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New record for fusion

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posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: galien8

Not yet.


There are hints that what they have made actually works. The magnetic news confirms that fusion works with the machine that they made.

It is going to happen but the question is when.

Right now they have not reached break even but they are close.

Next year should see real progress!!




posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 02:29 PM
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Update: Inertial Fusion Gets a New Tool


With compact lasers that use ultra-short laser pulses irradiating arrays of aligned nanowires, scientists are recreating the extreme conditions found in stars. Previously, this was only possible with large “stadium-sized” lasers, as the energy density contained in the center of a star is many billions of atmospheres

Numerical models validated by the experiments predict that increasing irradiation intensities to the highest levels made possible by today's ultrafast lasers could generate pressures to surpass those in the center of our sun.

The results open a path to obtaining unprecedented pressures in the laboratory with compact lasers. The work could open new inquiry into high energy density physics; how highly charged atoms behave in dense plasmas…
Creating matter in the ultra-high energy density regime could inform the study of laser-driven fusion – using lasers to drive controlled nuclear fusion reactions

Photonics.com, Jan 12, 2017 - Compact Lasers Recreate Conditions Inside Stars.
Femtosecond lasers/X-rays, ScienceAdvances.org (Research article), Jan 11, 2017 – Energy penetration into arrays of aligned nanowires irradiated with relativistic intensities: Scaling to terabar pressures.

This work is being done at Colorado State University. By “today’s fast lasers” I am assuming femtosecond pulses (or maybe attosecond lasers? Not even sure if those exist out in research labs yet). Anyway, they are shooting these short pulses into nanowires that then give off x-rays that yield very high densities (a Terabar is 10^12 bars of pressure. One atmosphere (sea level) is 1.01325 bar—so nearly the same as far as magnitude is concerned. I.e., it is a lot of pressure in a small space!) This will help with inertial confinement nuclear fusion (ICF) research which is trying to reach a high enough density for ignition to occur.

YAY! One more tool to help towards a nuclear fusion future.

 


Another note on ICF. I ran across an article that explained why turning down the laser power on the frozen foam sphere works better than blasting the h3ll out of it. If they blast the heck out of the frozen sphere it turns into large chunks that then scatter (the analogy was an exploding cow! lol). The chunks do not heat up and run into other smaller parts that then also do not heat up. Counterintuitively, turning down the laser’s power makes for a better, overall, and equal implosion which resulted in the previously posted update yields.



posted on Jan, 24 2017 @ 01:14 PM
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A bit of an update on MIT’s ARC fusion reactor. The original concept was a school project to create a modern fusion device using newer materials. Here is what happens when an engineer does not have a project in front of him but does have access to some research tools and has an open question concerning his completed school project.


[MIT’s Nuclear Science and Engineering, Director, Dennis] Whyte’s class was able to design a smaller, modular fusion reactor that made use of new high-temperature superconducting tape. After the class finished, Sorbom and other classmates fleshed out some of the less-developed ideas in the original presentation, and, with the assistance of Whyte, published a preconceptual design in the journal Fusion Engineering and Design.

The concept, now known as ARC, is in the line of high-field fusion reactor designs the PSFC [Plasma Science and Fusion Center] has long promoted, most recently with the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, which had its record-setting final run last September [and source of OP]. ARC is designed to explore all the possibilities of high temperature superconductors in a fusion device.

Sorbom soon proposed research that could help take the ARC concept one step further — or smaller. It would require testing how long the high-temperature superconductor (HTS) tapes used to control the plasma could survive the radiation created by the fusion process, and discovering how much shielding they would need.

“I started looking around at the lab spaces we have at MIT and I said, ‘Hey, we have a fission reactor, we have accelerators, we have a magnet group: We have all this infrastructure to do a lot of this testing here. So I pitched the idea to Dennis to do this HTS radiation damage testing.’”

Sorbom plans to test the new magnet technology to failure
.

MITnews.edu, Jan. 23, 2017 – Brandon Sorbom: Designing a fusion future.

The class project was basically, “Given the advanced materials, can you design a nuclear fusion reactor that has the same output numbers as ITER?” Their answer was ARC (affordable, robust, compact) reactor (they also made it modular so it is easier to take apart/put together) which was also re-thought. The question was, “Why match ITER?” Which made them think about making a smaller version, SPARC (“Sooner”, or “Smaller”, depends on who you ask, “Private-funded” ARC). They want to make nuclear fusion a reality to cut carbon emissions so they can make smaller and more reactors, why not?

The main reason for the shrinking size is the “new” and off-the-shelf, high temperature superconducting tape made of rare-earth barium copper-oxide (REBCO). Since magnetic confinement scales to the fourth power a true doubling in magnetic strength allows the size of the reactor to drop by a ¾ (in theory). In reality, it is more conservatively just cut the size in half. That was the ARC design. It is still huge!

But as Brandon Sorbom realized, nobody has tested to see if the REBCO tape can withstand the neutron flux (generated neutrons from the fusion reaction). So, he is going to generate some neutrons from a fission reactor, fire (accelerate) them at some shielded tape until they fail! How cool is that?!! He will be demonstrating shielding and the process known as embrittlement (or hardening of materials due to neutron bombardment) both in one shot. And in so doing, advance SPARC/ARC realization a step closer.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 01:38 PM
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Update on stellarator magnetic field optimization


(Source: Matt Landreman)


University of Maryland physicist Matt Landreman has made an important revision to one of the most common software tools used to design stellarators. The new method is better at balancing tradeoffs between the ideal magnetic field shape and potential coil shapes, resulting in designs with more space between the coils. This extra space allows better access for repairs and more places to install sensors. Landreman's new method is described in a paper published February 13, 2017 in the journal Nuclear Fusion.
...
Researchers used the previous method, called the Neumann Solver for Fields Produced by External Coils (NESCOIL) and first described in 1987, to design many of the stellarators in operation today—including the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X). The largest stellarator in existence, W7-X began operation in [December] 2015 at the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in [Gersfeld] Germany [shutdown for upgrades. Only time period given is 'first half of 2017'].
...
Landreman's new method, which he calls Regularized NESCOIL—or REGCOIL for short—gets around this by tackling the coil spacing issue of stellarator design in tandem with the shaping of the magnetic field itself. The result, Landreman said, is a fast, more robust process that yields better coil shapes on the first try.

Modeling tests performed by Landreman suggest that the designs produced by REGCOIL confine hot plasma in a desirable shape, while significantly increasing the minimum distances between coils.

Phys.org, Feb 13, 2017 - Physicists improve method for designing fusion experiments.

The dotted lines in the photo show the subtle changes in magnetic coil placement due to this compromise between ideal and buildable magnets (basically NESCOIL vs REGCOIL]. The W7-X is a fully optimized stellarator which means all those twisty superconducting magnets in the photo were calculated to be the ideal position to create a magnetic fields with the proper strength and magnetic field dimensions to make a viable fusion reactor. That was the big news last year as the magnetic field was announced to be 1 in 100,000 thousandths of tolerance after completing the first phase of operation.

Building an optimized stellarator with less clutter would be ideal. Costs come down when complex maintenance is not required. Since the complex version is working the simpler version would be welcome.
edit on 13-2-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar nazi



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 11:39 AM
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The mind-bogglingly complex “star-chamber” called the Wendelstein 7-X creates clean, radiation-free nuclear energy by mimicking what happens in stars like our own sun.

Cold fusion [!!!] – based on safe nuclear fusion rather than the dangerous nuclear fusion of the world’s current reactors has been the dream of physicists since the 1950s.
...
It confines super-heated helium [!!!] – in plasma form – to spark reactions in twisted three dimensional magnetic fields.
...
It has now been shown conclusively to work. And the developers can now focus on creating new designs that improve the efficiency of the device.

Express.co.uk, Jan. 10, 2017 - COLD FUSION: Wendelstein 7X star-machine PROVES the dream of limitless FREE energy.

Good lord! I don't even know where to begin!! First, if it is not a science source, do not trust it! This is a complete mess with no science in it what so ever. The article is a string of statements that contradict each other in every paragraph! A quick check of Wikipedia would have put the whole "cold fusion" notion out the window! The last plasmas created before being shutdown for a heat shield upgrade was 10,000,000 K! That is not "cold fusion" that is very hot! Even in the article he states the reactor is "mimicking the sun" and we all know that sun is not cold! (Except maybe at night, of course!)

Next, "it confines super heated helium in plasma form" also contradicts the notion of "cold fusion" right off the bat. Add to that the reactor does not "heat up helium" but heats up isotopes of hydrogen then fuses them together to create helium (the definition of "nuclear fusion" that is being created) is just plain wrong.

The last paragraph... *SMH* First, besides being on test schedule, providing measurable proof that the magnetic fields are operating at an unheard of level of precision, the reactor has not actually fused the fuel! That is coming up next test run; 8 MW neutral beam injector and a 10 second run at temperature (Wikipedia). This phase is scheduled for sometime this year. It has not been proven to create energy and they are not dumping the thing to create "new designs" at all! The reactor is commissioned to 2020 (maybe 2025).

Let this be a warning to others! Do not trust Lame Stream Media to get science correct! Besides a bunch of photos the article is complete BS. I would be embarrassed to have my name stuck with it. So lets all point and laugh at the article!

On the plus side, at least people are being made aware (albeit incorrectly) about nuclear fusion.
edit on 10-3-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: It was mega which is million, my bad



posted on Mar, 14 2017 @ 03:34 PM
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Tokamak Energy’s contribution to putting fusion power into the grid by 2030: the ST40 prototype of a compact fusion reactor (By headline)

So HTS [high temperature superconducting] magnets allow for relatively small-size and low-power devices with high performance and widespread rapid commercial deployment opportunities. They also offer energy savings over conventional superconductors, which must be cooled to 4K (-269C). We plan to cool our HTS magnets to around 20K, though they remain superconducting up to 77K.

We have already built two experimental tokamaks and are constructing a third, the ST40. This is due to launch this Spring as part three of a five-stage plan to deliver fusion energy into the grid by 2030. It is designed to ultimately produce plasma temperatures of 100 million degrees (the right temperature range for controlled fusion on earth) though the near-term aim is to reach 15 million degrees (as hot as the centre of the sun) before the end of 2017. ST40 also aims to get within a factor of ten of energy breakeven conditions. To get even closer than that, we must then fine-tune the plasma density, temperature and confinement time.

Theengineer.co.uk, Feb. 21, 2017 - The route to commercial fusion electricity by 2030.

Tokamak Energy has a road map! The prototype use regular low temperature superconductors so the model mentioned, ST40, may be a prototype but it is also a proof of concept (spherical tokamak and smaller size). The part quoted above are the future plans of upgrading to high temp superconducting magnets. That provides a couple benefits, one is less costly cooling; two, is stronger magnetic field strength. The last is important because a fusion reactor size scales downward as magnetic strength increases which again keeps costs down.

This will be a fun one to watch this year! This and W7-X when it comes back online. Maybe PPPL will have concluded their root cause analysis (RCA) on their magnet failure this year too. With KSTAR (South Korea) and EAST (China) still in operation the year should be full of fusion news!



posted on Mar, 20 2017 @ 03:04 PM
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The system has two emitters with three neutral beam sources each. One emitter targets the core of the plasma while the other targets the edge to exert leverage over the plasma as a whole. A flexible magnet system allows physicists to further control the plasma rotation distribution. In general, the algorithm uses the magnetic coils and the neutral beam emitters in different combinations to change how different regions of the plasma rotate.

The algorithm also balances the effects of the magnets and the neutral beams to make sure the overall plasma doesn't lurch roughly from one speed to another. The aim is to achieve a particular amount of plasma heat, or stored energy, along with the desired plasma rotation -- an innovation that an earlier version of the algorithm lacked.

Goumiri and the team tested the new controller algorithm on a simulated tokamak created by the computer code TRANSP, a PPPL-designed program used in magnetic fusion research around the world. The test showed that the algorithm could successfully modify both the plasma's rotation profile and stored energy in ways that would increase the plasma's stability.

In the future, Goumiri hopes to test her controller algorithm on NSTX-U.

ScienceDaily.com, March 20, 2017 - New feedback system could allow greater control over fusion plasma.

Nice to hear about NSTX-U! Sounds like they are taking a page out of the stellarator handbook by using external coils. But hey, what ever it takes! PPPL has busy in upgrades of reactor control now. I have counted 3 in the last year. Along with a plasma roadmap they have control down. Once they can get their device up and running they can feed actual plasma data into their simulation software and really nail it down! Their results are shared with researchers around the world.



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 01:58 PM
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General Fusion has revealed that one of the most critical and complex areas of its research and development – plasma injector technology – has now reached the minimum performance levels required for a larger scale, integrated prototype. This marks a significant step in the company’s progress toward development of its fusion energy technology.

...

If you compare our approach to fusion to how a diesel engine works, we inject the fuel into a compression chamber and compress it until it gets hot enough to ignite. In our case the fuel is plasma, and the ignition is fusion.” said Chief Financial Officer and Interim CEO Bruce Colwill. “The investment we have made in our plasma injection program over the last few years has paid off.”

...

General Fusion’s proprietary fusion system is designed to use compression to heat a magnetized plasma of superheated hydrogen gas to temperatures above 150 million degrees Celsius. The company’s program is now advancing to the next stage – developing and integrating plasma injector, compression chamber and pistons in the design of a larger scale prototype.

Generalfusion.com, March 6, 2017 - Longer lasting plasma a milestone in General Fusion’s development plans.

This guy comes out of the US Naval Research Laboratory and has incorporated their design from the 1970s (forget the name) but they were spinning a container and confining a plasma. The design was well thought out and there is a PDF presentation that was given explaining the approach. Then, like most fusion research, funding was halted! No reason given, typical, "Thanks. But no thanks".

After leaving NRL, the guy asked if he could use the idea. Navy said, "Sure!" So he finds a lab in Canada starts General Fusion and redesigns the original Navy idea.

So they are taking heated (i.e., molten) lead, adding lithium, spinning the mixture in a cylinder which sits in a sphere (more on that in a sec). The mixture collects on either end due to centrifugal forces. In the gap, they add deuterium and tritium (hydrogen isotopes) until they get a proper proportion. When they reach the proper heat/saturation they (will) fire 300 pistons placed in the surround sphere to compress the mixture! The pressure increases the entire lead mixture heats to fusion levels and ignition happens! The produced neutrinos heat the lead mixture which is channeled off to a heat exchange and used for power generation. Rinse and repeat.

This is a crazy concept!

This news release basically says they are ready for an integrated prototype after their plasma injectors met their specs performance wise and timeline wise. Canada has funded them heavily as has the private sector. After the prototype, they believe they can build a reactor and be producing electricity by 2030.

ETA, Wikipedia: General Fusion for more specific info if interested.
edit on 23-3-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add url



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 06:41 PM
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WEll a lose of time but ill reply.
Even if you build a Fusion power device it will not ever produce more energy then it uses any more then the sun produces more energy then it uses .
It is a dead end science know this people who fund it know this .The main reason they fund these things isnt because they believe they can create never ending power for free it is so they can learn how the effect can be used to create other effects .
AT a point will the reaction keep going without more power ?( sure the sun does this just fine alest until all the fuel has been converted and is no longer fuel then it stops .No reactor could be built to have enough fuel to last more then mints .
The sun millions of times the size of earth has enough fuel to last oo 10 billion years or so then it starts dieing .and the amount of energy needed to start and keep the reaction going ( not like you can turn the sucker off and it will run anyway you know .Will always exced the amount of energy gained .
sure you can add new feul and keep it going as long as you like but will never power citys with it .
5 decades or 5000 it can not ever produce more energy then it uses .



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: midnightstar






You have absolutely no idea of what you speak.



posted on Mar, 24 2017 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: midnightstar

OK. I will try and explain it.

The sun is a different beast because of gravity and free floating in space. It is also not a closed system neither is a fusion reactor. There are three terms one needs to discuss the function of a fusion reactor.

Break even - The point where the energy used to create a reaction is equal to the energy generated
Ignition - The point where conditions are right for a fusion reaction to occur
Sustain - Keeping the reaction going by adding more fuel

True. There has not been a reactor that has reached break even. But it is close. When ignition happens you need to sustain it by adding more fuel. You also have to add more heat; typically, neutral beam injectors shoot fast moving hydrogen isotopes--the fuel--into the generated plasma. As the fuel fuses, fast moving neutrinos are ejected from the newly created helium particles. There are millions of these things firing all over the place every second. That kinetic energy is where the heat is transferred out. That is where you go over the break even point. That is how a nuclear fusion reactor becomes the greatest invention of mankind.

For the laser type, you have to repeat creating the ignition each shot. Even then you get a small net gain otherwise nobody would bother even trying.




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