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Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/06/2016 8:14 PM
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#1

Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/06/2016 8:18 PM

Ask again next year. (Even granting that the Germans might be better than the Italians than the Utahans.)

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#5
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 4:23 AM

That assumes everyone involved survives the experience, of course.

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#2

Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/06/2016 8:36 PM

This is very good news. Stable, long-term confinement has been a huge problem for many years and it looks like they've finally nailed it.

Damn, that is one complicated machine.

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#3

Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/06/2016 9:09 PM

Thanks, lyn, very interesting.

Example of a stellarator design, as used in the Wendelstein 7-X experiment: A coil system (blue) surrounds plasma (yellow). A magnetic field line is highlighted in green on the yellow plasma surface.

This Wikipedia article has a good Stellarator description and the difference between Stellarator and Tokamak design.

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#12
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 5:12 PM

That looks like a picture of Mobius rapidly rolling over in his grave.

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#13
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 5:42 PM

Oh, I just loved the Forbidden Planet.

Is that what powered the planet, and Robbie?

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#17
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 10:46 PM

psst: It was Professor Morbius on Forbidden Planet. [August Ferdinand] Möbius (no 'r') was a German mathematician and theoretical astronomer. Close. I think the latter meaning was intended above given the Möbius-strip-like appearance of the magnetic field (which it may very well be given that it has an odd number of half-twists, though an ideal Möbius strip has no thickness. A Möbius noodle? :).

The Krell machine (8000 cubic miles of it) was powered by "thermonuclear reactors" located 50 miles below the machine - the scene where Professor Morbius says "One does not look into the face of the Gorgon and live!" I've no idea what powers Robby. Wheaties maybe? Breakfast of Champions?

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#28
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/09/2016 11:23 AM

Yes! Forbidden Planet was/still is my favorite movie.

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#29
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/09/2016 1:15 PM

It's corny, but I like it too.

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#30
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/09/2016 1:21 PM

Same here. My favorite for years.

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#21
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/08/2016 9:16 AM

Good information Rixter! Let me just add that the Wendelstein 7-X is more of a proof of concept rather than an attempt at efficient fusion power. In their own words:

The magnetic cage of Wendelstein 7-X is formed by a ring of 50 superconducting magnet coils about 3.5 metres high. Their special shapes are the result of sophisticated optimisation calculations. Although Wendelstein 7-X will not produce energy, the device is to prove that stellarators are suitable for power plants. With Wendelstein 7-X it is intended to put for the first time the quality of the plasma confinement in a stellarator on the same level as competing devices of the tokamak type. With discharges lasting 30 minutes the device is also to demonstrate the essential advantage of stellarators, viz. their capability for continuous operation.

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#4

Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/06/2016 10:03 PM

Not even close....

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#6

Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 7:36 AM

Believe you, it won't. Not until "global warming" thingy is spoiled.

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#7

Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 8:52 AM

I'm always a bit suspicious of anything from the Daily Mail, but this looks legit. I hope Bayes weighs in on this one.

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#8
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 8:57 AM
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#9
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 9:17 AM

WOW thanks for the confirmation!

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#10
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 9:29 AM

My pleasure.

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#11
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 3:59 PM

..."Of these concepts, the tokamak has so far shown the best confinement properties, but the stellarator is not far behind, and there is reason to believe that it can catch up. "...

When?...and at what price?...and are these designs even commercially viable to begin with?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak

http://energyskeptic.com/2015/why-tokamak-fusion-not-likely-to-work-out/

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#14
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 7:12 PM

We aren't at that stage yet, not by a long shot. We have to get the concept to work in a reliable, repeatable and efficient way before looking at refining it for economical mass production.

One big step at a time.

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#15
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 10:21 PM

I don't see these ever becoming practical, there are too many major obstacles that would require major breakthroughs to even work reliably, and forget affordability, affordability has left the building....This just looks like a total waste of money to me, a giant science experiment that has spun out of control....It's marketed as being clean( no nuclear waste) and safe(no meltdown) cheap to run, none of this is true...Their estimates of time till completion and cost to construct are nowhere near reality....I say it's time to abandon this fiasco....cut our losses...

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#16
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/07/2016 10:31 PM

I Have been following the developments off and on since the 80's and still think there is great opportunity here.

Yes it is taking longer than expected, and so much has been learnt in the refining of the process that it would be an error to stop now.

Sometimes an idea is just a bit too out there and science has to play catch-up before it is fully realised. The field of robotics is one example, flight is another. Both looked really pie-in-the-sky and mad for many, many years until the right theory and technology came along that broke the concept wide open and allowed people to make huge advancements that seemed virtually impossible before.

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#18
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/08/2016 12:34 AM

I'm not saying it can't be done....What I'm saying is that it is costing too much and we really don't have anything to gain....Fission reactors can be built safe, we have the technology already....The waste can be minimized, we have the technology to do that...the costs are within reason....What stands in the way is misinformation, lack of political will, and ridiculously restrictive permitting and regulations...This is something we could do now, not 50 or 100 years in the future....The money we are spending on developing this fusion technology could be spent on reactors that produce the clean energy needed now....and if you ask me, even if fusion tech were available today, I don't think it would fare much better with permitting and regulation the way it is, it's just too dangerous....

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#27
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/08/2016 1:59 PM

Point taken, but in my opinion there is no reason we cannot do both.

Fission reactors can be built safe

Public opinion about the radioactive boogyman is what holds us back, almost everything else stems from that. It's just the best base load generation we have in my opinion (balancing environment, cost and safety), excluding hydro (which is very site specific). More people are effected by coal pollution than radioactivity from rare nuclear plant radiation releases.

Radiation is and always has been a part of our everyday lives and until public opinion changes through education, what can ya do?

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#19
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/08/2016 2:45 AM

What - no pictures? There has to be pictures.

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#22
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Re: Can it Be True? Is fusion here at last?

12/08/2016 9:44 AM

Here's Fusion...

All of the sudden we're at $50 billion and back at proof of concept?? Wake up... this is a dead end technology....It's the hydrogen Blimp all over again....

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#20

Re: Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/08/2016 8:42 AM

Well finally - fusion that appears to be working and no mention of the word "cold". Must be real. Good news indeed.

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#25
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Re: Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/08/2016 11:54 AM

Unfortunately this is not the case here. In keeping with their typically dodgy journalism The Daily Fail has hyped this a bit too, at least where their headline is concerned. The actual news is that the Wendelstein 7-X design objective has been reached where the topology of the magnetic containment field is concerned - a vital step towards practical, sustained fusion. This article in Nature gives a much better idea of the milestone reached and the techniques used to precisely map the field:

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13493

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#26
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Re: Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/08/2016 1:07 PM

Yes - but it is certainly better than a release by Andrea Rossi.

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#23

Re: Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/08/2016 9:59 AM

I read about this in other sources. It appears this was a test of the magnetic containment field and a proof of concept run, not a test of the reactor itself.

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#24

Re: Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/08/2016 11:29 AM

We're still going to have to develop a use stream for the high level radioactive waste generated by the process. It's been recognized since the '70s that fusion yields some very high energy neutrons in the process. At the time they caused crumbling in Tokomak chamber walls due to the neutrons basically pulverizing chamber wall material as they thermalize and the absorbed neutrons generate some fairly high level activation products once absorbed. I am aware of some molten salt shielded fusion container plans, but the activation issue never fully goes away.

Fusion: Great if you can do it, but it still has consequences to deal with.

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#31

Re: Can it Be True? Is Fusion Here At Last?

12/13/2016 10:37 AM

Am I wrong, or did the authors fail to mention power in versus power out, energy in versus energy out, test duration with power produced?

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