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Clean, limitless fusion power could arrive sooner than expected
Good news, denizens of Earth: If the findings from two premier research labs are to be believed, commercial nuclear fusion is feasible — and could arrive sooner than expected.
The first breakthrough comes from Sandia National Laboratories (the same engineers who brought us the fanless heatsink). At SNL, a research team has been working on a new way of creating fusion called magnetized liner inertial fusion (MagLIF). This approach is quite similar to the National Ignition Facility at the LLNL in California, where they fuse deuterium and tritium (hydrogen isotopes) by crushing and heating the fuel with 500 trillion watts of laser power. Instead of lasers, MagLIF uses a massive magnetic pulse (26 million amps), created by Sandia’s Z Machine (a huge X-ray generator), to crush a small cylinder containing the hydrogen fuel. Through various optimizations, the researchers discovered a MagLIF setup that almost breaks even (i.e. it almost produces more thermal energy than the electrical energy required to begin the fusion reaction).
Probably more significant is news from the Joint European Torus (JET), a magnetic confinement fusion facility in the UK. JET is very similar to the ITER nuclear fusion reactor, an international project which is being built in the south of France. Whereas NIF and Sandia create an instantaneous fusion reaction using heat and pressure, ITER and JET confine the fusing plasma for a much longer duration using strong magnetic fields, and are thus more inclined towards the steady production of electricity. JET’s breakthrough was the installation of a new beryllium-lined wall and tungsten floor inside the tokamak — the doughnut-shaped inner vessel that confines 11-million-degrees-Celsius plasma
Originally posted by Jahari
They will find a way to over price it and still rape the common man's pockets. Then oil companies will sabotage the fusion plants and dispose of tge scientist that came up with the idea.
reply to post by Jahari
Then oil companies will sabotage the fusion plants and dispose of tge scientist that came up with the idea.
reply to post by Thorneblood
If it is a less then generous group or government then you can be assured that many people will die and that if it is possible to profit from it wildly they will find a way to do so.
Originally posted by ProfEmeritus
I agree that the oil companies will NOT go silently into the night. Money talks, common sense walks.
reply to post by KeliOnyx
The second factor that comes into play is scalability, if the reactor can be scaled to say a size it can work in a car, I can see some people having a really bad day.
Originally posted by justwokeup
If its based on any of the fusion types mentioned it will be infrastructure massive and therefore expensive. As such it'll be adopted by wealthy green conscious nations to generate base load for thier grids. Thats it, no major upheavals in anything.
If you're waiting for revolution you'll be waiting a long time.
reply to post by KeliOnyx
Cost will be another factor, but in the long term investing in the infrastructure for it would be considered a no-brainer.
Agreed. Fusion reactors are likely to be complex and expensive. I doubt they can economically compete with coal, not even talking about "too cheap to meter" fantasies. This is the most likely scenario.