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New record for fusion

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posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 11:20 AM

Just saw this,

A laser-driven technique for creating fusion that dispenses with the need for radioactive fuel elements and leaves no toxic radioactive waste is now within reach, say researchers.


Hydrogen-boron fusion produces no neutrons and, therefore, no radioactivity in its primary reaction. And unlike most other sources of power production -- like coal, gas and nuclear, which rely on heating liquids like water to drive turbines -- the energy generated by hydrogen-boron fusion converts directly into electricity. But the downside has always been that this needs much higher temperatures and densities -- almost 3 billion degrees Celsius, or 200 times hotter than the core of the Sun.

However, dramatic advances in laser technology are close to making the two-laser approach feasible, and a spate of recent experiments around the world indicate that an 'avalanche' fusion reaction could be triggered in the trillionth-of-a-second blast from a petawatt-scale laser pulse, whose fleeting bursts pack a quadrillion watts of power. If scientists could exploit this avalanche, Hora said, a breakthrough in proton-boron fusion was imminent.

"It is a most exciting thing to see these reactions confirmed in recent experiments and simulations," said Hora, an emeritus professor of theoretical physics at UNSW. "Not just because it proves some of my earlier theoretical work, but they have also measured the laser-initiated chain reaction to create one billion-fold higher energy output than predicted under thermal equilibrium conditions."

Together with 10 colleagues in six nations -- including from Israel's Soreq Nuclear Research Centre and the University of California, Berkeley -- Hora describes a roadmap for the development of hydrogen-boron fusion based on his design, bringing together recent breakthroughs and detailing what further research is needed to make the reactor a reality.

Laser Initiated Hydrogen/Boron Fusion

posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:28 PM
a reply to: punkinworks10

That is the goal! Electricity directly from proton + Boron-11 fusion!

Petawatt lasers! Quadrillion! Avalanche! You got to love it when words like that are used!

Instead of the 100+ lasers, dropping it down to two is a drastic step. Then actually doing the p-B reaction is just as crazy cool! Using the pulse lengths themselves to cascade a reaction would be... words fail me!

Here is some other laser news that is a good read. High-energy Lasers: Compact ultra-intense lasers and nanostructures open a path to extreme pressures.

The nano array spreads out the laser pulse to evenly heat the target. They have created an area next to the array that creates ultrahigh energy density. That is even more than the NIF is doing.

I do not care who gets fusion working. Just that it happens!

We are having our Barleywine Festival at the local pub (like the 12 Day Advent calendar but with beer!). There are dudes that I only see during this time period. So I was talking to one guy when this other guy sat down in the open barstool right next to us. I don't remember how we got on the topic of nuclear fusion but my bar stool buddy and I tag teamed this poor guy with everything we knew! He thought we had sat down and discussed how split up the task of this topic. The look on his face when we say at the same time, "I haven't seen this guy in a year" was priceless!

Now I can tell him all about p-B reactions with petawatt lasers creating a cascading avalanche!!

posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 12:53 PM
Magnetic breakthrough!

By combining the two [low temperature superconductor and high temp SC], the team at MagLab were able to create a powerful superconducting magnet that overcomes the limitations of low-temperature materials.

32T [name of their new designed magnet] uses a conventional low-temperature superconductor, and a high-temperature superconductor called YBCO made of yttrium, barium, copper and oxygen, which has a critical temperature of about 93 Kelvin (-180 Celsius or -292 Fahrenheit - we told you it was relative).

The magnet took years to design, and the team developed new techniques for insulating, reinforcing, and de-energising the system. Now that they have those techniques, they can try to develop the magnet even further.

"We've opened up an enormous new realm," said Huub Weijers, who oversaw the magnet's construction.

"I don't know what that limit is, but it's beyond 100 tesla. The required materials exist. It's just technology and dollars that are between us and 100 tesla.", Dec. 15, 2017 - This Superconducting Magnet Has Shattered The Record For World's Strongest.

32 Tesla is a major achievement. Testing begins next year as other scientists can get their hands on this one.

Lockheed's Compact Fusion Reactor is sized for 15 T. If this announcement is true, then the CFR could be even smaller since size scales to the power of 4 as magnetic strength scales up.

Lets see if I can basic math! 7 meters is 23 feet (rough guestimate). 15 T can now be 30 T. scaled down a fourth, 5.75 feet?! Say, 6 feet, or even under 10 feet! Not the back of a flatbed diesel truck but a pickup! Providing 100 MW of power. Toss in a liquid lithium limiter, heat exchange with either molten salt or make supercritical CO2 for a SCO2 turbine, ye gads man!

If they can make 40T or 50T... let alone 100T...

Money for nothing, and the chicks for free!!

posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 06:00 PM

For decades, experiments showed that the confinement degraded when the rotation was reduced. When the [plasma] rotation [is] slowed, the plasma become more turbulent and energy leaked out faster. Scientists have discovered a new steady-state plasma operation regime at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility that suppresses turbulence via magnetic shear and does not rely on rotation.

In the new plasma operation regime, the beneficial effect of rotation shear is replaced by magnetic shear. Magnetic shear also opposes the formation of large turbulent eddies, which are a concern in fusion reactors. Maintaining a high degree of plasma confinement without plasma rotation could enable the economically attractive operation of a steady-state fusion reactor. The low transport achieved in these studies leads to very high levels of performance through a “transport barrier” in the plasma, approaching plasma parameters that would be required in fusion reactor power plants.

A collaboration of U.S.- and China-based magnetic fusion scientists is developing the physics basis for maintaining excellent energy confinement even in low-rotation plasmas where confinement normally suffers. In joint experiments on the DIII-D tokamak (San Diego, USA), scientists demonstrated an operating scenario known as “high poloidal beta (βP) scenario.” The scenario achieves improved energy confinement quality relative to standard H-mode (H98≥1.5) through the formation of an internal transport barrier at a large plasma radius. The confinement persists even at low plasma rotation. To achieve this result, the international team systematically analyzed the influence of toroidal rotation, plasma pressure, and current profile on turbulence suppression both in experiments and simulations., Dec. 19, 2017 - New Physics Understanding Provides Attractive Path for Developing Fusion Energy via a Steady-State Tokamak.

H-mode is the high confinement of the plasma. Beta is the ratio of the plasma pressure to the magnetic pressure. A beta of one is considered a goal (Lockheed says their confinement scheme can reach a beta of 1, and above). Poloid is just a shape.

Tokamak is the donut shaped nuclear fusion reactor. As the fuel is heated, it creates a state called a plasma, a current is induced to help control the hot plasma. As the current flies around the donut shape the plasma too begins to rotate. Too much rotation can plasma to arc (like a solar flare), which can damage the reactor.

This team did the calculations and swapped rotation shear to magnetic shear. This in turn is controlled by the superconducting magnets which keeps the plasma from forming eddies. This was done in computer simulations with real data from previous experiments. The method was demonstrated on the DIII device and confirmed by EAST.

Is one of the last steps to actually creating a plasma that can be contained and heated to the conditions of ignition??

posted on Jan, 17 2018 @ 04:04 PM
First, there was a new newsletter from the W7-X fusion reactor (link). Highlights: 30 second plasma shots; pumping 75 MJ of power in; new pellet feeder is working; they can evenly distribute heat flux across the divertor tiles.

Next, is main stream story about tokamaks. Over at the PPPL, they discovered a way to control the vertical position of the plasma inside of a tokamak. The story was more of a blurb at the Princeton site itself. They were able to use their modeling software to change the confinement scheme to stretch the plasma vertically. Doing so reduces the turbulence at the end. They handed their findings to South Korea and their KSTAR reactor. The result was spectacular!

Now, a team led by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has sharply improved the ability to control the vertical position. The result? The new control algorithm stabilizes the plasma position for record tall plasmas in KSTAR that exceed even the KSTAR design specifications., Jan. 17, 2018 - Superconducting tokamaks are standing tall.

KSTAR is testing equipment for the ITER fusion device in France. By using real data recorded in other tokamaks in their simulations, they were able to modulate the magnetic field. The change uses less power to reach that state.

PPPL provided the pellet feeder to W7-X. They also have AI software to stabilize plasma inside reactors. Now, if they could just get their reactor, NSTX-U, back up and running, then more announcements would probably start rolling out!

posted on Jan, 26 2018 @ 12:39 PM

Remember this diagram??

Well, I found more information on what Skunkworks has done. The green arrows going in either direction are kind of misleading. Looking at the diagram, imagine there is energy entering at the left, straight down the center axis. LM is using Lanthanum Hexaboride as a cathode source. As the electrons move towards the center, they are blasted by the neutral beam injector. The plasma then inflates like a balloon where the internal coils keep them confined as shown. The plasma is rotating and tries to leak out down the center between the internal coils (weakest spot) where it encounters the external coils. It starts to circulate from the pinched areas out to the top, then it is pushed back down. They have to keep the plasma pressure at a certain level to create a kind of balancing act. A Russian plasma physicists named this technique a "Galatea belt" where the inherent magnetism of the plasma itself helps to keep it check when it encounters another magnetic field.

The whole thing is a conveyer belt of plasma racing towards the center where the fuel can fuse, or it rushes back out to the edge where it is pushed back towards the center to start again.

The cathode is hooked up to capacitors that can fire once a minute. The neutral beam injector fires for 3 milliseconds and inject 1 megawatt of hot ions (for fusion it will be D-T) into the plasma. The whole thing reaches ~110 million Kelvin which may not be the optimal temperature for the set up (i.e., it has to get hotter). Energy loss is a big concern. There are beams (called "stalks") holding up the magnetic coils that may absorb heat from the plasma. At the far right they drain out impurities and unspent fuel which also drains heat. I wonder if a liquid lithium limiter would be a better method of shielding the reactor walls rather than just a solid blanket?

Of course this is all just best guess from the researcher based on what has been published since LM has been quiet and has not published their research to the larger fusion community. First is a polemic about fusion research in general with the best guess T4 explanation starting at the section starting: Lockheed's Effort then continuing to the end.

A good read on what the T4 might be doing.

Source: - An Intensive Analysis of Lockheed-Martins’ Fusion Effort.

posted on Jan, 26 2018 @ 07:05 PM
I have link that is either the funniest thing or the neatest! - A Southern Utah scientist is studying potentially the most dense material in our solar system.

The claim is a fifth phase of hydrogen! And it is super dense (heavy). And he is using lasers. And he is the guy who invented Chums!
edit on 26-1-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: sentences readable be should

posted on Jan, 26 2018 @ 11:20 PM

originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: Phage

Until the proton-Boron reaction is perfected. Yes, heat water to turn a turbine. But we already have turbines... so just chuck out the coal and gas plants and save the planet!

As we have the generating, power conditioning, and distribution systems in place, the only thing needed is a new heat source to replace existing for steam generation or heating air for gas turbines. Everything else stays in place and there are no stranded assets.

posted on Jan, 27 2018 @ 12:12 AM

originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
I have link that is either the funniest thing or the neatest! - A Southern Utah scientist is studying potentially the most dense material in our solar system.

The claim is a fifth phase of hydrogen! And it is super dense (heavy). And he is using lasers. And he is the guy who invented Chums!

Whaaat, As in chums sunglass shoelace deel-e-o?

posted on Jan, 30 2018 @ 12:59 PM
a reply to: punkinworks10

The very one!! I know, that is a crazy story!

It must be like Formula 1, the Silly Season, is what it is called in F1. They need one for nuclear fusion too! First was the new, heavy phase of hydrogen. Now check this one out...

“The reason ITER is so large is that it is based on a 1997 design,” said Dinan. “Back then, without the supercomputing powers of today, size was the only way of countering the effect of turbulence in the plasma that would cause the fusion reactions to stop.

“Now, researchers have used modern supercomputer simulations to show that the key isn’t in fighting the hot plasma but learning to work with it.”

These computer simulations show that reactors on a much smaller scale are able to achieve commercial fusion power, opening up the potential for fusion technology in space travel and many other sectors once fusion technology becomes viable., Jan. 30, 2018 - Applied Fusion Systems targets smaller fusion reactor for interstellar travel.

They have not even achieved a hot plasma (as far as I know) but they re already talking of "interstellar travel"!! I do like the calling out of ITER as 1980s tech because it is but they do not speak of their own design. A "modified tokamak"... uhm, do you mean a tube? Because that is the easiest and best way to "vent hot plasma" as a propellant for space travel. And no mention of how to lift this to space first. Or what that could do to the engine.

This one I hope works because flying away from this rock has been a dream of mine for a while. This sounds more like Boeing's twitter over on Zaphod's thread. Another way to grab headline space and keep your company's name in the news.

posted on Feb, 1 2018 @ 11:45 AM

The Applied Fusion Systems, say's that fusion plasma can't be 'weaponized'...but aside from thermonuclear fusion bombs, a magnetically contained fusion plasma reactor, should be able to shape a electrically charged fusion plasma bolt or stream towards an intended military target, with the use of a magnetic funnel, that guides the plasma towards the target; with obvious devastating results!

posted on Feb, 1 2018 @ 12:10 PM
a reply to: Erno86

Just a plasma thrust engine would be cool!

There was a guy back in the 60's (I think), that planned on sending out satellites to a specific points, dropping off fuel pellets, so when fusion rockets did come around, they just run down the fuel pellets line gobbling them like Pac-man while reaching sub-light speed.

I like AFS' idea but it seem like vaporware right now. I've seen a picture at their website which looks like an ion engine. It is a tube with one end pointing out the back of the craft. I guess they keep it confined magnetically until the reach fusion pressure and temperature then release some plasma out the end. I am seeing something pulsed rather than continuous (my guess, and I am probably wrong!). Even then it would be a good burn!

Weaponized fusion? Part of the allure of fusion is that it takes effort to keep the reaction going and if the plasma density drops all the reactions stop. That means that distance would be a problem because your are increasing the volume the plasma has to occupy. I think an EM weapon using the energy produced by a fusion reactor would be a better option! Plus we already have such weapons (see distributed sound and light array).

Forget fighting over dirt if you can go to the stars!

posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 12:52 PM

I've seen a magnetically controlled fusion plasma shrouded foo fighter, back in 1976, and it looked like a miniature sun; with swirling plasma currents and no fiery tail. They (space aliens) have such a controlled fusion technology and we still don't.

posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 12:01 PM

SPARC is an evolution of a tokamak design that has been studied and refined for decades. This included work at MIT that began in the 1970s, led by professors Bruno Coppi and Ron Parker, who developed the kind of high-magnetic-field fusion experiments that have been operated at MIT ever since, setting numerous fusion records.

“Our strategy is to use conservative physics, based on decades of work at MIT and elsewhere,” Greenwald says. “If SPARC does achieve its expected performance, my sense is that’s sort of a Kitty Hawk moment for fusion, by robustly demonstrating net power, in a device that scales to a real power plant.”

Commonwealth Fusion Systems. CFS will join with MIT to carry out rapid, staged research leading to a new generation of fusion experiments and power plants based on advances in high-temperature superconductors — work made possible by decades of federal government funding for basic research.

“By putting the magnet development up front,” says Whyte, the Hitachi America Professor of Engineering and head of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, “we think that this gives you a really solid answer in three years, and gives you a great amount of confidence moving forward that you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of answering the key question, which is: Can you make net energy from a magnetically confined plasma?”, March 9, 2018 - MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power.

This whole thread started with MIT setting a new record for fusion right before the funding ran out. On the books, and being circulated around was the graduate research project where a team of nuclear physicists imagined making a modular reactor called ARC around 2014 or so (Affordable, Robust, Compact) . The idea was to rapid prototype "new" (back then) high temperature superconducting magnetic tapes made of YBCO. As nuclear fusion scales to the power of the magnetic confinement pressure (the larger the magnetic confinement, the smaller the reactor size has to be. The size scales to the power of 4 in magnetic strength. So if strength in the magnets go from 10T to 20 T, theoretically, the size shrinks to 1/4 the previous field strength size was. They usually go conservative and half the size in reactor design).

While the idea of ARC was coming together, a group of former alumni decided to stop relying upon government funding (and cut backs) by forming their own "crowd sourced" reactor. This changed the focus from a theoretical power plant size reactor to distributed, smaller, nuclear fusion reactors, SPARC (Small, Practical??, ARC).

The original SPARC talk I read was using REBCO tapes. They are scaling back to YBCO it looks like to get started. They say after after the 3 year superconducting tape research, it will be about 15 until a demo plants is made. They also have a name for the support group, Commonwealth Fusion Systems. That is what this announcement is about. There is another fusion interview at the MIT New sites in support of this announcement.

Interview, MIT News, 3Q: Zach Hartwig on MIT's big push on fusion.
edit on 9-3-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: Finish post and add link

posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 12:07 PM
will the bad guys who run the world and keep us enslaved to oil, they will do anything to stop this.
thats the sad part.

posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 01:30 PM
a reply to: dantanna

You can only drag your feet so long. That is what the government funding cuts are about: tossing out the anchor against this kind of research. That is why fusion research has gone private. Or in this announcement, collaborative between private and the university.

If you have followed the Lockheed fusion story this SPARC reactor has a bunch of similarities. They are aiming for small, 100 MW, 200MW, reactor sizes. They are both doing rapid prototyping and reiterative design phases. Both are using "new" YBCO (REBCO, if doable) superconducting tapes. Both are coming out of MIT and the years of research done there on various fusion devices over the years.

I almost believe that the Lockheed CFR announcement in 2014 was a warning shot to the oil, gas, and coal industries as to what is coming. One could put on one's tin foil hat and point at the auto industry switching over to EV by 2030 as at least one industry is heeding the warning.

When fusion reactors reach breakeven then oil will drop off (probably not die. Besides, it will take 30 - 50 years to get rid of the infrastructure in a safe and environmental manner). Coal is already dying without any help. Natural gas will always be around as there other things like helium deposits in them which nuclear fusion reactors need to currently cool their super conducting coils.

Just as there are different types of engines out there, there will be different types of nuclear fusion reactors out there. It is only a matter of time.

posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 07:54 PM
this just in,

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian energy company Eni will conduct research with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and invest in a company created by former MIT scientists to produce energy from nuclear fusion.

Fusion "is a goal that we are increasingly determined to reach quickly," Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a statement.

Eni will support CFS to develop the first commercial power plant producing energy by fusion, a safe, sustainable, virtually inexhaustible source without any emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases," Eni said.

The Italian company will also carry out research with MIT on plasma physics, advanced fusion and electromagnetic technologies, it said.

Italian ENI back USA fusion company

Really? Italy? Come on US, step it up

posted on Mar, 10 2018 @ 05:03 PM

originally posted by: Erno86

The Applied Fusion Systems, say's that fusion plasma can't be 'weaponized'...but aside from thermonuclear fusion bombs, a magnetically contained fusion plasma reactor, should be able to shape a electrically charged fusion plasma bolt or stream towards an intended military target, with the use of a magnetic funnel, that guides the plasma towards the target; with obvious devastating results!

No, not really. It wouldn't go more than a few dozen meters before spreading.

At best, if you have a highly neutronic DT tokamak and significant neutron moderation you could use it as a slow breeder for Pu239 from U238 and use that in an A-bomb.

posted on Mar, 13 2018 @ 03:32 PM

This changed the focus from a theoretical power plant size reactor to distributed, smaller, nuclear fusion reactors, SPARC (Small, Practical??, ARC).

Found a presentation on the original ARC where they call it "Smallest Possible ARC."

The YBCO tape statement was just really glossed over with no actual numbers given. From the ARC presentation, they are looking at a reactor about 20 M in diameter with 9 T superconducting magnets. SPARC would be 2.5 M diameter with magnets 10 - 13.5 T.

As pointed out earlier, the National Magnetic Lab created a combination low temp/high temp superconducting magnet where the YBCO is wound around the low temp magnet because it can still work in intense magnetic fields. That one weighs in at 32 T and is already beyond spec of what MIT dreamt up with their original ARC design.

If they are committed to reiterative design and rapid prototyping, it would move ARC down to the size of SPARC and put that one at an even smaller size... 1 M diameter for 100 MW of electricity? Maybe more if you swap out steam turbines for supercritical CO2. (Size and mag strength starts around the page labeled p. 80, with diagrams and charts).

If they ever figure out the REBCO grain issue and more densely pack it together so it is reliable like YBCO then who knows where the magnetic field strength would stop?

MIT PP on nuclear fusion reactors (pdf) - Fusion Energy and MIT's pathway to accelerated demonstration with high magnetic field tokamaks.

posted on Mar, 14 2018 @ 06:38 PM

Record-setting efficiency for generation of neutrons
March 14, 2018
Colorado State University
Nuclear fusion, the process that powers our sun, happens when nuclear reactions between light elements produce heavier ones. It's also happening -- at a smaller scale -- in a lab. Using a compact but powerful laser to heat arrays of ordered nanowires, scientists have demonstrated micro-scale nuclear fusion in the lab. They have achieved record-setting efficiency for the generation of neutrons - chargeless sub-atomic particles resulting from the fusion process.

Laser-heated nanowires produce micro-scale nuclear fusion

Smaller IS better

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