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Fusion: a ten year plan to energy security

 
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:35 am    Post subject: Fusion: a ten year plan to energy security Reply with quote

This article says that fusion can answer the US' energy security problems in the future

Quote:
Fusion energy is achievable, and when commercialized it promises to provide clean, safe, secure and abundant energy for the next century.


Oh! The plan doesn't come into effect until 2090 then. And I though fusion was only 40 years away. Now it's 77 years away.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the promise only applies to the next century after it's been comercialised. We don't have a date for comercialising yet so it could be some distant century.
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powerbilston



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it seems that fusion is always 10 years away
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SleeperService



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For as long as I can remember it's always thirty years away. This coincidentally is usually the working life of the scientists making the claim. They won't quite be able to crack it but their successors should.....

Personally I think it is impossible without another two or three generational leaps. The technology required is about as far away as a moon mission for the Early-Victorians. This is confirmed, in my mind, by the tiny improvements that are achieved with staggering complexity and cost.

It would be in everybody's best interest if HM Govt and the rest said 'Right here's a serious pile of cash you have 10 years to finish the job'. At the end you would be able to either enjoy the benefits or, rather more likely, reallocate brains and resources to things that could be developed to use the indirect fusion reactor we all orbit.

A final issue is how you would contain the result if somebody tried a test that was 'ill-advised' and trust me, it would happen. Three-Mile Island, Chernoybl? Hah! Nothing compared to what would result. A self-sustaining fusion reaction would be as easy to shut down as an explosion.....
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's gone up recently, hasn't it? It was 40 years, I recall reading somewhere it's now 45 years away. Just like the cost of air in garage forecourts, that's inflation for you.

Rolling Eyes
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SleeperService



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good..... Laughing
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SleeperService



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loosely related to this thread I caught up with an old academic friend today. She is rather cynical about nuclear fusion and suggested that the recent telescoping of the in-service date you note was aimed at increasing funding 'because the task was harder'.

That way it becomes harder to pin down the scientists junket to a price to deliver in a given time frame.

She also believes that the money spent on fusion has;

produced little of value to anybody outside a very small circle

been counter-productive to other energy research

been wasted as it will take a very long time to bring on-line. My estimate of two or three generational leaps she thinks 'may get near' but five or six is more likely.

A bit controversially she suggested that the same budget applied to fission research would yield better results. That would be a standard design, decommissioning incorporated in the design and greatly reduced radioactive waste both from improved reactor cores and less peripheral activity leading to much reduced low level waste.

Now the bit that means she stays anonymous-end of life plant handling.

Build the station on a concrete (or similar) raft actually float it if preferred. When its life is over encase it in an impervious polymer shell, tow it to a very deep part of the ocean and sink it. A one-way valve will let water in to balance the pressure, and, by the time it gets near the plate edge it will be at, or lower than, background levels. As well as being buried by sediment.

It will be a challenge to build but it could be done almost today. It would be beyond the reach of anybody so would have to be tested thoroughly but could never be accessed by terrorists/freedom fighters/unwitting future citizens unlike current storage systems.

I'll get my tin hat.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't need that much energy. So why waste it? (The hat suits you, by the way.) Laughing
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SleeperService



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
We don't need that much energy. So why waste it? (The hat suits you, by the way.) Laughing


Especially when worn at a jaunty angle Laughing

The Big Plan we were blatting about would see fission for baseload, wind, tidal and some solar for the rest leaving coal then gas and finally oil as a last resort.

Combined with a kenneal insulation policy, solar water heating, high efficiency lighting and more people working fewer hours we could remove the need for oil and gas stations. Almost immediately.

Carbon capture at the coal stations would use the carbon to make solid material that is a very good insulator, can be used for certain building applications and even put back underground in the deep coal mines. The latter would stop a potential environmental disaster, provide employment in areas that could do with it, and be certain that the carbon was secure.

Any spare capacity could be used to pump water uphill at existing hydro-electric plants or specially built 'instant demand' schemes. Any left after that could be used to desalinate sea water that could be directed into either the domestic supply or pumped back underground to restore the water table.

We really think this could be achieved with current or very close technology Idea One and Another Take using the budget currently going on fusion research.

It would also provide a route to gain export orders for the technologies developed and show that carbon emissions can be reduced with better living conditions for the majority of the population....Unless you're an energy company Very Happy
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd thought about small modular units that could be buried at EoL. You'd get the developers to dig the hole first, of course. In fact, they could dig the hole and operate the unit at the bottom, then only backfilling would be needed at the end. Tinfoil Hat

Burial at sea, though more romantic (can't remember the film that line came from, prob. a Bond...) near a subduction zone, would risk the stuff being catapulted upwards when the earth slips...that's how (so they tell me) 2011's Japanese Tsunami was made.
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SleeperService



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
I'd thought about small modular units that could be buried at EoL. You'd get the developers to dig the hole first, of course. In fact, they could dig the hole and operate the unit at the bottom, then only backfilling would be needed at the end. Tinfoil Hat

Burial at sea, though more romantic (can't remember the film that line came from, prob. a Bond...) near a subduction zone, would risk the stuff being catapulted upwards when the earth slips...that's how (so they tell me) 2011's Japanese Tsunami was made.


If the burial at sea takes place near the Mid-Atlantic ridge then it will be about 150 million years before the 'corpse' reaches a subduction zone. I suspect the only risk will be to the then-current belief system. If it is noticed at all it won't be by radiation.

The modular concept would fit in with this very well.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the right bit of sea bottom is chosen, it's already radioactive there anyway. That's where those things that live in Plumes get their energy from.

The mid-Atlantic ridge might be a goer (if Iceland doesn't mind!). Apparently the Atlantic is now 13m wider than it was when Columbus crossed it.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
I think it's gone up recently, hasn't it? It was 40 years, I recall reading somewhere it's now 45 years away. Just like the cost of air in garage forecourts, that's inflation for you.

Rolling Eyes


'Breakthrough' on nuclear fusion

...but it's still 'decades' away.

Quote:
Fusion scientists and engineers are confident they can build a practical power plant sometime in the future, but the economics are highly uncertain. One of the main obstacles to future progress will be budget constraints, although after years of suffering budget cuts, Congress increased the fusion 2014 budget by $100 million.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sometime in the future....


Another $100 million blown on something that will never benefit anybody outside of the people 'developing' it.

Quite frankly if it won't be feasible within about 20 years (giving Ralph and RGR the benefit of the doubt on reserves) it will never be built because the infrastructure to make it will have gone

FFS in this country the Government Department for Innovation is claiming a major success after rewording government forms to achieve a small improvement in response to revenue demands. Do we really believe that HM Govt with such limited horizons will be able to co-ordinate research let alone production engineering?

Every fission reactor in the UK is effectively a prototype and they've been building them for 50 years.

When will people see what is happening????
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