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General Fusion Reactor

12/17/2019 8:12 PM

If it's too hard, you're maybe doing it wrong.

Where did this come from? This is a new idea, but will it work?

https://generalfusion.com/subsystems-fusion-energy-technology/

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Guru

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#1

Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/17/2019 8:34 PM

Sheeza no worky yet....

https://wccftech.com/general-fusion-is-set-to-raise-over-100-million-as-it-works-towards-harnessing-the-energy-of-the-stars/

My question, what holds all this pressure together..? Looks more like a bomb to me...

This is the biggest fuel injector I've ever seen...

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/17/2019 8:50 PM

..."General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion system uses a ~3 meter sphere filled with a mixture of molten lead and lithium. The liquid metal is spun to open up a vertical cylindrical cavity in the centre of the sphere (vortex). This vortex flow is established and maintained by an external pumping system; the liquid flows into the sphere through tangentially directed ports at the equator and is pumped out radially through ports near the poles of the sphere.[14]

Attached to the top of the sphere is a plasma injector, from which a pulse of magnetically-confined deuterium-tritium plasma fuel is injected into the center of the vortex. A few milligrams of gas are used per pulse, and the gas is ionized by a bank of capacitors to form a spheromak plasma (self confined magnetized plasma rings) composed of the deuterium-tritium fuel.[15][16] The company has demonstrated plasma lifetimes up to 2 milliseconds and electron temperatures in excess of 400 eV.[17]

The outside of the sphere is covered with steam pistons, which push the liquid metal and collapse the vortex, thereby compressing the plasma. The compression increases the temperature of the plasma to the point where the deuterium and tritium nuclei fuse, releasing energy in the form of fast neutrons.[16]

This energy heats up the liquid metal, which is then pumped through a heat exchanger and used to generate electricity via a steam turbine. The plasma formation and compression process repeats and the liquid metal is continuously pumped through the system. Some of the steam is recycled to power the pistons.[18][14]

An earlier concept used steam pistons to simultaneously impact a set of stationary anvils on the surface of the sphere to create acoustic pressure waves in the liquid metal.[16] The pressure waves would converge to become a spherical shockwave at the center of the sphere. This approach created excessively strong magnetic fields, which caused instabilities in the liquid metal wall. As of October 2017, the approach is to use slower pistons and compression time of 40 ms for lower peak energy densities.[19]

In addition to its role in compressing the plasma, the use of a liquid metal liner provides a way of shielding the power plant structure from neutrons released by the deuterium-tritium fusion reaction, overcoming the problem of structural damage to plasma-facing materials.[20][14] The use of liquid lithium in the mixture enables the breeding of tritium fuel, while the liquid metal provides a means of extracting the energy from the system via a heat exchanger.[14][21] "...

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

I don't know this sounds a lot like a perpetual motion machine....

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/17/2019 10:05 PM

I don't know this sounds a lot like a perpetual motion machine....

Well, the energy comes from Deuterium-Tritium fusion, if it works, in the form of fast neutrons. The Lithium makes Tritium from the absorption of neutrons...

The Deuterium - Tritium fusion reaction is the most accessible for producing power, but Tritium with a half-life off about 12.5 years has to be created. Lithium absorbs neutrons to create Helium and Tritium, thus lithium breeding to produce the Tritium.

"The fusion reaction rate increases rapidly with temperature until it maximizes and then gradually drops off. The deuterium-tritium fusion rate peaks at a lower temperature (about 70 keV, or 800 million kelvin) and at a higher value than other reactions commonly considered for fusion energy.

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

Lithium consists of two isotopes, with Lithium 7 being more abundant (92.41%).

High-energy neutrons can also produce tritium from lithium-7 in an endothermic (net heat consuming) reaction, consuming 2.466 MeV. This was discovered when the 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear test produced an unexpectedly high yield.[8]

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

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/17/2019 10:34 PM

Yes I remember that was a truly terrifying event...So endothermic reaction, would it be possible to separate the two and create a cold side and a hot side for heat engines...? This would seem the safest and most efficient utilization of the potential here...Is the endothermic reaction then counter to the efficiency of the fusion process? How does the endothermic reaction increase the yield?

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#5
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Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/18/2019 9:04 AM

I'm guessing that they separate the two isotopes and use the lithium-6. You want the maximum yield to get this to work, not an endothermic reaction sucking up the heat. Separation of lithium isotopes should be much easier than separating isotopes of uranium. The mass ratio is 7:6 versus 238:235.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/26/2019 8:37 PM

"... ..Is the endothermic reaction then counter to the efficiency of the fusion process? How does the endothermic reaction increase the yield?..."

.

Endothermic in the sense that it requires the neutron with sufficient energy ~2.5 MeV to cause the reaction. The reaction increases yield by producing not only tritium (as lithium 6 does without the minimum required energy of the incident neutron) but also another neutron (though of lower energy. Li7 + n --> T + n + He4

The additional tritium is likely to fuse with the deuterium in the vicinity because the original lithium was in the form of lithium deuteride. The neutrron may go on to cause fissile material in the core, tamper of casing to undergo fission.

The energy released by the tritium fusing and the neutron causing fission far outweighs the minimum energy needed to get the Li7 to play.

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: General Fusion fusion reactor

12/18/2019 3:01 PM

In a sense, the goal of fusion power is to become a perpetual motion machine where more energy comes out than goes in.

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#7

Re: General Fusion Reactor

12/18/2019 4:31 PM

This may be a new idea to you, it certainly is to me, but this is obviously a more refined step in a series of experiments toward usable fusion power. I've no idea if this tiny sphereomak or the enormous Tokamak of ITER will become our future of power production but I'm excited to see other approaches being pursued.

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#8

Re: General Fusion Reactor

12/19/2019 10:26 AM

Interesting concept. What is the ratio of compression of the plasma? By qualitative estimation only (eyeball guesstimate!), it is not enough to achieve fusion temperatures. When fusion is achieved, as mentioned above, is there enough strength in the containment to mechanically hold it together?

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