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(Live Science)   Reworking of Greenwald's Law means fusion reactors will have twice the power, when they come online in 20 years   (livescience.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Nuclear fusion, Fusion power, Future fusion reactions, groundbreaking new research, Tokamak, ITER, maximum hydrogen fuel density, fusion reactors  
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458 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 May 2022 at 9:37 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-26 6:24:06 PM  
ITER, however, isn't designed to generate electricity; but tokamaks based on ITER that will, called DEMO reactors, are now being designed and could be working by 2051.
 
2022-05-26 6:29:53 PM  
All I have to say about this is that I'm loving the Alex Kurtzman/Jenny Lumet series, The Man Who Fell To Earth.
 
2022-05-26 8:52:05 PM  

aleister_greynight: ITER, however, isn't designed to generate electricity; but tokamaks based on ITER that will, called DEMO reactors, are now being designed and could be working by 2051.


To be completed by tuberculosis and cockroaches, as the humans died out twenty years prior.
 
2022-05-26 10:19:15 PM  

aleister_greynight: ITER, however, isn't designed to generate electricity; but tokamaks based on ITER that will, called DEMO reactors, are now being designed and could be working by 2051.


Hey, don't poke fun. That's only 29 years away, not 30, so they're making progress.
 
2022-05-26 10:34:08 PM  
Let's see.... twice zero, carry the one...
 
2022-05-26 10:50:23 PM  
just in time for the Unix desktop
 
2022-05-26 11:06:18 PM  
Fusion power = Zeno's paradox.
 
2022-05-26 11:45:26 PM  
Oh. It will wind up being longer than that.

One of the crosses that modern humans have to bear is that all of those great concepts that we have seen dance across movie and TV screens required us to suspend disbelief. That was fun. And then people started to believe them because every once in a while, bloop, they became reality. They became mass produced consumer products.

So now we are these impatient little monkeys who assume that there is no process, and that science is merely "discovery" or that a single person, as we idealize Edison and Tesla to have been, is going to drag everyone into the future. We forget obvious examples like the Manhattan Project, the TVA, and the billions and billions spent to develop jet aircraft and space flight.

Money. Time. Continued attention and effort. Talent. Focus. All of that are going to bring humans to the threshold of fusion power generation, and then some bozo is going to kick the door in and grab all the credit, deluding us all that one person or some insight is going to make it all happen.

Remember this time. Remember this waiting. All this effort. All the promises and baby steps. Because when Fusion does come, it will change everything. It will be something to be shared by all humanity, rewarding all of our hopes and dreaming for generations. And if anyone ever says that one man or one country did it, you can summon all of your frustration from all those years and punch them in the teeth.

/ If humanity spent on fission and fusion what they are spending on the war in Ukraine, both sides, would that be decade's budget? A century's?
 
2022-05-26 11:58:24 PM  
I envision a whole genre of science fiction.

The ramifications of commercial fusion are huge. Transformative of not everything about our existence, but quite a bit. People talk about calling this the human age. Well yes. Humans are affecting so much about the planet. But pretty well, we relied on combustion for all of human progress up to this point. Fission made a cameo, but humans are not fans of fission, it seems. Once we achieve fusion, we can pretty well give up combustion for just about everything, or we can use fusion to create fuels, so we do not have to find fuels or distill them.

It won't just be an industrial revolution. Maybe it will let us break the bonds that nature uses to bind us to this planet, to the soil, to rock, to fire, to air and water. To what we think of as human reality.

We are in no way ready for that. To become Homo astra. Maybe it is best that it is always 20 years away.
 
2022-05-27 12:11:43 AM  
"A technology that is '20 years away' will be 20 years away indefinitely." -- Randall Munroe
 
2022-05-27 12:34:49 AM  
I remember someone did the numbers, and the footprint of a fission reactor, between containment, heat exchangers, power houses, safety perimeter, etc, has a similar energy harvest per acre as photovoltaics. Or maybe it was the capital investment with batteries. Anyhow, we have the sodium-sulfur salt battery tech in mothballs to build big peak shaving and long term storage batteries.

/heavy batteries are okay if they just move in cargo containers.
 
2022-05-27 12:56:30 AM  
Double the power output? Not so much...  Double the time between fuelings is more likely.
 
2022-05-27 1:04:19 AM  

wildcardjack: I remember someone did the numbers, and the footprint of a fission reactor, between containment, heat exchangers, power houses, safety perimeter, etc, has a similar energy harvest per acre as photovoltaics. Or maybe it was the capital investment with batteries. Anyhow, we have the sodium-sulfur salt battery tech in mothballs to build big peak shaving and long term storage batteries.

/heavy batteries are okay if they just move in cargo containers.


The ITER test fusion reactor occupies a 1km by 400 meter plot of land and has a power output of 500 MegaWatts. The Solar Star solarfarm is 13 square km and produces 314 MegaWatts (peak daytime). Solar is hardly competitive when it comes to power density.
 
2022-05-27 2:33:28 AM  

Obscene_CNN: wildcardjack: I remember someone did the numbers, and the footprint of a fission reactor, between containment, heat exchangers, power houses, safety perimeter, etc, has a similar energy harvest per acre as photovoltaics. Or maybe it was the capital investment with batteries. Anyhow, we have the sodium-sulfur salt battery tech in mothballs to build big peak shaving and long term storage batteries.

/heavy batteries are okay if they just move in cargo containers.

The ITER test fusion reactor occupies a 1km by 400 meter plot of land and has a power output of 500 MegaWatts. The Solar Star solarfarm is 13 square km and produces 314 MegaWatts (peak daytime). Solar is hardly competitive when it comes to power density.


Amazingly, the Sun's core only produces about 250 watts of continuous power per cubic meter. That's about 1/4 the output of a typical hair dryer. And this is at an incredible density and temperature. So how a fusion reactor will produce like 500MW is mind boggling, at least to me.
 
2022-05-27 5:44:21 AM  
This is a duplicate of the same story from a week or so ago. TFA even uses a lot of the same language.

As was discussed in the thread for the earlier article, the distance to viable fusion power (getting more out of the plant than it takes to get it running) are technological, not temporal. You can't find Brawndo canned drinks on supermarket shelves without first inventing supermarkets, shelves, cans, and Brawndo. Similar issues exist with fusion technology, except none of the intermediary steps currently exist, and will have to be invented, produced, and updated as new information becomes available. Creating an artificial fusion reaction is far less complex than generating and maintaining a controlled fusion reaction.

Journalists: "How long before we have commercial fusion power?"

Engineers: "Hard to say. The theoretical work is mostly mature. We still have to develop new tools and equipment to reduce complexity and improve efficiency before we get to commercial viability."

Journalists: "How long will that take?"

Engineers: "How the Hell should we know? We're inventing a new technology as we go. It's entirely possible we'll need to invent new tools to create new equipment- none of which we know we need yet."

Journalists: "But, how long?"

Engineers: *eye twitch* "Twenty-three years, four months, sixteen days, nine hours, and thirty-seven minutes."

Journalists: "Wow! How do you know how long it will take with such precision?"

Engineers: "We don't, you imbecile! We don't know how long it will take to invent something completely new which we don't yet realize we need! The question is invalid."

Journalists: "I'll just put down twenty years."
 
2022-05-27 6:03:25 AM  
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2022-05-27 11:06:39 AM  

Pointy Tail of Satan: Obscene_CNN: wildcardjack: I remember someone did the numbers, and the footprint of a fission reactor, between containment, heat exchangers, power houses, safety perimeter, etc, has a similar energy harvest per acre as photovoltaics. Or maybe it was the capital investment with batteries. Anyhow, we have the sodium-sulfur salt battery tech in mothballs to build big peak shaving and long term storage batteries.

/heavy batteries are okay if they just move in cargo containers.

The ITER test fusion reactor occupies a 1km by 400 meter plot of land and has a power output of 500 MegaWatts. The Solar Star solarfarm is 13 square km and produces 314 MegaWatts (peak daytime). Solar is hardly competitive when it comes to power density.

Amazingly, the Sun's core only produces about 250 watts of continuous power per cubic meter. That's about 1/4 the output of a typical hair dryer. And this is at an incredible density and temperature. So how a fusion reactor will produce like 500MW is mind boggling, at least to me.


Fusion happens at the core of the sun. Taking an average of energy output across the whole doesn't do justice to the energy density. If you have any doubts about the power go look at some hydrogen bomb footage.
 
2022-05-27 2:41:10 PM  

2fardownthread: It won't just be an industrial revolution. Maybe it will let us break the bonds that nature uses to bind us to this planet, to the soil, to rock, to fire, to air and water. To what we think of as human reality.


Too bad about the Tritium Wars.
 
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