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Thread: Fusion, what progress is being made?

  1. #1 Fusion, what progress is being made? 
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    Fusion, the answer to all of our energy problems. The question is how close are we to achieving any version that actually produces a useful outcome. A Fusion bomb doesn't count IMO.

    One has to wonder if a fusion accident could engulf the earth and turn it into another star.

    How stuff works is such a great site.

    http://www.howstuffworks.com/sun.htm


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    How could an accident blow up the entire earth? The second the plasma leaves the magnetic field it'll cool down very rapidly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hondje
    How could an accident blow up the entire earth? The second the plasma leaves the magnetic field it'll cool down very rapidly.
    So it would be pretty much impossible for it to find another source of fuel before cooling? What if the reaction that was being sustained was of significant size to start, would the same cooling hold true?
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    Yes, because it's not a chain reaction, it's requires actual effort to keep a fusion reaction going; it can only really feed off itself. If it were easier, we'd have probably made it energy-positive by now.

    Here are two links that I think are good on this topic

    http://www.sandia.gov/media/z290.htm
    http://www-fusion-magnetique.cea.fr/...e/sommaire.htm

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    Good stuff, thanks.
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  7. #6  
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    By fusion, do you mean cold fusion?
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffstuff
    By fusion, do you mean cold fusion?
    Nope, talking the hot stuff here. Cold fusion so far still appears to be a pipe dream.
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    Actual fusion? Wouldn't that be too hot to ever contain in a man made environment? I thought fusion burned at around the same heat as the sun. Isn't that what fusion is? A miniature sun?
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffstuff
    Actual fusion? Wouldn't that be too hot to ever contain in a man made environment? I thought fusion burned at around the same heat as the sun. Isn't that what fusion is? A miniature sun?
    No, because the actual stuff doesn't hit the sides. They use magnet fields to channel the stuff, and it doesn't hit the sides. The only problem is the massive heat coming from the radiation it produces. This is about the same heat the sun produces, and the biggest problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    Quote Originally Posted by buffstuff
    Actual fusion? Wouldn't that be too hot to ever contain in a man made environment? I thought fusion burned at around the same heat as the sun. Isn't that what fusion is? A miniature sun?
    No, because the actual stuff doesn't hit the sides. They use magnet fields to channel the stuff, and it doesn't hit the sides. The only problem is the massive heat coming from the radiation it produces. This is about the same heat the sun produces, and the biggest problem.

    Mr U
    LOL, just like Spider Man 2. The problem with that movie is the people around would have been in flames. Hollywood for yah.
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    So the heat is why cold fusion would be ideal. I heard about a lab who claimed to do cold fusion. When the scientific community wanted them to do it again, they couldn't. I think it's possible, just not probable.
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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    They can get the particles hot enough to fuse when they collide, and they can get the particles to collide. The biggest problem with fusion is that they can not get enought particles to collide for it to produce any significance. I mean, we're tossing around protons here, it has to be extremely precise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    Quote Originally Posted by buffstuff
    Actual fusion? Wouldn't that be too hot to ever contain in a man made environment? I thought fusion burned at around the same heat as the sun. Isn't that what fusion is? A miniature sun?
    No, because the actual stuff doesn't hit the sides. They use magnet fields to channel the stuff, and it doesn't hit the sides. The only problem is the massive heat coming from the radiation it produces. This is about the same heat the sun produces, and the biggest problem.

    Mr U
    LOL, just like Spider Man 2. The problem with that movie is the people around would have been in flames. Hollywood for yah.
    I didn't see the movie. Still, if people are around the stuff being fused, they will be utterly destroyed by the heat coming from the radiation. Interesting stuff.

    Indeed sploit. I hear they are gonna make one in France that is bigger than that in England, if everything goes well. If they get this thing running for more than just a blink of an eye and they can make sure it produces enough energy, it should sufficiently lower the energy bills. Imagine that power is no longer a problem (In Europe )

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    If they succesfully got a fusion up and running, would it have chance of a catastrophic meltdown? Some sort of bomb? Or would it just fade away?
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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    Cold fusion has more in common with unicorns than any real physics. The cold fusion "success" from a few years ago was exposed as a fraud.

    An actual fusion reaction requires a very narrow set of environmental specifics to work - heat, pressure, etc. If any of those factors got out of alignment, the reaction would simply stop. The immeidate area may get scorched as the superheated gas escaped (assuming a breakidown of the magnetic containment field) but it likely wouldn't be any worse than the huge fire at the chemical plant in Houston last weekend.
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  17. #16  
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    It wouldn't be like in Spider Man 2?
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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  18. #17  
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    Well, no.
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  19. #18  
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    Aw shucks.

    Just kidding! It would be interesting to see if they could maintain a sucesful fusion.
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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  20. #19  
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    So I guess the big question here is, what are the real risks? Can a fusion reaction in theory get out of control?
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  21. #20  
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    Have they ever set one up? An actual test, not simulation.
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    So I guess the big question here is, what are the real risks? Can a fusion reaction in theory get out of control?
    Although there would be no intrinsic danger of a runaway fusion reaction (a meltdown) and any malfunction would result in a rapid shutdown of the plant, there are possible scenarios that are safety concerns. In 1973 the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) pointed out several concerns for a fusion power plant, including the possibility of a tritium leak, lithium fire or the accidental release of magnetic energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by buffstuff
    Have they ever set one up? An actual test, not simulation.
    Controlled nuclear fusion within a containment vessel has been possible for some time, but it remains quite difficult to make into a practical generation system. The fusion field refers to a break-even point where the energy needed to start the reaction is being returned by the reaction itself. We have been capable of reaching this break-even point for over a decade.
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  23. #22  
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    tritium leak, lithium fire
    What would these cause? Especially the trittium thing.

    We have been capable of reaching this break-even point for over a decade.
    Really? I thought it was some new thing that they haven't benn able to control.
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    I don't feel like typing out a explanation for why tritium is dangerous ... so here:
    http://www.ccnr.org/tritium_1.html

    A lithium fire would be very difficult to extinguish, since water makes it combust. Just the amount in the atmosphere alone can do this, which is why it is stored usually in an oil like substance. Lithium also burns at an incredibly high temperature.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sploit
    A lithium fire would be very difficult to extinguish, since water makes it combust. Just the amount in the atmosphere alone can do this, which is why it is stored usually in an oil like substance. Lithium also burns at an incredibly high temperature.
    Kind of like Greek fire ? I've been looking for an explaination of what Greek Fire is for some time now, perhaps I'll start a topic on it.
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  26. #25  
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    So tritium is an important part of fusion? Well, hat about lithium? Hoe would the lithium fire start?
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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  27. #26  
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    ITER will be the next big step in fusion research. To bad they are still arguing about where the ITER reactor should be build.

    http://www.iter.org/
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  28. #27 Fusion energy 
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    The subject has been answered in part by Lawrence Liv. Ntl. Labs internet release. They attained at first a 40% efficiancy gain by exposing fusion core with x-rays. I had written them about the inherant ability for x-rays to strip electrons, a necessary thing in plasma attainment just befor fusion of nuclei. They then released on the internet a gain in efficiency of 70-80% efficiency. News output suspiciously and suddenly stopped. It is conjectured that such free energy would disrupt or bankrupt very powerful people in the nation. Free energy cant be taxed as petrolleum can, hence the conspiracy. Is a society really free if it has to pay through the nose fer energy? Is it free if free energy is kept from it? I've spent a life time developing potential for free energy only to find my efforts... you decide whether we are being kept in the dark or not!!!
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    well a hydrogen bomb wouldnt turn the world into a star, unless the sea was already turned into deuterium or trittium, and it seems the french are trying to make a sustainable fusion generator, but it takes too much energy to contain, so it isnt worthwhile.

    quite personally, the Russians largest H-bomb was the closest to sustainable fusion in my eyes, humans arent actually organised enough to get worthwhile out of something which requires so much energy
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  30. #29  
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    oh the joys of lithium-ion energy in my cellphone and laptop. hmmmhmmhmhmhmm.
    i can't wait for the irony of the masses , and media scaremongering about lithium fires of newly built nuclear fusion plants.

    on another note, wouldn't sun-like heat do something with our athmosphere?
    like heat it up?
    would it give
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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