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Laser Fusion Plant

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posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 11:16 PM

Laser physicists in Europe have put forward plans to build a £500m facility to study a new approach to laser fusion. A panel of scientists from seven European Union countries believes that a "fast ignition" laser facility could make a significant contribution to fusion research, as well as supporting experiments in other areas of physics. The facility could be up and running by the middle of the next decade.

Wow.... This sounds really cool. I think that if they could make this work it would be a really big deal in the developing world of fusion technology. It's a shame only a small percentage of their time will be devoted to other physics research but if they can make the plant work then I think its all good.

Link to Original Article

posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 11:18 PM
Alright, maybe if you guys can figure it out we can have a new energy source.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 12:42 AM
Sounds sort of like America's NIF. But NIF is mostly to study fusion reaction for nuclear weapons.


posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 08:53 AM
For some reason I have noticed how the US takes large pieces of important technology and builds BOMBS with them.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 10:15 AM
This also sounds like ITER, a similar fusion project that a professor at school told me about.

I had a pretty good discussion with this prof about the possibilities of fusion. He told me that fusion has actually been achieved many times, but always it has taken more energy to put into the process than we have ever gotten out of it. The idea with ITER is that if a big enough reactor is used, that there might be a net gain of energy, though they don't know for sure if that will work or not. If I remember right, they are building this in Canada somewhere, in Manitoba I think, though it is an international effort.

Even if this fusion reactor in Europe doesn't solve our energy problems (and I doubt it will) it will still be a good research tool, and it could be the first step to learning how to create a fusion reaction that will actually give us energy. We know it's theoretically possible, after all, look at the sun, it is one giant energy-producing fusion reaction.

Also, as a complete aside, I notice Darkpr0 that on the left it says you are in Alberta, Canada. So am I
That makes us practically neighbours! I'm in Edmonton, at the university of alberta.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 04:27 PM
The fact that it doesn't generate nuclear waste sounds very promising.
It hope this works out as planned.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 05:35 AM

Originally posted by AceOfBase
The fact that it doesn't generate nuclear waste sounds very promising.

It DOES generate nuclear waste, just less and of different nature and halflives.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 08:31 AM
I thought Nuclear Fusion didn't produce nuclear waste. Oh well. Did anyone glean what element or compound they used as fuel? I either forgot or didn't see lol. The page ain't loading for me ATM. I'm on Dialup. *shudder*

edit: I'm in Red Deer. Or Red Deer county. You used to be able to SEE my house from Highway 2 going to Calgary. Now the trees are too tall. Nice to meet you, neighbour!

[edit on 9/6/2005 by Darkpr0]

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 08:52 AM
Well I'm glad that somebody other than the US Department of Defense takes scientific research seriously. If we're lucky they'll find a practical form of fusion for energy production means. Of course on the other hand Europe might just go with the US's route and figure out how to make a bigger, better bomb.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 09:13 AM

Originally posted by Simon666
It DOES generate nuclear waste, just less and of different nature and halflives.

Ok then.
I had read that wrong when they said the following:

"the energy of the neutrons would be used to generate electricity without the emission of greenhouse gases or the generation of long-lived nuclear waste."

[edit on 6-9-2005 by AceOfBase]

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:03 AM
It means that you'll have a lot less nuclear waste and the waste you have will mostly have short halflives = not long lived. That sure it positive, but it is different from no nuclear waste at all.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:27 PM
Although laser fusion sounds good, I think it would cause more trouble than its worth . £500m on an energy project that may or may not work...I think we should be spending that money on building things that we know will work or that have a better chance of working. Why not use that money to build large solar panels in space that transmit the energy back to Earth periodically?

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:29 PM
Spiderman 2, anyone?

In all seriousness, I've thought for a while using lasers is one of the best paths towards fusion. You can use it as you like, and basically multiply the energy put in as much as you want with far fewer limitations.

Dragon: Good thinking there. It's the best part about science, that every failure isn't a failure but a clue as to how to be successfull.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:37 PM
I don't know much about laser fusion but I find it interesting and try to learn what I can.

My question I have yet to have answered with laser fusion is how is it controlled? I know there must be a way to control the reaction but I have yet to learn how or with what means it's done. It is my understanding that with a conventional nuclear reactor fuel rods are raised and lowered to control the reaction. My nightmare thought is that with a laser induced reaction it could get out of control and become a live star or sun rate here on earth!
So how do they control the reaction to prevent a star from being born

Here are some cool pictures of Tokamak reactors

I understand that in a Tokamak reactor an EM field is used to contain the hot plasma, but I have a few questions. Is the plasma the result of laser induced fusion? How is power extracted from the plasma? What would happen the reactor was running with plasma inside and all, and say somehow the power (electricity) to the reactor was lost which would cause the EM field to not exist??


[edit on 6-9-2005 by warpboost]

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:33 AM
well, the answer is that the laser-fusion isnt controled,the concept behind is simple, is just to use mini-DT spheres and burst them under veeeeery high terawatts -but low powered by pulse- lasers continously by pulses , maybe a reactor must burn docens of spheres per second, maybe more, so the reactor use fast and continous pulses burning one sphere by pulse, the spheres are veeeery small, so you dont need special confinement, not like the magnetic ones used in the tokamaks hell

the energy is optained mainly by the neutrons, not by the heat, the neutrons can react with litium, and generate heat, but i dont know if in fact that process is used only for investigation or there are other projects that can use the fusion heat

there are other concepts studied than only tokas and lasers, like the spheral tokamak, or the magentics mirrors

the lasers reactors must face different problems, like the hidrogen/helium left in the chamber that reduce the efficiency of the laser, the shape of the sphere, the energy transfer problems from the laser to the sphere -a homogeneus burst-, and the low efficiency, that is the worst off all problems

hmm searching, and searching i just found something very interesting, the fusor, a concept of electrostatic confinement

[edit on 7-9-2005 by grunt2]

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:54 AM
if im not wrong these pics are from the JET reactor, not??

there is a link for the NOVA project -now dismantled-, for some a technologic wonder, for others one of the foolish technological mistakes

i like such kind of machines, they look like from other planet, or like a sci-fi movie, there is the pic of the NOVA "core"

btw, one friend told me that nuclear fusion is a stupid idea, since goes agaisnt the entropy concept, because is a process to link together atoms, instead to degrade in others, what you think guys???

[edit on 7-9-2005 by grunt2]

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 08:41 PM

Originally posted by iownabox
I think we should be spending that money on building things that we know will work or that have a better chance of working.

If we put all our effort into things that we already know that work instead if things we don't know will work we'd all still be migrating with the herd and hitting each other with large rocks.

It's foolish to stay with the stuff we know instead of what's new and most likely better. We could have just stuck with a 2200 pount dumb bomb for an aircraft. But no. Instead now we have our JDAM bombs and our Smart Bombs, and our Cruise Missiles. All of which are in some way better than the dumb bomb. We had to take risks that the project would fail with each of these ideas. But they DIDN'T. And there's a good chance this one won't either.

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