those free neutrons flying around able to activate structural materials. Once they decay into Hydroden-1 plasma they quickly bind chemically to other materials like Oxygen or Nitrogen in the air. But it is two hours after shutdown of a fusion reactor before they have gone through eight decay cycles and you can confidently say the free neutron population is approaching zero. To an extent the same s true of a fission reactor but everyone knows they are radioactive, they just do not realize fusion reactors are also radioactive and produce neutron activated structural materials the same way.

Other fusion fuel choices are also likely to release neutrons. Deuterium-Tritium fuel results in some D+D reactions as discussed above. They also produce D+T reaction which usually produce a Helium-4 aka Alpha particle and and one free neutron. The mixture also produced T+T reactions with several outcomes, you can get Helium-4 and two free neutrons, (rarely) Helium-3 with three free neutrons, or occasionally a Deuterium nucleus and a Hydrogen-4 nucleus that quickly ejects the extra neutron returning to Tritium and a free neutron. The conclusion is most of these reactions result in free neutrons.

I mentioned earlier the possibility of Lithium-7 Hydride as a fuel and this is sort of my preferred fuel. Lithium-7 is the more abundant isotope and when you fuse Lithium-7 and Hydrogen you get Beryllium-8 which immediately splits into two Helium-4 or Alpha particles. The chances of free neutrons from this combination is very much lower because P-P fusion rarely occurs and when it does the resulting Helium-2 decays into Deuterium with no free neutrons. The Lithium-7 is unlikely to fuse with itself because that requires very high energy and occasionally a Lithium-7 Hydride fusion will result in a Helium-4+Helium-3+Free neutron or Helium-4+Tritium+Free Proton but those reactions are less common than the two Alpha reaction. Boron-11 Hydride fusion is like the Lithium-7 Hydride reaction in that the Boron is unlikely to fuse with itself as it needs even higher energy than the Lithium to self fuse and the Protons of hydrogen rarely fuse and when they do the result is new Deuterium. The Carbon-12 end product is possible to fuse with the freed Protons resulting in Nitrogen-13 with a half life under ten minutes decays quickly into Carbon-13 which is stable and safe as well.

So I hope this clears up your mistaken impression about Fusion being waste free. The activated structural materials will need a long delay time in decommissioning for exactly the same reason fission power stations do, neutron activated materials are radioactive and depending on the materials the half lives can be moderately long usually requiring a 30 year pause in decommissioning of reactors in the USA and western nations.
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Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
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Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 16 Apr 2022, 15:34:14

Tanada wrote:So I hope this clears up your mistaken impression about Fusion being waste free.


Indeed. If I might ask, is the level of knowledge you are displaying here acquired professionally, academically, or is it an example of advanced self learning on the topic?
StarvingPuutyTat says: I'm so confident in my TOTAL COLLAPSE is IMMINENT prediction that I stake my entire reputation on it. It will happen this year. - Aug 3-2020

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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 17 Apr 2022, 14:01:27

AdamB wrote:
Tanada wrote:So I hope this clears up your mistaken impression about Fusion being waste free.


Indeed. If I might ask, is the level of knowledge you are displaying here acquired professionally, academically, or is it an example of advanced self learning on the topic?


It is a mixture of both academic and post college self learning. My goal as a youngin was to serve in the navy as Nuclear operator on submarines so I took appropriate classes in HS and college. Then when I signed up I passed my background academic and psychiatric testing but due to childhood health issues I failed my physical and had to choose other career paths when I was rejected. My younger brother followed in my footsteps and served 12 years as a nuclear operator on several different submarines. I did consider a civilian nuclear license to work in the industry but at the time new construction in the USA was almost completely stopped and the field was overflowing with ex-navy personnel who I would have been competing with for a job in the field. When my brother got out it was even worse and his first job post navy was in hazardous chemical weapon incineration because his security clearance and military vet status got him a well paying job until we ran out of chemical weapons stockpile to dispose of. He now works at a convention fossil power plant because the politicians keep delaying the "Nuclear Renaissance" every few years in the USA. He has been out long enough now that to enter the civilian industry he would need to re-certify and he would be competing with guys half his age with similar and much more recent experience coming out of the service.
Alfred Tennyson wrote:We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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Re: THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 3

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 17 Apr 2022, 14:29:32

Tanada wrote:
AdamB wrote:
Tanada wrote:So I hope this clears up your mistaken impression about Fusion being waste free.


Indeed. If I might ask, is the level of knowledge you are displaying here acquired professionally, academically, or is it an example of advanced self learning on the topic?


It is a mixture of both academic and post college self learning. My goal as a youngin was to serve in the navy as Nuclear operator on submarines so I took appropriate classes in HS and college. Then when I signed up I passed my background academic and psychiatric testing but due to childhood health issues I failed my physical and had to choose other career paths when I was rejected.


Unfortunate, but quite interesting. I applied to be a member of Rickover's Navy upon college graduation, and was turned down, having spent zero time and effort dedicating myself to that cause in high school or college, just figuring that hey! I'm an enguneer, how hard can it be! They offered me other positions (no problems with the physical) but I had only applied to get the 1, not any alternatives offered, so I turned down their other offers and took my chances in the oil field.
StarvingPuutyTat says: I'm so confident in my TOTAL COLLAPSE is IMMINENT prediction that I stake my entire reputation on it. It will happen this year. - Aug 3-2020

Mustang19 says: Mods, I am just here to troll the trolls. I mean no harm.
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