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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 5:29 am 
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Anybody got thoughts on this form of fusion. Based on work by John Slough at University of Washington.

There are two variants:
A power generator: http://helionenergy.com/?page_id=199

And a space rocket, discussed in depth here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index. ... ic=30437.0 and some less info here: http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/11/john-s ... s-his.html

They both use a plasmoid of tritium and deuterium. The power version accelerates two of these into each other, whilst being constrained by a magnetic field.

The space rocket uses a magnetic field to implode a Lithium ring which further compresses the magnetic field, in which a plasmoid is encased, till the plasmoid ignites. This vapourises and ionises the lithium which acts as the rocket thrust.

This does seem more credible than LENR - but there are still a lot of details to work out. The Hyperion website doesn't contain much information - like how do they get the energy out.

Any thoughts from the nuclear experts? Like
- Where's the Tritium going to come from?
- Would this need superconducting magnets which may be tricky in a hot environment

One things likely - if they get their aim of a simple module by 2019, ITER will carry on regardless.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 10:44 am 
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ITER? the doughnut shaped fusion reactor?
If the revolved figure is a circle, then the surface of such an object is known as a torus.

Even If I believed it was possible using today's technology, ( i dont believe it is possible), today's politics wont let it happen. Fossil fuel industry will spread fears about hydrogen bomb, nuclear catastrophy, or melting into the atmosphere and wiping out everyone and everything.

Doughnut shaped fusion reactors have never existed in nature, and I do not think humans will be able to utilize it in the next 100 years.


The real form of clean cheap safe energy is a combination of ESBWR and LFTR. Everything else is just a massive distraction, that the middle class and poor of this world cannot afford for long. (the rich can afford everything, because they own the means of production)


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 11:42 am 
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The latest contract for ITER was for some airconditioning. It was half a billion dollars.

Who pays half a billion dollar for climate control?

Time to cut our losses. Pull the plug on ITER. It will never be more than a research reactor, and we already have plenty of fusion research reactors. Divert the money to LFTR/DMSR/any MSR.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 11:44 am 
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ITER is not primarily a fusion power research reactor.

It is a plasma physics experiment and should be funded as such.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 1:46 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
ITER is not primarily a fusion power research reactor.

It is a plasma physics experiment and should be funded as such.


If so then it would never (or should never) have been funded. Far too little science for far too much money. There are many smaller torus reactors where good plasma science can be conducted (pardon the pun).

It's definately marketed in the EU as the future of electricity. Really. That's how they got the money from the EU.

Here's what the Wiki article says:

Quote:
On 21 November 2006, the seven participants formally agreed to fund the creation of a nuclear fusion reactor.[9] The program is anticipated to last for 30 years – 10 for construction, and 20 of operation. ITER was originally expected to cost approximately €5billion, but the rising price of raw materials and changes to the initial design have seen that amount more than triple to €16billion


16 billion euros - about 21 billion USD. That's a lot of money for very little science over existing plasma toroids.

5 billion euros is already absurd for such a science project. The cost has tripled since then and they haven't even seriously started building.

Pull the plug. Cut your losses.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 2:29 pm 
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16 billion EUROS (21 billion dollars) seems cheap compared to how much money the us government has spent in iraq/afganistan


Last edited by NicholasJanssen on Nov 20, 2013 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 2:48 pm 
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NicholasJanssen wrote:
16 billion dollars seems cheap compared to how much money the us government has spent in iraq/afganistan


It's expensive when you realize the 21 billion dollars won't do a thing about any of that. Not a single kilowatthour of electricity will be generated by ITER.

It's 21 billion USD "down the drain".


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
16 billion dollars seems cheap compared to how much money the us government has spent in iraq/afganistan


It's expensive when you realize the 21 billion dollars won't do a thing about any of that. Not a single kilowatthour of electricity will be generated by ITER.

It's 21 billion USD "down the drain".


How many LFTR could be built with that much money?
and what would the payback rate be for the LFTR reactors that could be built? 7 years to fully recover costs?

Also curious sort of LFTR reactor you think would be most valuable to the market now? (smaller ones? bigger ones? ones devoted to process heat? mobile ones? ones for remote areas?

(I haven't seen a thread with such a topic? would it be an idea to start one? Cyril R, you always give the best answers to my threads, why not you make a thread... "ITER 's 21 Billion could have funded LFTR for 60 yrs"


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 3:49 pm 
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It is indeed an extremely good idea to divert the research funding from ITER to MSRs. I guess very few members of this forum would think otherwise. However, I am afraid it is not going to happen. The EU/Euratom is the major sponsor of the ITER program and three-quarters of its nuclear research budget goes to ITER/nuclear fusion. The remainder goes to anti-proliferation programs and nuclear fission research.

It is important to remember that Germany is the EU 'paymaster general' and also that nuclear research is frowned upon in Germany. Nuclear fusion research might just be acceptable to the German government, but anything involving nuclear fission is likely to be resisted by countries such as Germany, Austria, Denmark and Italy.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 6:08 pm 
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The question was about John Slough's work on fusion which seems much, much more promising than any Tokomak design.

It's pretty clear that ITER is not a basis for economic fusion.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 7:31 pm 
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German fusion research is a disaster. (I have colleagues that now spend their postgraduate career studying such things in Germany).

They require a tokamak doing plasma physics research using only plain hydrogen to have a huge neutron shield even though the neutron flux coming off the main chamber due to fusion is negligible.
This is the sort of thing that makes things like ITER ridiculously expensive.


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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2013 11:08 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
German fusion research is a disaster. (I have colleagues that now spend their postgraduate career studying such things in Germany).

They require a tokamak doing plasma physics research using only plain hydrogen to have a huge neutron shield even though the neutron flux coming off the main chamber due to fusion is negligible.
This is the sort of thing that makes things like ITER ridiculously expensive.


This made me laugh. If only they were as concerned about groundwater contamination from coal ash, and solar panels..


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PostPosted: Nov 21, 2013 4:50 am 
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Well, Germany has a large fusion project of its own. About three years ago I visited the Wendelstein 7-X stellerator of the Max Planck Plasma Physics Institute in Greifswald. It is quite an expensive project and impressive to see, but the researchers at the institute told us they expected to be working on it for decades.

Germany once had an interesting nuclear research program, with institutes in Juelich and Karlsruhe, but since the late 1980s nuclear research has become rather controversial, with the Greens and social-democrats actively resisting it. The last reactor that was built in Germany, was the FRM-2, about 10 years ago. And even that was controversial, with the FRM-2 just being a small research reactor in Munich.


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PostPosted: Nov 21, 2013 4:25 pm 
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For these new fusion scemes, I always ask how many neutrons? In order to be the least bit interesting, they must exceed commercial neutron sources such as these http://www.sciner.com/Neutron/index.htm . Most experimental devices use D-D. Give them a factor of 10 credit for what they probably do for D-T, and you will find the outputs pitiful and many orders of magnitude from breakeven.

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Paul Studier


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PostPosted: Nov 21, 2013 5:56 pm 
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pstudier wrote:
For these new fusion scemes, I always ask how many neutrons? In order to be the least bit interesting, they must exceed commercial neutron sources such as these http://www.sciner.com/Neutron/index.htm . Most experimental devices use D-D. Give them a factor of 10 credit for what they probably do for D-T, and you will find the outputs pitiful and many orders of magnitude from breakeven.


Thanks Paul, you always have a very sharp and insightful vision on nuclear fusion.

The highest neutron flux in your reference is 3x10^10 n/s.

This is equivalent to the number of neutrons produced in a half a Watt nuclear fission reactor.

Ouch. If these alternate fusion reactors can't even do that.

Ironically even if it can produce enough neutrons it will simply rip itself apart. ITER will make 10^21 n/s of 14 MeV neutrons. Combine that with 100 million degree temperatures. A high strength composite helium exhaust was recently designed for ITER. They found it wouldn't last 10 minutes. And ITER has very poor power density.


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