Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

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Arthur Dent
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by Arthur Dent »

jim wrote:They keep saying they are close, and it seems promising, but I'll kind of believe it when I see it. The process seems like it should be simpler than it is.
Yeah, and even if they make it work, I'm skeptical that it will be practical. Even with cheap and plentiful fuel, if it costs $100 billion or whatever to build a reactor, what's the point?

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go birds
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by go birds »

$100 billion is all it would cost?

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thrill
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by thrill »

[expletive] your fission, WE BUILDIN A [expletive] STAR UP IN THIS PIECE

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014 ... chadourian

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go birds
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by go birds »

trill wrote:[expletive] your fission, WE BUILDIN A [expletive] STAR UP IN THIS PIECE

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014 ... chadourian
i was way interested in reading that article until i saw that it was 15 pages long. damn you The New Yorker!!!!

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AdmiralKird
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by AdmiralKird »

2027 until ITER would start fusing. While they might get more energy out of existing tokamaks then they put in, we're a long way from making it cost-effective. ITER will produce 500 megawatts of power for about 15 minutes, where as a medium-large coal plant will produce the same amount, sustained.

http://news.sciencemag.org/physics/2013 ... sion-power

We're still probably around a century away from fusion becoming a double digit percentage of U.S. power. We really need a stopgap in solar, wind, geothermal, etc and energy efficient devices in the meantime.

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go birds
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by go birds »

bottom line though is this something that is a legit reality?

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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by Michael »

go birds wrote:
trill wrote:[expletive] your fission, WE BUILDIN A [expletive] STAR UP IN THIS PIECE

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014 ... chadourian
i was way interested in reading that article until i saw that it was 15 pages long. damn you The New Yorker!!!!
Here's a one page summary: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014 ... ntPage=all

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GeddyWrox
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by GeddyWrox »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... scientists

Found this link from last year. Team of scientists *claim* they are 15 years away from having a commercially viable fusion reactor.

Other scientists sound doubtful.
The dream of nuclear fusion is on the brink of being realised, according to a major new US initiative that says it will put fusion power on the grid within 15 years.

The project, a collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source. The team intend to use a new class of high-temperature superconductors they predict will allow them to create the world’s first fusion reactor that produces more energy than needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction going.

Bob Mumgaard, CEO of the private company Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which has attracted $50 million in support of this effort from the Italian energy company Eni, said: “The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change. We think we have the science, speed and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.”

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pioneer98
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

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Lots of technical jargon but interesting

Laser fusion reactor approaches ‘burning plasma’ milestone
After the failed ignition campaign, NIF researchers beefed up their diagnostic instruments. They added more neutron detectors to give them a 3D view of where the fusion reactions were happening. They also adapted four of their laser beams to produce high-power, ultrashort pulses moments after the implosion in order to vaporize thin wires close to the target. The wires act as an x-ray flashbulb, able to probe the fuel as it compresses. “It’s like a CAT scan,” says planetary scientist Raymond Jeanloz of the University of California, Berkeley, who uses NIF to replicate the pressures at the core of giant planets such as Jupiter. (About 10% of NIF shots are devoted to basic science.)

With their sharper vision, researchers have tracked down energy leaks from the imploding fuel pellet. One came at the point where a tiny tube injected fuel into the capsule before the shot. To plug the leak, the team made the tube even thinner. Other leaks were traced back to the capsule’s plastic shell, so researchers revamped manufacturing to smooth out imperfections of just a millionth of a meter. The improved diagnostics “really helps the scientists to understand what improvements are required,” says Mingsheng Wei of the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

Fire by trial
The National Ignition Facility has closed in on fusion ignition—getting more energy out than goes in—by altering its laser pulses and targets. It is even closer to the temperatures and pressures needed for an intermediate goal: a self-heating “burning plasma.”

The team has also played with the shape of the 20-nanosecond laser pulses. Early shots ramped up in power slowly, to avoid heating the fuel too quickly and making it harder to compress. Later pulses ramped up more aggressively so that the plastic capsule had less time to mix with the fuel during compression, a tactic that boosted yields somewhat.

In the current campaign, begun in 2017, researchers are boosting temperatures by enlarging the hohlraum and the capsule by up to 20%, increasing the x-ray energy the capsule can absorb. To up the pressure, they’re extending the duration of the pulse and switching from plastic capsules to denser diamond ones to compress the fuel more efficiently.

NIF has repeatedly achieved yields approaching 60 kJ. But Herrmann says a recent shot, discussed at the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics meeting earlier this month, has exceeded that. Repeat shots are planned to gauge how close they got to a burning plasma, which is predicted to occur around 100 kJ. “It’s pretty exciting,” he says.

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GeddyWrox
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Re: Nuclear Fusion closer to becoming a reality?

Post by GeddyWrox »

Not fusion related, but I didn't see a better thread... Basically scientists are building a prototype to "store" energy in huge weight/column structures. These structures will activate during high demand and release the potential energy into the power grid, and then during low demand, a crank will pull the huge weights back up into position. Much greener than turning on extra boilers or coal, anyway.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-sc ... s-50146801

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