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1.21 Gigawatts!? National Ignition Facility Announces: LIFE Fusion Within 6 to 18 Months!

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posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:24 AM
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Scientisits at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory expect to obtain net energy gain fusion this year, and to take it commercial thereafter!


Controlled nuclear fusion with net energy gain is on schedule to occur later this year at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California.

That was the message from NIF's director for laser fusion energy, Mike Dunne, who spoke at a Photonics West 2012 plenary talk in January. Optics.org covered the event:



"We are now in a position to say with some confidence that ignition will happen in the next 6-18 months," stated [Dunne], adding that he felt personally that the breakthrough was likely to happen in around nine months.


LIFE Fusion on Target for Ignition This Year

Using their Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) device, they anticipate that, over the next 6 or 7 months, they will have completed the final work to ensure that the reactor remains intact after the initial ignition.


While fusion ignition is on schedule, the next eight or so months will be crunch time for NIF scientists. There remains a few key hurdles to overcome, chief among them: actually controlling the fusion reaction.

"As the implosion proceeds at about a million miles an hour, can you create that tiny spark of fusion burn at the very center of the system, without the rest of the system mixing together? The next few months of work will be predominately focused on [this obstacle,]" Dunne said.

Already assuming a successful test in the coming months, scientists at NIF are planning for a fusion future. This has been made realistic by recent advancements in optics, which have dramatically lowered the cost and size of laser technology. In addition, scientists have introduced the concept of line replaceable units into the design of LIFE power plants. This will allow future fusion power plants to minimize downtime for equipment repairs.


Although they do not have a timetable for actual commercial production, they are confident that they have the means of delivering controlled fusion power within their grasp!


Already assuming a successful test in the coming months, scientists at NIF are planning for a fusion future. This has been made realistic by recent advancements in optics, which have dramatically lowered the cost and size of laser technology. In addition, scientists have introduced the concept of line replaceable units into the design of LIFE power plants. This will allow future fusion power plants to minimize downtime for equipment repairs.

"When ignition and gain are achieved on NIF, we will have a substantive delivery plan to take us to a commercial plant," Dunne told Science and Technology Review. "We will be ready to go."


I'm going to start looking for a DeLorean in the next few months; just in case.

Do we really need any more Solyndra's when we are this close? Where're our priorities?

jw




posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:27 AM
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Getting the reaction to start is a major step.
Sustaining it and keeping the apparatus in one piece may prove to be a larger one.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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Yeah, I read the part about "keeping it in one piece" after ignition and I thought, dang.

Just pretend the quotation marks are my fingers, because I am not directly quoting anyone.
edit on 25-2-2012 by calnorak because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:45 AM
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Think of the possibilities if they succeed though,
There seems to be more information surfacing about other methods of energy, be it this one or the LENR style, or perhaps some 'breakthrough with cold fusion', never know, good find



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:50 AM
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Time tables like 6-18 months never end well. Hopefully it works...


...Hopefully.


I am waiting for fusion news where the timeline includes yesterday. That will be something worth talking about...



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:58 AM
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reply to post by AzureSky
 


If it goes as planned, they need to get about a dozen at CERN.
I'm sure they would like to have acees.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Yep. Think of all the unforseen problems with the energy sources we already have.... this rose, like any other, is bound to have atleast one thorn.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 

The deuterium-tritium reaction produces (along with a bunch of energy and an alpha particle) an extra neutron. That neutron has to go somewhere. Where ever it ends up (assuming they don't just let it go zinging off) it's likely to create a radioactive atom.

It is not a reaction free of nasty waste.
edit on 2/25/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:53 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 

In your opinion, would that LENR thing that NASA were working on (or at least looking at?) be more likely to "happen", be safer and produce less or no waste? It's mainly Double Dutch and way over my head once I leave the schoolboy basics. I won't mention Rossi as that seems a little up in the air too although I must admit it would be wonderful to have a cheaper source of everyday power.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:56 AM
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reply to post by LightSpeedDriver
 

From what I can tell, what NASA was taking a look at has nothing to do with nuclear fusion.
But if it works, it sounds good.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:59 AM
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I'm somewhat reminded of Spiderman2 with Dr Octopus' invention... 12/21/2012 is within the time frame they're talking about!



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 02:10 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 

I had to double check I didn't confuse it with some US University. A short talk by Dr Joseph Zawodny, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center. I can only point you at the page containing a short video and a bit of info (it does sound a bit like a Rossi plug but that aside) which I'm sure means more to you than me.

Low Energy Nuclear Reactor, some type of cold fusion device.
Link
I'm sure you've probably seen it on the Rossi threads already.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by LightSpeedDriver
 

Despite what fans of Rossi would have us believe, I don't think LENR is the same thing as nuclear fusion.

Here is what Zawodny says about it. Note that he never uses the word fusion.

There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR or as proof that Rossi’s e-cat really works. Many extraordinary claims have been made in 2010. In my scientific opinion, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find a distinct absence of the latter. So let me be very clear here. While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy.

joe.zawodny.com...



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 02:34 AM
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They are a day late and a dollar short the Rossi E-Cat LENR device is safer and already proven to work. This is just a diversion to try and steall Rossi's thunder!
edit on 25-2-2012 by hawkiye because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 02:38 AM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by LightSpeedDriver
 

Despite what fans of Rossi would have us believe, I don't think LENR is the same thing as nuclear fusion.

Here is what Zawodny says about it. Note that he never uses the word fusion.

There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR or as proof that Rossi’s e-cat really works. Many extraordinary claims have been made in 2010. In my scientific opinion, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find a distinct absence of the latter. So let me be very clear here. While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy.

joe.zawodny.com...


Good for Joe frankly who cares a long list of whose who prominent scientist have confirmed it, Joe is not the final word now that he seem to be backtracking a bit.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 02:43 AM
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reply to post by hawkiye
 

Yes. Well it's interesting that people claim Zawodney's youtube video proves that Rossi's device works. He's not backtracking at all.

edit on 2/25/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 02:52 AM
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I knew I should have added "I deliberately didn't mention the Rossi e-Cat device as it is still controversial and unverified".



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 03:58 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 



The deuterium-tritium reaction produces (along with a bunch of energy and an alpha particle) an extra neutron. That neutron has to go somewhere.


Neutron radiation shiielding and confinement will certainly have to be dealt withl but I am confident this will be addressed. Of course, they could alter the reactants once they perfect the process as well, although the yield may not be as great.

jw



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 07:52 AM
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Safety and Environment
Inherent safety and environmental sustainability are key benefits of fusion. Key characteristics include:

The source term disappears when the system is off or suspends operations.This is in contrast to a fission reactor, where nuclear reactions are sustained for an extended period.

A runaway reaction, or meltdown, is simply not possible.The system contains only tiny amounts (milligrams) of fuel at any point in time, and is only “on” for a billionth of a second per second (equivalent to a small fraction of a second per year).

No cooling, external power, or active intervention is required in the event of system shutdown (deliberate or otherwise).This is because the residual decay heat is low (at the few-MW level), with no need for external cooling. Upon system shutdown, the engine can be simply left standing—with or without the presence of its coolant.

There is no spent fuel, and no requirement for geological storage of radioactive waste.The byproduct of fusion is helium gas.

IFE plants are designed with a low and segregated tritium inventory, and low activation materials—at levels that can have no offsite consequences either during normal operations or during an accident.

The consequence of a "design basis accident" would be suspension of operations and possibly fire. Electricity would cease to be produced, but there would be no offsite impact.

The consequences of accidents significantly beyond the design basis are well within regulatory limits, and represent a paradigm change from the dangers posed by nuclear power or gas transmission pipelines.


Apparently it doesn't run very 'hot'.


The fusion chamber includes a meter-thick region that contains lithium (as a liquid metal, molten salt, or solid compound). This serves two purposes. First, it absorbs the fusion output energy, heating up to about 600 degrees Celsius.


Piqued my interest to look into this more.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


Good job, but will the lithium also shield neutron radiation?

The concept seems great and more worthwhile than the solar debacles out in the CA desert.

jw




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