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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 3:43 pm 
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Lockheed announces breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy

No mention of the technology, but Lockheed is a pretty serious company.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 6:17 pm 
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A little more technical info:

Aviation Week: Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details

Seems like fusion breakthroughs always turns out to be less than meets the eye; anyone here have an informed clue whether this is a credible thing?


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 6:50 pm 
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I know someone doing research in plasma physics at Griefswald - I will try and contact him.
We were talking about this a few days ago and he was sceptical that they were actually going to get anywhere.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 9:00 pm 
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After watching a video about the research it definitely appears to be "hot" fusion....no "LENR" claims here. Also no claim that they are transcending electrostatic repulsion or other immediate gotchas.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 11:05 pm 
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This appears to be a Magnetic Mirror design, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_mirror. People have pretty much given up on them decades ago.

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Last edited by pstudier on Oct 15, 2014 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 11:14 pm 
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And then there is this to consider...

http://www.businessinsider.com/scientis ... on-2014-10


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 11:42 pm 
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50 yrs ago they gave us the SR 71.
Which was a stunning achievement.

If they have done it again with fusion,
I'll take it!


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PostPosted: Oct 16, 2014 3:40 am 
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rc1111 wrote:
And then there is this to consider...

http://www.businessinsider.com/scientis ... on-2014-10


Which links to this:
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-lock ... ks-2014-10

Which gives some clues....

One of the articles says the design is very complex, but if it's small enough, they could maybe print it.


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PostPosted: Oct 16, 2014 8:26 am 
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The aviation week article mentions they'll breed fuel in the reactor. Since it's a D-T device, that suggests to me they'll use a Li6 blanket. Keep in mind that Lockheed itself did not use the phrase "breakthrough," that was the press; after all they haven't built a device yet so this is just a proposal looking for partners.


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PostPosted: Oct 16, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Sort of mixed feelings about this one. Increasing plasma density is definately an advantage. This is one of the big downsides of ITER. Its operating on a whiff of cloud which is bad for economics. Clouds are no good for power generation. If you can make an ITER size reactor that made 10000 MWt rather than the ITER's 500 MWt that is a good way to get economy of scale.

Still the basic cost problems and reliability issues are the same, and materials issues are far, far worse (since the number of fast neutrons per m2 are increased greatly over ITER the neutron damage issues are extreme).

And if you operate at a plasma pressure that is at the limit of confinement... well we don't operate nuclear fission reactor pressure vessels near their rupture strength for very good reasons. Safety margin is GOOD. Taking it away and operate on near 0% margin or so is BAD.

Still the name of Lockheed is of some boost to the idea.


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PostPosted: Oct 17, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Back when I was managing complex software development, one of the standing jokes was that if an engineer gave you a schedule estimate for a new development, just double it and apply the next higher time interval. By that standard we could expect this project in 20 decades or so.

Based on the history of fusion 'progress', that sounds about right.


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PostPosted: Oct 18, 2014 12:33 am 
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In my 49 years I have been working, this is about the twentieth project that I have seen that was going to revolutionize the energy industry, not counting the nut case ideas. It will be four or five years before they will be able to see if their idea need a little bit of unobtainium to make it work. Then the hard part of the engineering comes, designing out the need for that unobtanium.

I don’t think Kirk need worry about this yet :).

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Although environmental groups say we must reduce CO2 to prevent global warming they can never mention the “N” word as part of the solution.


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PostPosted: Oct 20, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
After watching a video about the research it definitely appears to be "hot" fusion....no "LENR" claims here. Also no claim that they are transcending electrostatic repulsion or other immediate gotchas.


In an informative YouTube video, Dr. Eugene Mallove details the long history of the cold fusion cover-up by MIT scientists with financial interests in hot fusion research, and by the United States Patent Department.

SEE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y98YwJ2GEE


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PostPosted: Oct 21, 2014 2:56 am 
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The natural fusion reactors, the stars, confine the plasma by gravitation. Let us hope someone has been able to calculate the containing force required before trying to confine it by magnetic forces.


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PostPosted: Oct 25, 2014 10:27 am 
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jagdish wrote:
The natural fusion reactors, the stars, confine the plasma by gravitation. Let us hope someone has been able to calculate the containing force required before trying to confine it by magnetic forces.


Of course they can calculate this, they are fusion scientists. Don't be silly Jag.

The problem is not calculating it. The problem is actually making an energy positive fusion device that is practical, reliable, and cheap.

They haven't given the slightest clues on how do deal with all the problems.


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