Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently May 22, 2018 12:36 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Aug 27, 2017 10:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 07, 2010 4:49 pm
Posts: 122
Location: USA
Is this story real or is it likely a hoax? If true, does it have significance for energy production?

"Breadbox size device generates nuclear fusion neutrons using a million times less input power"

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/08/b ... power.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 28, 2017 4:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 19, 2011 7:55 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Washburn, WI. USA
According to the article, each pulse of the device will produce about 100 DD fusion neutrons, while consuming 0.1 Joules on energy. If each of those 100 neutrons is accompanied by the release of 10 million electron volts of energy, then, 1 billion electron volts of energy are produced per pulse. But, because a Joule is 6x10^18 electron volts, the device consumes way more energy than it produces. Energy breakeven would require over 60,000,000,000,000 neutrons per pulse.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 28, 2017 12:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 07, 2010 4:49 pm
Posts: 122
Location: USA
Could the neutrons be used to break apart uranium atoms to produce a fusion-fission hybrid?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 30, 2017 3:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2230
It could be used to irradiate thorium to create U-233. The US are of course throwing away surplus of this material as waste. Could be of use to India or China.
It could also be used as the neutron source in a subcritical thorium reactor.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 03, 2017 5:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 07, 2010 4:49 pm
Posts: 122
Location: USA
Is there a nuclear weapons proliferation risk with this technology?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 04, 2017 2:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2230
You could always call handling of fissile material liable to nuclear proliferation. I have always felt that intension is much more important that technical capability.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 05, 2017 12:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Iowa, USA
Christopher Calder wrote:
Is there a nuclear weapons proliferation risk with this technology?


Yes. Gasoline and styrofoam can make something approximating napalm or greek fire but we're not seeing people trying to ban those out of a weapons proliferation risk. We're seeing people wanting to ban them for other reasons though.

Lots of nations have access to nuclear weapons right now but it seems only North Korea is getting any attention over it.

As someone that has worked with computer security for a long time the words "dual use" comes up a lot. What this means is that a technology has a legally recognized civil use and a legally recognized military use. GPS (or more properly NAVSTAR) was once only for the use of the military to navigate the battlefield. After a civilian jetliner wandered into Soviet airspace due to a navigation error, and was shot down, this technology was opened up to civil use.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Ai ... Flight_007

Can people use GPS to do bad things to good people? Yes. Could North Korea be, right now, thinking of ways to use GPS to drop a nuclear weapon somewhere in the USA? I'd say that's quite likely. I'm not sure what we're supposed to do about that though. We can try to pass insane laws to keep insane people from doing insane things but that would also be insanity, no?

_________________
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 06, 2017 12:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2230
I do not have a clear idea on feasibility of fusion reactor. However a convenient neutron source could
A. Be used in lab to irradiate thorium and create U-233.
B. Used as a neutron source for a sub-critical thorium reactor.
C. Investigated as a means of studying composition of new and used nuclear fuels.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 21, 2017 6:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Dec 14, 2006 1:01 pm
Posts: 380
It sounds like some variation of a Fusor. Fusors use electrostatic confinement. Nobody knows an efficient design that makes net energy, but if you just want to make neutrons, these are easy to construct. It's almost a standard science project.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 23, 2017 7:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Iowa, USA
Christopher Calder wrote:
"Breadbox size device generates nuclear fusion neutrons using a million times less input power"


It should be noted that even though it takes a million times less power it also produces a million times fewer neutrons. This is equivalent to saying someone has made an internal combustion engine that uses 1/10th the fuel but leaving out the important detail that it also produces 1/10th the brake horse power. Don't get me wrong, this is a very interesting and perhaps scientifically important development. Scaling down fusion is hard and they made a discovery in how to do it. It remains to be seen if this development has any applications.

I firmly believe that we have the technology right now to build a net positive output fusion reactor but it'd have to be so large that no one wants to make the investment to prove it works. There is also the possibility it won't work and the money sunk in the experiment would be a near total loss. Not that this is stopping a couple high profile fusion experiments.

_________________
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group