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Old 9th March 2018, 09:41 PM   #41
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For the last 50 years it's been 30 years away. Now, for the next 50 years, it will only be 15 years away. That's progress!
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Old 9th March 2018, 09:45 PM   #42
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Trouble is that you need a source of tritium. There is not much of it that occurs naturally. So you need to make it and that will not be economical on a commercial scale. I think the only way they will ever generate nuclear power using hydrogen is by fusing deuterium with hydrogen. That takes huge temperatures.
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Old 9th March 2018, 10:21 PM   #43
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One reason why there is only limited funding for fusion power is that total demand for electricity is stagnant or dropping in developed countries. And there is no appetite for power plants which require huge up-front investment - hence the cancellation of hundreds of fission power plant projects around the world.
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Old 10th March 2018, 07:26 AM   #44
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Have we forgotten the Rossi e-cat? A fusion device proclaimed in around 2010, and the subject of a thread all these years ago. See Leonardo Corporation website https://ecat.com
Due to the high expected demand, pre-orders will be put on a waiting list. Delivery to be announced.
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Old 10th March 2018, 07:41 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
.....total demand for electricity is stagnant or dropping in developed countries..............
I don't dispute this, necessarily, but I'd love to see some evidence for the claim. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a boom in demand as electric vehicles take over from fossil fuel powered cars.
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Old 10th March 2018, 02:32 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Have we forgotten the Rossi e-cat? A fusion device proclaimed in around 2010, and the subject of a thread all these years ago. See Leonardo Corporation website https://ecat.com
Due to the high expected demand, pre-orders will be put on a waiting list. Delivery to be announced.
Had a good laugh when I read your link. One of the links to a journal has this as a headline "2015 could be year of LENR breakout and legitimacy". Not even close.
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Old 10th March 2018, 03:47 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Trouble is that you need a source of tritium. There is not much of it that occurs naturally. So you need to make it and that will not be economical on a commercial scale. I think the only way they will ever generate nuclear power using hydrogen is by fusing deuterium with hydrogen. That takes huge temperatures.
Neutrons from fusion reactions can be used to produce Tritium from Lithium blankets around the reaction vessel. It's one of the experiments to be run when ITER starts running.

There's a number of interesting fusion experiments running at the moment, oddly the more interesting ones are all small scale, EMC2, LPP, Tokamak Energy, etc.
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Old 10th March 2018, 07:12 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I don't dispute this, necessarily, but I'd love to see some evidence for the claim. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a boom in demand as electric vehicles take over from fossil fuel powered cars.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ting-utilities

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-envir...mand-utilities

I doubt electric cars will change this trend, since they can optimize their charging time to coincide with low demand on the grid.
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Old 11th March 2018, 03:58 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Mikemcc View Post
Neutrons from fusion reactions can be used to produce Tritium from Lithium blankets around the reaction vessel. It's one of the experiments to be run when ITER starts running.

There's a number of interesting fusion experiments running at the moment, oddly the more interesting ones are all small scale, EMC2, LPP, Tokamak Energy, etc.
Problem. The maths does not add up. Let us assume two tritium ions merge. This would release two excess neutrons. These could then merge with with lithium atoms produce two new tritium atoms. Problem is that some neutrons will be lost so not enough tritium will be produced to be self sustaining.
You could use lithium 7 which then releases another neutron, but you would need to start with a high energy neutron.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Lithium

Edit. You could also have a tritium ion merging with a deuterium ion. This would release only one neutron. The maths result is the same.

Edit2. The only real solution is to have two deuterium ions merge. You can get deuterium from plain water. Only trouble is that this would require high temperatures.
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Old 11th March 2018, 09:59 AM   #50
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Quote:
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a boom in demand as electric vehicles take over from fossil fuel powered cars.
actually current grids are very capable of handling the EV surge coming and will benefit as the batteries act as supplimentary power sources ( you sign up your battery to allow say 40% to be recalled by the smart grid in return for lower price )
And off peak high demand is ideal as many facilities have little use for max electricity off hours yet ( hydro, nuclear, wind ) continue to produce useable power.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-envir...-batteries-v2g
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:02 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ting-utilities

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-envir...mand-utilities

I doubt electric cars will change this trend, since they can optimize their charging time to coincide with low demand on the grid.
They can, and many will, but they will also recharge at times convenient to the traveller, which may not be at off peak periods. I envisage a future filling station to be a café or something of that kind, with lots of parking spaces with charge points, and I expect off peak times to vary from hour to hour to take advantage of unpredictable intermittent sources like wind, so that the tariff will reduce when the turbines start.

Overall, there must be some significant increase in demand when stored power replaces fossil fuel in the personal - and for that matter public - transport sector.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:29 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists

https://www.theguardian.com/environm...y_to_clipboard

They are talking about using a new type of magnet so perhaps there are some grounds for thinking they may be on the right path but up and running and generating electricity for the grid within 15 years? Sounds very optimistic to me.
Well, they have been 15 years away for almost half a century now, so let's not hold any breath.

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Old 11th March 2018, 03:24 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Problem. The maths does not add up. Let us assume two tritium ions merge. This would release two excess neutrons. These could then merge with with lithium atoms produce two new tritium atoms. Problem is that some neutrons will be lost so not enough tritium will be produced to be self sustaining.
You could use lithium 7 which then releases another neutron, but you would need to start with a high energy neutron.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Lithium
I think the idea is that the deuterium-tritium reaction produces a very high energy neutron, and that can be `multiplied' by some other reaction (for example with beryllium) where the high energy neutron is absorbed and several low energy ones are emitted. There's a bit about it in the wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion...erium,_tritium.

I understand that it's believed to be tricky, but not impossible, to get back as much tritium as is consumed.
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Old 27th March 2018, 03:18 AM   #54
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http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...fusion-reactor

Quote:
Lockheed Martin has quietly obtained a patent associated with its design for a potentially revolutionary compact fusion reactor, or CFR. If this project has been progressing on schedule, the company could debut a prototype system that size of shipping container, but capable of powering a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier or 80,000 homes, sometime in the next year or so.

The patent, for a portion of the confinement system, or embodiment, is dated Feb. 15, 2018. The Maryland-headquartered defense contractor had filed a provisional claim on April 3, 2013 and a formal application nearly a year later. Our good friend Stephen Trimble, chief of Flightglobal's Americas Bureau, subsequently spotted it and Tweeted out its basic details.

In 2014, the company also made a splash by announcing they were working on the device at all and that it was the responsibility of its Skunk Works advanced projects office in Palmdale, California. At the time, Dr. Thomas McGuire, head of the Skunk Works’ Compact Fusion Project, said the goal was to have a working reactor in five years and production worthy design within 10.
Hmm.
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Old 27th March 2018, 04:19 AM   #55
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I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 27th March 2018, 11:57 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'll believe it when I see it.
Be too late by then. Fusion-powered self driving cars will have already taken over.
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Old 27th March 2018, 12:45 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
That was actually kind of a fun read. It's amusing to see how repetitive it gets.

And then there's hidden gems of terminology, like "reduces physics risk". Which sounds like a euphemism for "reduces the chance of physics happening and blowing up our entire lab with all of us in it".

And apparently the patent includes a computer control system, which they make sure to spell out in excruciating detail, can be any conceivable implementation or combination of computer systems.

They also make sure to spell out that if you know a thing or two about fusion reactors and magnetic fields, and you read the patent and get an idea for an application or an implementation it that isn't covered in the patent, your idea is covered anyway.
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Old 27th March 2018, 12:55 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'll believe it when I see it.
Me too, but it's still likelier than Rossi or the hydrino guy actually producing something.
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Old 27th March 2018, 05:19 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
If it works, Nobel prizes and such things will go to these people for making major changes to society. Imagine putting something the same size as a shipping container in a large aircraft carrier and that is its power source? Currently all such fast ships their power takes up a huge % of the ship.
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Old 27th March 2018, 05:26 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
If it works, Nobel prizes and such things will go to these people for making major changes to society. Imagine putting something the same size as a shipping container in a large aircraft carrier and that is its power source? Currently all such fast ships their power takes up a huge % of the ship.
I keep wondering about the size. I'm under the impression (open to correction) that these things convert the fusion-generated heat to useful form by turning water into steam and using that to do work, such as turning turbines to make electricity.

For the most part, that would still require a fairly large setup. A generous supply of water, cooling towers, not to mention the electrical doohickeys needed to convert the electricity to whatever voltage and such is needed by the transmission lines.

As for aircraft carriers, the fission reactors they currently carry are pretty compact already. Fusion would have significantly less waste, but might not be much more compact than what carriers already have.
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Old 27th March 2018, 05:28 PM   #61
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But these would be much more compact than other fusion reactor designs
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Old 27th March 2018, 05:42 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But these would be much more compact than other fusion reactor designs
Yes - but I was replying to rjh01's comment about the aircraft carrier power source. I don't know if it would be much smaller that what they currently have.
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Old 27th March 2018, 06:24 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Yes - but I was replying to rjh01's comment about the aircraft carrier power source. I don't know if it would be much smaller that what they currently have.
IIRc, carriers have 4, but a sub has 1. So how big can one be if it fits on a sub?

But, most power stations are on land. Cost per square foot is a miniscule part of the equation.
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Old 27th March 2018, 06:32 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
IIRc, carriers have 4, but a sub has 1. So how big can one be if it fits on a sub?

But, most power stations are on land. Cost per square foot is a miniscule part of the equation.
Depends if you're trying to move a power source to a stricken region.

What's the cost per square foot of moving a coal fired power station halfway across the country to restore electricity after a hurricane?
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Old 27th March 2018, 07:06 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Depends if you're trying to move a power source to a stricken region.

What's the cost per square foot of moving a coal fired power station halfway across the country to restore electricity after a hurricane?
If that power source still needs to heat water to run steam turbines to generate electricity, then it could still be a sizable thing, even if the actual fusion unit is small.

A small thing that releases lots of energy, but needs great big things to convert that energy into a useful form.

Last edited by crescent; 27th March 2018 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 28th March 2018, 01:30 AM   #66
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They claim the power plants would be far more compact than current power devices. For example currently nuclear power plants do not power aircraft. They claim that this could change. This would produce aircraft with unlimited range.
My thoughts: Imagine radar aircraft flying for months. Or passenger flights going half way round the world non stop.


https://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/pr...ct-fusion.html
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Old 28th March 2018, 01:40 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
They claim the power plants would be far more compact than current power devices. For example currently nuclear power plants do not power aircraft. They claim that this could change. This would produce aircraft with unlimited range.
My thoughts: Imagine radar aircraft flying for months. Or passenger flights going half way round the world non stop.


https://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/pr...ct-fusion.html
Imagine a plane crashing with a nuclear reactor on board.
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Old 28th March 2018, 02:00 AM   #68
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Not everyone likes fusion power:
https://thebulletin.org/iter-showcas...on-energy11512
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Old 28th March 2018, 04:20 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Imagine a plane crashing with a nuclear reactor on board.
A fusion reactor is a very different thing from a fission reactor.
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Old 28th March 2018, 04:21 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by wobs View Post
Not everyone likes websites they can't read without signing up for something.

What's the argument?
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Old 28th March 2018, 04:34 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I keep wondering about the size. I'm under the impression (open to correction) that these things convert the fusion-generated heat to useful form by turning water into steam and using that to do work, such as turning turbines to make electricity.

For the most part, that would still require a fairly large setup.
Unless we crack 3Helium-3Helium reactions, which wouldn't require turbines (electricity would be generated directly by induction).
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Old 28th March 2018, 04:41 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A fusion reactor is a very different thing from a fission reactor.
Yep. But there would still be a whole load of radioactive debris to clean up.
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Old 28th March 2018, 04:45 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not everyone likes websites they can't read without signing up for something.

What's the argument?
You can't see it? I wonder why, as I can see it immediately without any signing up. Hmm....

It's much too long to copy and paste here. It's more a thesis than an article, written by a scientist/ engineer who worked on fission for 25 years. It goes into great depth as to why the public expectations of a successful fission reactor programme way exceed the potential.
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Old 28th March 2018, 04:47 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Yep. But there would still be a whole load of radioactive debris to clean up.
Again, that depends on the type of fusion we manage to develop. Really advanced ones would produce negligible radioactivity, but are much more technically challenging.
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Old 28th March 2018, 05:26 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
If that power source still needs to heat water to run steam turbines to generate electricity, then it could still be a sizable thing, even if the actual fusion unit is small.
I have seen the solution to that in the Brilliant Light Power thread!

Just surround the device with a graphite sphere, which will become incandescently hot. That is in turn surrounded by a larger sphere coated with solar cells. What could go wrong?
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Old 28th March 2018, 05:34 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You can't see it? I wonder why, as I can see it immediately without any signing up. Hmm....

It's much too long to copy and paste here. It's more a thesis than an article, written by a scientist/ engineer who worked on fission for 25 years. It goes into great depth as to why the public expectations of a successful fission reactor programme way exceed the potential.
I can see it too, but there's also a javascript popup trying to get readers to sign up for their newsletter that probably blocks the whole page on mobiles.

The article itself is the kind of pessimistic straw screed we see here all the time. He starts off strong, by arguing that prototypes are not cost effective. He goes on to argue that proofs of concept are not fully operational, and finishes by saying that the process of optimizing efficiency will involve some initial inefficiencies.

It would help if he'd link to exactly what he's trying to refute, because as it is he comes off as a whiny little jerk who's upset that no one's building fission reactors anymore.
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Old 28th March 2018, 03:08 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not everyone likes websites they can't read without signing up for something.

What's the argument?
I too, can read it without problems.

The first argument discussed is that it costs a lot of money and energy just to build this facility. It will consume 75 and 110 MW even when not in use. And no electricity will be produced.
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Old 28th March 2018, 03:32 PM   #78
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by wobs View Post
The article really can't be argued with. We simply won't know what fusion is going to cost and deliver until it is actually delivered.

At the moment we can't even estimate fuel costs: Will the fuel be the isotope we can extract in limitless quantities from seawater or the isotope that might require a mining base on the moon?
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Last edited by RecoveringYuppy; 28th March 2018 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 29th March 2018, 12:48 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Imagine a plane crashing with a nuclear reactor on board.
Is it a DT or a DHe3 reactor?
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Old 1st April 2018, 03:43 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I don't dispute this, necessarily, but I'd love to see some evidence for the claim. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a boom in demand as electric vehicles take over from fossil fuel powered cars.
UK electricity consumption by year TWh - down 13% from peak

1996 310.57
1997 312.44
1998 316.94
1999 324.02
2000 330.59
2001 333.88
2002 334.05
2003 336.87
2004 339.57
2005 349.35
2006 345.87
2007 342.26
2008 341.82
2009 321.75
2010 329.26
2011 318.25
2012 318.76
2013 316.84
2014 303.35
2015 303.86
2016 304.04

https://www.gov.uk/government/statis...a-1920-to-2011
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