National Ignition Facility has gone Silent

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posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 09:44 AM
Conspiracy? Gov hiding results or lazy web staff?

After consistant montly updates to their web news the NIF has gone silent just as they were ready to fire it up. Did they test it yet? What did they find? Why the suden silence? Were the result classified?

Why the Silence?

All these questions and more.

This thing could open up time travel communications, a black hole, worm holes oh my! LHC may be just big circle museum if this thing works!

Why the Silence?

Science at the Extremes

Only three places in the space and time of our universe have ever produced anything close to these conditions: the Big Bang, when the universe was born in a primordial fireball; the interiors of stars and planets; and thermonuclear weapons.

I worry when they attempt to create miniture suns!


NIF, a program of the U.S. Department of Energy´s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), will focus the intense energy of 192 giant laser beams on a BB-sized target filled with hydrogen fuel, fusing the hydrogen atoms' nuclei and releasing many times more energy than it took to initiate the fusion reaction. NIF is capable of creating temperatures and pressures similar to those that exist only in the cores of stars and giant planets and inside nuclear weapons. Achieving nuclear fusion in the laboratory is at the heart of the directorate´s three complementary missions:

How it works

Does this reassure you? Sound bit like a BP safety plan....

As researchers develop concepts for IFE power plants, they are mindful of the need to develop safe and environmentally acceptable sources of energy. Use of low-activation materials and design options such as the thick liquid wall chamber can minimize the production of activated material over the life of the plant. Control of tritium will be important for any type of fusion power plant, since its release dominates consequences in analyses of hypothetical accident scenarios.

posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 09:48 AM
This is a subject we have been discussing on my HED physics thread. Bedlam has been posting some particularly interesting items about this.

posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 09:57 AM
I was just on the web page the other day reading about all the recent announcements and developments.


posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 10:38 AM
reply to post by Xeven

Originally posted by Xeven
Conspiracy? Gov hiding results or lazy web staff?

After consistant montly updates to their web news the NIF has gone silent just as they were ready to fire it up. Did they test it yet? What did they find? Why the suden silence? Were the result classified?

Perhaps it was tested already and the results were classified due to an extraordinary weapons potential. Or perhaps they are in the final stages of preparation and are testing and retesting the safety systems. Silence like this is to be expected since the results of the experiment could be beneficial to our enemies.

posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 11:32 AM
"Our enemies"... That made me feel butterflies in my belly

Back to the topic, as always the title sugested something much more "tangible" than the content. Have you tried mailing them? Scientist are generally cool if you show interest in what they are doing.
I'll have to the agree with the poster that said that they were probably in a testing, retesting phase, or maybe they are in course with the workplan, i don't know how much time is needed for the preparation, execution and primary review of the experiment.
I'd assume it's a rather complicated process.

It's an amazing subject, thanks for tracking it, any more news are welcome.


posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 06:05 PM
Sustained fusion in a tokamak style reactor is a ridiculous waste of money.
especially true since, a "Green nuclear" technology has been around since the 60's.

Uranium Is So Last Century — Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke

Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.

[edit on 26-6-2010 by zzombie]

posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 06:23 PM
The Principal Associate Director of NIF & Photon Science, Edward Moses, gave a speech in San Francisco 10 days ago. It can be located here. And there are plenty of publicity stories released in the past week or so available through Google.

I'm thinking there might be delays and difficulties they don't want to publicize, due to the highly political and controversial nature of it's main goal, clean green energy.

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by zzombie

the reason they didn't pursue molten salt may have been success in a light water design:

t 12:30 am, on August 26, 1977, the operators at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station began lifting the central modules of the experimental breeder reactor core into the blanket section. At 04:38 am, the reactor reached criticality. During the next five years, the core produced more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours of thermal power - equivalent to about 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of electrical power - with a current retail value of approximately $200 million.

It showed no signs of approaching the end of its useful life. It was obvious from the core performance that the reactor was at least a very efficient converter with a long life core. However, in October, 1982, the reactor was shut down for the final time under budgetary pressures and a desire to conduct the detailed fuel examination needed to determine if breeding had actually occurred.

A report on the experiment was quietly issued in 1987. The core contained approximately 1.3% more fissile material after producing heat for five years than it did before initial operation. Breeding had occurred in a light water reactor system using most of the same equipment as used for conventional reactor plants.

the reactor was a pretty standard LWR including some thorium for breeding purposes. the advantages are clear, no new design, much less frequent reloads, therefore longer operation intervals (barring some other limitation like fuel rod embrittlement) and tadaaa: much less byproducts, because you can actually burn them over time, actually adding power....

that's why i'm truely sceptical about _ANY_ energy source like this (read: reliable and powerful) ever taking off, it has been done already (with success) and ignored, the technology is apparently undesired by certain people who happen to have enough clout to stop it.

of course, part of the game is telling people about liquid sodium cooling, (slightly more) dangerous fast spectrum reactor designs, or unproven and problematic types (pebble & molten salt, for example). just for the record: any 'nuclear waste' isotope can either be bred to a higher one or, ultimately, fissioned by just thermal neutrons, as used in any light water reactor (most common type). the reason LWRs have to be refuelled is not lack of fuel, but accumulation of neutron scavengers ('poisons'). breeding helps keeping the neutron balance positive for a longer time, which allows more of these transuranic isotopes to be burned, alleviating the waste problem a great deal. with reprocessing, they could of course be subjected to any number of cycles, effectively keeping the total amount existing at a given time to a minimum.

the only alterations needed for today's LWRs would be removal of absorbers that aren't breeding (except in emergencies of course), power fine tuning using fuel and breeding material geometry rather than absorbing materials and a neutron reflecting blanket for optimized neutron economy for breeding and better reactor shell life. it has been done (see above) why it's not in use is anybody's guess, but one thing is imho certain: we aren't going to see it, which means energy is kept artificially scarce. Thorium is a cheap byproduct of rare earth mining, what's usually considered nuclear waste isn't (it's just another type of fuel) and safety is a concern than can be alleviated by burying the thing (core) at an appropriate depth.

still, it's going to happen just as much as regenerative medicine, which means 'a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away'. there is just too much fissile material around from bombs, which can be sold again at a premium (first as a bomb, now as a fuel, first enrichment then dilution
) along with the prospect of literally life long contracts for depositing and guarding perfectly usable transuranics, which could be unearthed and used in a pinch - once people have paid three times through the nose already and for essentially the same thing.
edit on 2010.10.12 by Long Lance because: (no reason given)

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