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France gets Major Nuclear Fusion Reactor

 
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 4105
Location: outside Belfast, N Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: France gets Major Nuclear Fusion Reactor Reply with quote

This reactor will costs ? 10bn Euro with world-wide cooperation.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4629239.stm
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Sam172



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 138
Location: Plymouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just listening to an article on this on the BBC World Service.

It's an interesting concept, but I must plead ignorance to it.

I am worried however by the way that it's said to be 'Like building a star on the earth'.....isn't that a bit....dangerous?
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmmmmm, YES!
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Peaked2Soon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone familiar with the story of The Tower of Babel?

Very Happy
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Sam172



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:
hmmmmmm, YES!


Reminds me of a book called 'Earth' by David Brin. Scientists create a black hole on earth (in a sort of force field), so that they can tap energy off it....but it all goes wrong, drops into the centre of the Earth and starts eating away.



Anyway, as was said by someone from Friends of the Earth on the BBC News at 10 - wouldn't it be better to invest (what....?6 billion?) in technologies we know work? Such as wind or solar power. Instead of something which may not be commercially viable until 2050, if ever.
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 4105
Location: outside Belfast, N Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting point Sam and initially I would agree regarding the ?6bn investment. But on the other hand when you think about it, nuclear fusion is the answer to all our energy needs. Knowing this and also knowing that it is a case of technological progress that will get us to the point of creating fusion then it does make sense to invest in this direction. Nuclear Fusion is the Holy Grail of Energy - if we manage to achieve it, we will definately spring to a different playing field altogether for future civilisation.

But there are risks! I think it was our Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, who has predicted that he expects that mankind only has a 50% chance of making it to 2100! Shocked
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Sam172



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Plymouth, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would be happy for fusion to go down the pot.

We've already screwed up this planet enough, and having lots of us around for much longer is going to screw it up even more.


Face it, humanity as a whole is a cancer Smile
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Neily at the peak



Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 353
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should fusion ever be made to work, we are still going to be left with all sorts of other modern life giving commodities that are going to be approaching peak, copper would be a prime concern. We surely have too many people on this planet whether they are fuelled by fossil fuels or by fusion.

Neily at the peak
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Cycloloco



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 192
Location: London, UK.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:50 am    Post subject: Nuclear fusion Reply with quote

You can find more info about this subject on the 'Other Alternatives' section. The 'Nuclear Power' section refers to fission only because fission has been working as a power source for 50 years but fusion remains decades ahead, if ever.
It would help if the title of the section included the word 'fission'.
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thorgal



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 73
Location: Copenhagen - Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy new year powerswitch!

I have a couple of comments on that :

1- "re-creating" a star on Earth is a very misleading concept when one talks about fusion. There were and still are far more dangerous scientific explorations than fusing light elements in the lab, e.g. :
- explosive nuclear fission in the 40's - 50's : physicists had the fear that the entire atmosphere could ignite ... and still, they did try it (Los Alamos experiemnts)
- RHIC and LHC projects (actual projects, see www.bnl.gov/rhic or www.cern.ch) : there's a non zero probability (in theory) that matter could undergo a phase transition into a strange form (more stable) called 'strangelets'. If that happens, the whole local matter (understand Earth + vicinity) would transform into strangelets since it could be a more stable state of matter ... there is also the possibility that LHC experiments lead to the creation of short-lived 'singularities' due to the enormous heat and pressure during the heavy ion collisions and believe me, you want these singularities to be very very short-lived if they happen to be created ...

Luckily, this won't happen, at least, we saw none of these exotic stuff at RHIC, and there's no reason why the LHC energy regime (10 times higher than RHIC) would lead to such weird stuff Smile

2- the cost of ITER is enormous, that's right. I think that the main reason for this is economical, it is to boost the local economy (construction, maintenance, etc). Most of the scientific community knows that using fusion to heat up some steam to put turbines in motion is the same kind of old energy production design, namely not very efficient. An analogy would be like using the fanciest and most advanced computer to play a lousy 2D pacman game. As long as there is a high chance that this project creates thousands of jobs, and dynamizes the economy for a good 20+ years, then it will be done.

3- regarding the previous point, I have little hope that anything will come out of ITER in terms of energy production on a large scale. It is an experiemental thing, a big mamoth of an experiment, that costs a lot for not so much in the end since PO will anyway **** up the development. It would be MUCH WISER to invest this money in decentralizing the power grid.

but, as a final remark, power grid rimes with 'power greed', and this is to remain centralized unless we all get wiser ...
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Tess



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Truro

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes I think powerswitch is like an episode of 'Lost'. Whatever subject we look at, we always seem to have an expert somewhere in the mix Wink
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thorgal



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Copenhagen - Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tess wrote:
Sometimes I think powerswitch is like an episode of 'Lost'. Whatever subject we look at, we always seem to have an expert somewhere in the mix Wink


if you talk about RHIC/LHC, I can say I am, I worked at the RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion collider) for 5 years and even published in 'respectable' physics reviews some interesting stuff about 'strangeness' production don't start a thread on that, I won't follow you, which in the context of PO is totally irrelevant and could be seen as a big waste of time and money Confused
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Andy Hunt



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
some interesting stuff about 'strangeness' production


Charming! Wink

As for ITER, it will be a brave soul who flicks the 'on' switch!
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thorgal



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 73
Location: Copenhagen - Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy Hunt wrote:
Quote:
some interesting stuff about 'strangeness' production


Charming! Wink


ha! yeah, my research went through 'up's and 'down's. I thought I was at the 'top', to discover that the 'bottom' was near, 'strange' times I thought but not without 'charm' ...

yeah, physicists can become poets past midnight Wink
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