First! Fusion Net Energy Gain

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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
95,465
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Funny how 500 MJs of laser light only converted to 1.9 MJ of x-ray energy being directed to the deuterium/tritium pellet yielding 2.5 MJ of actual output energy. I guess we are just going to forget about the 498.1 MJ of wasted laser energy. At the LENR forum I visit, you would be called a charlatan for making an excess energy claim.


Wait, that is what the announcement is about? Move along, nothing to see.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
16,188
14,099
136
More thoughtful look at this new development.

What to know about DOE’s fusion ‘breakthrough’ - POLITICO

What are the key hurdles?
The ignition process that Lawrence Livemore scientists pioneered requires exacting maintenance of the laser cluster in between shots. A typical target costs $100,000 or more and requires hundreds of hours to construct, said British mathematician and author Arthur Turrell, who was present for one Lawrence Livermore shot.
Making this technology work on a commercial scale would escalate those requirements.
“Once you get a single shot working well, you have to repeat it, 10 times a second” to have a sustained commercial reaction, a senior DOE official said recently, speaking on condition of anonymity because DOE’s pilot plant program is in the confidential application stage. “That requires a laser that can fire 10 times a second. It is not fundamentally impossible, but it is very difficult from an engineering perspective.”
With tokamaks, reactors face the challenge of having to make their own fuel, breeding one of the hydrogen isotope fuels — tritium — inside the reactors. There also is a need to improve protection of the reactor from intense heat and neutron bombardment.

We are running out of time.

You're correct that it's a large technical challenge. You're also correct that we're running out of time. Which is why we should be funding it more that we are. Hoping this advancement spurs at least some additional private investment.
 
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interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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No one is claiming that this 10% output gain is commercially viable.

Supposedly, Bill Gates said in 1981 that 640K of memory is all you would ever need. Or maybe that's a BS rumor from long ago. Either way, the point is, in relatively short time technology can advance across orders of magnitude once a breakthrough engineering design has emerged (semiconductors in this case).

Time will tell if that will happen here, but it is remarkable how long we've been trying to harness controlled nuclear fusion. In principle, it could eventually create abundant energy with much less concern for nuclear waste, abundant fuel supply, no CO2 footprint, and without danger of nuclear meltdown.

I don't know enough to say where this particular design is an advancement technologically which will lead to the future of fusion energy or whether it is simply a milestone for history that doesn't really have implications on the future of fusion energy or whether fusion never pans out.
 
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[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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I'm not going to disagree per se here. You may have done some reading on that topic that I have not. But we actually have CO2 scrubbers. We don't have fusion. So if you could expand on this or provide a link it might be helpful.
The most capable co2 scrubbing plant we currently have deployed removes around 4k tons/yr of co2.
In 2020 we released around 35B tons of co2. We'd need 9 million of those facilities deployed right now just to keep up with today's co2 emissions. By 2050, we're tracking to be closer to 43B tons/yr. We probably couldn't build them fast enough.

Mind you, that's just to stop emissions. That doesn't take anything back out of the atmosphere. We still have a few trillion (with a T) tons of co2 to move backward. Also bear in mind that the emissions released today affect us in 20 years. We're experiencing the effects of the co2 emitted in the 2000's.
 
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nicalandia

Diamond Member
Jan 10, 2019
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With significant costs and risks, and with fuel that isn't exactly plentiful. Fusion seems to address all of these concerns.
Humans will be long gone from this earth before we have Fusion as a practical source of power.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
27,533
37,075
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Well, first off, I'm pretty sure you thought that fusion had potential application as a weapon.

I'm not saying it doesn't, but like many burgeoning technologies the applications usually come after the new designs are designed, fabricated and tested. You seem to be saying there are no weaponized avenues for fusion, which is a sentiment I do not agree with, yes.

And, as someone already pointed out, fission already accomplishes those specific purposes. But leaving all that aside, yes, fusion has an enormous economic benefit, and anything that has a direct economic benefit indirectly benefits the military.

The advantages of fusion over fission are clear enough to warrant it's development. Safety, maintenance, efficiency, cost and availability of fuel, waste levels, all of these traits are significant enough to warrant the upgrade to fusion.

So suppose China just keeps using fossil fuels. You would rather they do that than have fusion?

It's not a zero sum game, nor is fusion being offered by anyone as a replacement for all other energy sources. China not being gifted fusion tech doesn't automagically invalidate or remove the huge investments they've made in renewables. What I would rather they do is stop prepping for war, stop the bullying and theft, maybe drop the victim complex and cooperate with the West for mutual benefit.


But again, suppose China has all the energy it wants. Now what? Tell me how this changes the CCP in a way that doesn't bite the rest of the world in the ass.
 
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fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
84,334
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With significant costs and risks, and with fuel that isn't exactly plentiful. Fusion seems to address all of these concerns.
Well fusion reactors aren’t going to be cheap either and the fuel for nuclear warships is not particularly expensive as far as I know.

You do have obvious radiation risks if the reactor is damaged or whatever and fusion would mitigate those, but it would not meaningfully change the capabilities of warships.
 
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kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
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Humans will be long gone from this earth before we have Fusion as a practical source of power.


I wouldn't be so sure, we have a knack for pulling off some pretty crazy shit.

We went from making powered flight on a NC beach to flying helicopters on Mars in a little over a 100 years, didn't we?
 
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Mar 11, 2004
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"What does that have to do with this thread?" lol are you serious? Truth be told it's already near impossible for me to take you seriously ever since you rageshat yourself over me calling the WWE a "rope opera."


The froth, the rage, the abject ignorance... none of your posts are worth devoting real time too. Makes me hope for change. So, I think you should hit the books, do some legwork. I have recommendations if you're interested. If you're half as clever as you think you are, things should start clicking. I mean I hope so. Perhaps if you were familiar with China's love of Carl Schmitt (the Nazi) you'd be less inclined to carry their water, who knows.

Thanks for confirming that it had nothing to do with the thread. I'll drop that bit that had nothing to do with this thread since you decided to discuss what the thread was actually about.

As for this specific post, um, what? Am I supposed to know what the fuck you're talking about?

Had to look it up. Oh, you mean a thread from 2014 where you rageshat yourself about trying to trash people acting as though people thought wrestling was real or...well you seem to take it a lot more seriously than literally everyone else in that thread did. Damn, if only I'd known I was living rent free in your head for 7 years over entertainment. Damn dude, now that got a good laugh outta me. That it had such a profound impact on you and yet you're the one trying to claim anyone else "rageshat" themselves after you posted this:


Which by the way was before I even responded to you in that thread and pointed out how ridiculously stupid you were being. And then when people were like "lol, wtf are you talking about?" you kept pissing and moaning just makes it even more hilarious. You come off like the wrestling coach from that South Park episode in that thread. Thanks, I actually really coulda used the laugh I'm getting out of this now.

But sure, I responded just because you called it a rope opera, and not because you went on a diatribe ranting and raving and claiming shit about people that didn't actually match up with reality. Since I know you enjoy it so much, here's a pic that exmplifies what I think about your posts in this thread (and that one):

photos_09_3.0.jpg
 
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kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
27,533
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Well fusion reactors aren’t going to be cheap either and the fuel for nuclear warships is not particularly expensive as far as I know.

You do have obvious radiation risks if the reactor is damaged or whatever and fusion would mitigate those, but it would not meaningfully change the capabilities of warships.

Cheap is relative, especially if we're talking economies of scale that differ.

Personally I think a warship packing cruise missiles with unlimited range, but presumably without the radiation issues, sounds pretty meaningful. I think it's a given whatever successful design happens, making it smaller and more flexible will happen the same way it did with fission reactors.
 

Roger Wilco

Diamond Member
Mar 20, 2017
3,902
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I’d rather focus on thorium reactors.

Feels like nuclear+renewables is the path forward.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
16,188
14,099
136
The most capable co2 scrubbing plant we currently have deployed removes around 4k tons/yr of co2.
In 2020 we released around 35B tons of co2. We'd need 9 million of those facilities deployed right now just to keep up with today's co2 emissions. By 2050, we're tracking to be closer to 43B tons/yr. We probably couldn't build them fast enough.

Mind you, that's just to stop emissions. That doesn't take anything back out of the atmosphere. We still have a few trillion (with a T) tons of co2 to move us backward. Also bear in mind that the emissions released today affect us in 20 years. We're experiencing the effects of the co2 emitted in the 2000's.

First of all, open air carbon capture is not at all a viable idea until carbon emissions are reduced to zero. It is a major failing of that article to fail to point that out. Right now it doesn't even matter what is their power source. They can use geothermal as that plant in Iceland does, or burn dirty coal. Either way, it's the same thing. Because the renewables they use would be replacing fossil fuels for general energy use if not used for that purpose. It will always be more effecient to use renewables to reduce emissions than it is to remove carbon. Hence, any such plant is causing more emissions as it removes carbon. Open air carbon capture is for the future after emissions are at zero, not before. These existing plants are just a proof of concept for the future.

That article says cost is the main prohitibitive factor. It doesn't say that the scrubbers aren't efficient enough. Cost breaks down into initial capital investment, which is the materials and labor to build the plant, then the ongoing cost of running it, which is mainly a power cost. As to the capital cost, fusion reduces the costs of pretty much everything, especially metal building materials. Because metal is mined, and mining in now 90% automated, meaning that the major cost in mining is also a power cost. Fusion will reduce the cost of building such plants, and radically reduce their operational costs.

Not having fusion is the bottleneck here. That and the fact we are still emitting carbon, which of course fusion would help us get there a lot faster.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
27,533
37,075
136
The possibilities with desalination fusion would open up too, would pretty much save American AG in the west wouldn't it?

Next up: what do we do with all that damn salt? Ha
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
95,465
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The possibilities with desalination fusion would open up too, would pretty much save American AG in the west wouldn't it?

Next up: what do we do with all that damn salt? Ha

Dump back on ocean to restore salinity.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
16,188
14,099
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I'm not saying it doesn't, but like many burgeoning technologies the applications usually come after the new designs are designed, fabricated and tested. You seem to be saying there are no weaponized avenues for fusion, which is a sentiment I do not agree with, yes.

I'm not just saying it. I'm asserting as an absolute. As I said, we already have fusion bombs, which operate by using a fisile reaction of uranium or plutonium to produe the heat necessary to fuse the hydrogen fuel supply. This is the only possible way to miniaturize a fusion reaction small enough to put it into a bomb.

By contrast, what they are developing for commerical fusion requires large scale fusion reactors. That in fact is what they are saying has to happen for an efficient fusion reaction to occur. The ITER project is being done because miniature experimental versions of that reactor produce less power than they must receive, but scaling them up in size is supposed radically improve the efficiency. It is pretty doubtful that they could even make a fusion engine for submarines or spacecraft because of this scaling issue.

AFAIK, there is no theory as to how these fusion reactors even could be weaponized. Not even some distant sci-fi "maybe" of the future. But even if they could, so what? Like I said, we already have fusion bombs!

The advantages of fusion over fission are clear enough to warrant it's development. Safety, maintenance, efficiency, cost and availability of fuel, waste levels, all of these traits are significant enough to warrant the upgrade to fusion.

Yes. Uranium is an extremely scarce resource while hydrogen is 70% of all the matter in the universe (not including dark matter).

It's not a zero sum game, nor is fusion being offered by anyone as a replacement for all other energy sources. China not being gifted fusion tech doesn't automagically invalidate or remove the huge investments they've made in renewables. What I would rather they do is stop prepping for war, stop the bullying and theft, maybe drop the victim complex and cooperate with the West for mutual benefit.

Which won't happen until they change their form of government. I'd rather not wait for that to happen, as climate change is occurring now, and rapidly.

But again, suppose China has all the energy it wants. Now what? Tell me how this changes the CCP in a way that doesn't bite the rest of the world in the ass.

It won't change the CCP. It will change the climate trajectory. It won't hurt us relative to the CCP either, because we'll have the same thing.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
9,213
6,813
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I’d rather focus on thorium reactors.

Feels like nuclear+renewables is the path forward.

Fusion might well be the long-term future. Folks thought we wouldn't even get to ignition in the past, and now it's here. But I'd agree that, for now, the best combo is nuclear (especially those newer, smaller reactors) and solar/wind.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
16,188
14,099
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Well fusion reactors aren’t going to be cheap either and the fuel for nuclear warships is not particularly expensive as far as I know.

You do have obvious radiation risks if the reactor is damaged or whatever and fusion would mitigate those, but it would not meaningfully change the capabilities of warships.

As I said above in my reply to Kage, fusion will not be available for warships or submarines even after there are commercial fusion reactors because fusion requires large size reactors to be efficient. It's why the miniature experimental reactors they have built output less energy than they receive. We may never see them small enough to put them on naval ships or space ships. Maybe could power a massive orbital space station at some point.
 
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eelw

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 1999
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As I said above in my reply to Kage, fusion will not be available for warships or submarines even after there are commercial fusion reactors because fusion requires large size reactors to be efficient. It's why the miniature experimental reactors they have built output less energy than they receive. We may never see them small enough to put them on naval ships or space ships. Maybe could power a massive orbital space station at some point.
Nah he’s afraid they will have arc reactor iron man suits.
 
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