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Thread: Update on FUSION POWER RESEARCH?

  1. #1 Update on FUSION POWER RESEARCH? 
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    Whats the latest news on Fusion Power research?




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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    It is still 50 years away.


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    FUSION POWER research might be underfunded by the DOE.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    ITER is the most recent development I have heard of: ITER - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    I think they has big problem. They can't make fusion stable after few second. So they need to diagnose this problem, but first they must find ways to do diagnosis (they need to know how to see what really happen during fusion).

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    I think they has big problem. They can't make fusion stable after few second. So they need to diagnose this problem, but first they must find ways to do diagnosis (they need to know how to see what really happen during fusion).

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Well you are not entirely right. Most of the research is done in millisecond fusion bursts. But the predecessor of the ITER was already capable of sustaining a stable fusion reaction. The main problem is that 'size matters' The bigger the reaction the easier it becomes. And so to get a net gain of energy the reactor must be rather big.
    I personally however do not see a very bright future for such large systems, due to the appearent drawbacks. And there will probably only be about 1 to 10 in the world in the comming 130 years.
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  8. #7  
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    Aren't they building a large Fusion Reactor in France?
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    Dave, that would be ITER . ITER's construction cost of EUR13 billion/US$17billion (not counting overruns) is the kind of budget any other energy research project would consider extravagantly generous, especially when it is expected to be a significant energy user, not producer during it's 20 year working life. It's very whizz bang and has a huge wow factor but well funded and concerted efforts towards other energy solutions are at least equally deserving. Just one example but a favorite, a working nantenna, would, in my opinion, be more achievable (far fewer technical hurdles ). The technology would more widely usable - for lower cost and more efficient direct solar power, for harvesting the IR spectrum of the sky for energy, sunny, cloudy or at night, harvesting the heat re-radiating from the ground, harvesting waste heat and use in thermal energy storage systems to convert heat direct to electricity. It would lend itself to cheap mass manufacture, would be as easily used in remote and difficult locations as in a major city by people with minimum technical skill and have no security implications. Yet, if all nantenna research together gets one thousandth of the funding of this one fusion research project I'd be very surprised.

    I don't expect fusion energy can save the world - the needs for clean energy are far too immediate in time and needs to be as easily deployed in poor and developing regions as in the world's centres of technological excellence. It may open opportunities in centuries to come and I wouldn't want Fusion R&D to stop but I don't believe it is going to be the big grand solution to the world's immediate energy problems.
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