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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2014 4:46 am 
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For a reference on laser efficiency. The NIF lasers are less than 1% efficient...

It appears that laser efficiency drops with reduced wavelength. So UV lasers are very inefficient, whereas infrared lasers are ok. That makes sense from basic thermodynamics (making a higher quality energy source is less efficient than making a lower quality one). So the NIF that needs UV will never be efficient.

This really tiny but more industrial and developed laser UV is expected to get to 5% efficiency.

http://www.sematech.org/meetings/archiv ... menkov.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2014 4:57 am 
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Yeah, NIF should not be painted as a promising path to fusion energy. Magnetic confinement is much better (a Q-factor of 0.7 was briefly achieved in the joint european torus in the ninetees [Wikipedia]), with ITER expected to yield 10 times more energy out than in. However, economical feasibility is another matter entirely. This machine is so massively complex, operates in a pulsed way, is prone to disruptions, etc. All kinds of problems. Burning coal is so much easier...


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2014 11:54 am 
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Not to mention it will produce neutron flux that will make fast reactor neutrons look like a gentle caress.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2014 12:24 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
Not to mention it will produce neutron flux that will make fast reactor neutrons look like a gentle caress.


14 million electron volts neutrons buzzing about, a hundred million degrees Kelvin inherently unstable plasma in an inherently unstable configuration, held in that configuration by electromagnets that would rip a car apart and must be cooled to deep cryogenic temperatures.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2014 12:29 pm 
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Someone I know who studies plasma physics describes ITER as a 'power station that eats superconducting magnets as fuel'.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 10:06 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
As if the usa needs to develop more advanced nuclear weapons.

These billions of dollars could have built LFTRs that will ensure cheap clean safe LFTR energy for america for the next 1000 years.


You always need more advanced weapons.

Those who beat their swords into ploughshares will, at the end of the day, plough for those who didn't.


Wake up! Look at the real world. The weapons of the future won't be in "city destroying atomic bombs", or in nuclear missiles from space platforms.

The weapons of the future will be blackmail of key diplomats, biological warfare large enough to destroy entire cities, cyber warfare to steal technology secrets from the enemy, one million drone boats with one hundred anti-ship missles, each boat capable of destroying an aircraft carrier, and cyber warfare to cripple a nation's private infrastructure.

This is where the "outlaw of domestic hacking" has made western powers weak. Right now the west is under a security blankey that says nobody from the west can legally test defences of western private infrastructure. This false sense of security in protection via laws, wont work when open cyberwarfare happens. When other nations openly attack the infrastructure, (and they have already done so and planted backdoors inside key private systems, all of the flaws will be exposed and quickly.

Once atomic bombs hit, there is nothing left except dust. Atomic bombs will be used by the LOSER of the war as a last defiant stand "for justice". How good this will be to deter initial conflict?? I do not know. Open wars usually break out when one side has not much to lose, and that wont happen between major powers anytime soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 10:11 am 
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KitemanSA wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
As if the usa needs to develop more advanced nuclear weapons.
Its not about building new advanced weapons but about knowing we can rely on existing weapons after years of decay without being able to test the weapons.


the last thing I want is a nuclear device that can remain fully active for 50 years. It would cost the usa much less to replace the existing "key parts" inside a device on a regular basis, and test those "used key parts" when they are removed.

With the money saved on laser research maybe the usa could be first to have 100% clean cheap safe LFTR power and export electricity to rest of the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 10:16 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
Someone I know who studies plasma physics describes ITER as a 'power station that eats superconducting magnets as fuel'.


Its not a power station at all. It generates 0 kWh even if it works as designed. It can't even power a mobile phone. Its a huge energy sink.

In fact, it's a high tech expensive toy powered by uranium. (its being built in Cadarache, France which gets its electricity from nuclear fission power plants running on mined uranium).

So, to be pedantic, it will be powered by nuclear fuel all right. It will not actually be powering anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Comparing NIF to a Rube Goldberg machine may well be right. The French LMJ fusion facility, which is similar to NIF, is a voracious consumer of electricity, with an installed electrical power of 50 MW:

http://www-lmj.cea.fr/en/facility/index.htm

20,000 tonnes of steel and 170,000 m3 of concrete will be used during construction. Out of curiosity, I am just wondering how this would measure up against a 1 GWe DMSR, in terms of steel/alloys and concrete, even if you would include a turbine/generator hall.
Attachment:
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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 3:34 pm 
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Based on information from Dr. Peterson and others,

http://pb-ahtr.nuc.berkeley.edu/papers/ ... _input.pdf

The AHTR would use about 16 ton steel/MWe and maybe 33 m3 concrete/MWe. DMSR is likely almost identical to AHTR in materials usage.

So likely a 1 GWe DMSR will be in the ballpark of 16,000 ton steel and 33,000 m3 concrete. Far less material than the French LMJ facility numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 5:11 pm 
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Speak of the devil, news just in today about research at NIF:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014 ... rgy-source


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 5:36 pm 
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camiel wrote:
Speak of the devil, news just in today about research at NIF:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014 ... rgy-source

Quote:
(from the link)"""Scientists have moved a step closer to achieving sustainable nuclear fusion and almost limitless clean energy""
-- 1970's called and said they already have almost limitless clean energy, its called LFTR...


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2014 5:45 pm 
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KitemanSA wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
the last thing I want is a nuclear device that can remain fully active for 50 years. It would cost the usa much less to replace the existing "key parts" inside a device on a regular basis, and test those "used key parts" when they are removed.
Test them HOW? That is the whole idea behind NIF, to figure out howto test them.



We are talking about the neutron initiator inside the atomic weapons correct? Take them out one by one, replace them and examine them to see if they failure. If you could explain how NIF will test the neutron initiator that would also be great. KitemanSA, you are much smarter than me on this subject:(


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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 13, 2014 12:19 am 
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NicholasJanssen wrote:
KitemanSA wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
the last thing I want is a nuclear device that can remain fully active for 50 years. It would cost the usa much less to replace the existing "key parts" inside a device on a regular basis, and test those "used key parts" when they are removed.
Test them HOW? That is the whole idea behind NIF, to figure out howto test them.
We are talking about the neutron initiator inside the atomic weapons correct? Take them out one by one, replace them and examine them to see if they failure. If you could explain how NIF will test the neutron initiator that would also be great. KitemanSA, you are much smarter than me on this subject:(
Sorry, "them" = thermo-nuclear devices, not just piece parts. How do you "test" one when testing them is illegal?

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 Post subject: Re: Question on NIF
PostPosted: Feb 13, 2014 3:16 am 
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camiel wrote:
Speak of the devil, news just in today about research at NIF:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014 ... rgy-source


This is a very poor article. It doesn't consider the laser efficiency which is under 1% for NIF. So they are actually >100x away from breakeven.

Most articles are like that. It appears a blatant optimism that is inappropriate for fusion but lacking and sorely needed for fission...


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