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Old 9th October 2022, 11:51 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
UK government announces plans to build first prototype commercial fusion power reactor with plan for it to be running by 2040s.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-63119465
FTFY

I'm skeptical that this will actually produce usable surplus power. We'll see. They claim it will be:
Quote:
"The plant will be the first of its kind, built by 2040 and capable of putting energy on the grid, and in doing so will prove the commercial viability of fusion energy to the world."
That seems like quite a bold claim to me. I hope it's true. If so, that would mean that fusion power is now 18 years away. I'm glad they put a date certain on it though.
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Old 9th October 2022, 11:55 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Sure, but they don't have to compete for energy costs.
The idea of a small reactor was to be something portable - which sets a limit on weight and hence shielding.
Portable in what sense? By a person? By a large vehicle like a truck or train? I don't think that portability like that is a necessary feature. You decide where you want to put it and you build it on site and leave it there I would think.
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Old 9th October 2022, 11:56 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
That seems like quite a bold claim to me. I hope it's true. If so, that would mean that fusion power is now 18 years away. I'm glad they put a date certain on it though.
I think it's ambitious, to be sure. Mind you "capable of putting energy on the grid" doesn't say how much of the baseline load it will support.
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Old 10th October 2022, 12:09 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Isn't the actual problem failing to decide to build them? There are something like seven gen III designs approved by the NRC some of which that can be certified and built in less than a decade if someone just decides to do it.
But there aren't that many companies in the world able to build reactors - so even if we handed out building permits like candy, we wouldn't get them build much faster.


The other limiting step for nuclear power is Cooling: many reactors operating today have to shut down in the hottest weeks of the year, as cooling them would heat up the rivers and lakes they are at to levels unsafe for flora and fauna.
And that will get worse with climate change, severely limiting the locations we can build a power plant with an expected lifetime of 50 years plus, given the dropping water levels in most rivers.
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Old 10th October 2022, 12:10 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Portable in what sense? By a person? By a large vehicle like a truck or train? I don't think that portability like that is a necessary feature. You decide where you want to put it and you build it on site and leave it there I would think.
The common concepts are trucks.
A barge might be more feasible.
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Old 10th October 2022, 12:58 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Sure, but they don't have to compete for energy costs.
The idea of a small reactor was to be something portable - which sets a limit on weight and hence shielding.
The key word here is modular. It is the individual modules that are transportable not the whole reactor.

The concept is rather than the reactor being constructed (and deconstructed) on site, most of it is 'mass' produced at a factory and the modules are joined on site. At end of life the fuel module can be removed to a decommissioning factory. It is the 'mass' production (and decommissioning) concept that is the key cost saving measure rather than having to effectively have the factory built on site for each reactor.

The UK industry will be based on the reactors for nuclear submarines, so using a well known technology, the modules will probably be road transportable, but given the factory is on the coast and most sites are coastal, it is possible that most of the distance may be by sea.
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Old 10th October 2022, 02:21 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
But there aren't that many companies in the world able to build reactors - so even if we handed out building permits like candy, we wouldn't get them build much faster.
This is similar to an argument we once heard about offshore wind in the UK. We now see rather large wind farms off the coast near us.

I would also point out that the UK started setting up nuclear related degrees many years ago. When the market is hungry for something, someone is likely to step up and built it. and the brains to do it is already out there.

Quote:
The other limiting step for nuclear power is Cooling: many reactors operating today have to shut down in the hottest weeks of the year, as cooling them would heat up the rivers and lakes they are at to levels unsafe for flora and fauna.
And that will get worse with climate change, severely limiting the locations we can build a power plant with an expected lifetime of 50 years plus, given the dropping water levels in most rivers.
Also, solar PV loses it's efficiency at such temperatures.

As for water availiability, we tend to build them on the coast, and abstract from well below the surface. In addition, there are studies being carried out to look at fresh water avialibility here in the UK* with the onset of climate change.

Cooling systems in general need to adapt to climate change. This is something that we can do.


* - Sorry for UKcentricism.
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Old 10th October 2022, 03:43 AM   #88
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Are the problems of nuclear power solvable?
Sure, within two to four generations of reactor designs; that's 80 in human years.
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Old 10th October 2022, 04:38 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Are the problems of nuclear power solvable?
Sure, within two to four generations of reactor designs; that's 80 in human years.
I disagree fully. There are many new designs of reactor, that address a range of issues. And many criticisms to nuclear power and thoroughly misplaced:
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/the...gation/618137/

But the question remains about why don't we build CANDU reactors for supplying fusion reactors. It might not fit in with people's feel good approach to energy, but in terms of safety, I really can't see a safer energy source (unless we just build regular reactors). If the alternative is going to the moon to get helium-3, then a CANDU reactor to produce tritium, has to be safer by multple orders of magnitude, espoecially as nuclear power is teh safest energy source we currently have.

And the cost of nuclear is addressed in the link.
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Old 15th November 2022, 09:14 AM   #90
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Inching forward.

Nuclear Fusion Experiment Reveals Unexpected Physics Inside ‘Burning Plasma’

Quote:
Researchers at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a device at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently celebrated the milestone of creating what’s known as a “burning plasma,” which is an energized state of matter that is mostly sustained by “alpha particles” created by fusion reactions. The NIF has also reached the threshold of producing “ignition,” meaning fusion reactions that are self-sustaining, which is a major breakthrough, though it will likely still take decades to develop a fusion reactor—assuming it is possible at all.
And here's the paper:

Evidence for suprathermal ion distribution in burning plasmas

Quote:
We observe a departure from the relationship expected for plasmas where the ion relative kinetic energy distribution is Maxwell–Boltzmann, when the plasma begins to burn. Understanding the cause of this departure from hydrodynamic behaviour could be important for achieving robust and reproducible ignition.
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Old 1st December 2022, 03:18 AM   #91
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A setback for ITER:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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Full story here:

https://www.iter.org/newsline/-/3818

Quote:
KEY COMPONENTS TO BE REPAIRED

When building a machine as large and as complex as ITER, difficulties and setbacks do not come as surprises—they are an integral part of manufacturing, assembling and installing first-of-a-kind components. From the first stages of fabrication to the final insertion in the Tokamak pit, component challenges are a constant and familiar companion. Sometimes, however, in the midst of ordinary, almost daily issues, a concern of a larger dimension arises—one which demands in-depth examination, creativity in devising corrective actions, and time and budget to repair. Two-and-a-half years into its machine assembly phase, ITER is facing a concern of this nature: defects have been identified in two key tokamak components, the thermal shields and the vacuum vessel sectors.
Apparently the problem is so dire that a module that had already been installed must be removed and disassembled in order to make repairs.

How much time this will add I'm not sure, but I would guess quite a substantial amount of time.
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