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Nuclear fusion breakthrough?


17thfabn

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Recently scientist believe they have made a major breakthrough in fusion technology.

Fusion would theoretically be the holy grail of energy production.

There was a major scientific hoax years ago where scientist claimed to have "cold-fusion". I thought it was ten years ago. Actually it was back in 1989!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-fusion-energy-breakthrough-reported-by-scientists-at-u-s-lab-11670944595

Nuclear-Fusion Breakthrough Accelerates Quest to Unlock Limitless Energy Source

https://www.npr.org/2022/12/13/1142208055/nuclear-fusion-breakthrough-climate-change

U.S. reaches a fusion power milestone. Will it be enough to save the planet?

 

https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/nuclear-fusion-reaction-us-announcement-12-13-22/index.html

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility have made history by successfully producing a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain, a breakthrough hailed by US officials as a “landmark achievement” and a “milestone for the future of clean energy.”

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1 hour ago, 17thfabn said:

Recently scientist believe they have made a major breakthrough in fusion technology.

Fusion would theoretically be the holy grail of energy production.

There was a major scientific hoax years ago where scientist claimed to have "cold-fusion". I thought it was ten years ago. Actually it was back in 1989!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-fusion-energy-breakthrough-reported-by-scientists-at-u-s-lab-11670944595

Nuclear-Fusion Breakthrough Accelerates Quest to Unlock Limitless Energy Source

https://www.npr.org/2022/12/13/1142208055/nuclear-fusion-breakthrough-climate-change

U.S. reaches a fusion power milestone. Will it be enough to save the planet?

 

https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/nuclear-fusion-reaction-us-announcement-12-13-22/index.html

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility have made history by successfully producing a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain, a breakthrough hailed by US officials as a “landmark achievement” and a “milestone for the future of clean energy.”

Save the planet from what? Idiot newspeople?

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2 hours ago, NickM said:

Save the planet from what? Idiot newspeople?

I don't think I said anything about saving the planet? 

Electric consumption will go up, especially if electric cars become predominant. It has to come from somewhere.

The greens fight tooth and nail against coal use. Most of them are opposed to standard nuclear plants. Many even want to tear down existing hydroelectric dams. 

Wind and solar don't seem up to the demand at the present time.

Fusion, may at some time be an option. 

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33 minutes ago, 17thfabn said:

I don't think I said anything about saving the planet? 

Electric consumption will go up, especially if electric cars become predominant. It has to come from somewhere.

The greens fight tooth and nail against coal use. Most of them are opposed to standard nuclear plants. Many even want to tear down existing hydroelectric dams. 

Wind and solar don't seem up to the demand at the present time.

Fusion, may at some time be an option. 

Sorry, I meant the byline of the news story, not your comments. Apologies for the misunderstanding 

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39 minutes ago, 17thfabn said:

Wind and solar don't seem up to the demand at the present time.

Fusion, may at some time be an option. 

Maybe.

But the deceptive communication from the Fusion community by continuously overstating their actual achievements doesn't exactly fill me with a lot of confidence. At the same time solar power has continuously become cheaper in a negative e function over the last six decades. What needs to be solved now is the question of energy storage. I'm seriously wondering if by the time that fusion reactors actually deliver more total energy than is being put into them - substantially more than just the break-even - we may no longer need it because renewables combined with a working solution for electricity storage have cheapened energy to a point where we consider fusion as "feasible" but not economical.

As long as the fusionists chase Qplasma rather than Qtotal, they serve only the interests of the academics performing the research, not the interests of the very public that funds their activities. Sure, they are somewhat related, and going from a Qtotal of 0.01 to 0.5 (if ITER actually meets all intended goals) is more progress in the last 30 years than in the 30 years before that. Still, fusionists have told us since my childhood that a working reactor is "40 years in the future". 50 years have since passed, and it's still "30 years in the future". Extrapolating from there we can expect 150 more years before we actually get a fusion reactor that would qualify as commercially viable today. But what will the energy prices in the year 2170 be?

Could well be that we may no longer worry about energy prices at that point if we have so much solar installed that the inefficiencies of water electrolysis no longer matter, or we may have found other forms of storage, or perfectionized synthetic fuels.

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What I've seen is that they're getting more energy out by plasma than what they put into it with the lasers. But NOT when you include the energy used to make the magnetic bottle run. 

Q Magnetics + Q Laser > Q Plasma. 

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Nope, Qplasma is the energy output of the plasma over the energy input for magnetic containment and pumping the laser. Less than half of the plasma's output can be converted into electrical energy in a heat exchanger, that's basic thermodynamics.

Therefore, Qplasma has to be like 30 ... 40 to get Qtotal to a point where a fusion reactor is becoming commercially viable. Or someone needs to involve new thermodynamics, or find a viable way to make use of the ca. 55% excess heat that's lost in the energy conversion process.

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10 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Nope, Qplasma is the energy output of the plasma over the energy input for magnetic containment and pumping the laser. Less than half of the plasma's output can be converted into electrical energy in a heat exchanger, that's basic thermodynamics.

Therefore, Qplasma has to be like 30 ... 40 to get Qtotal to a point where a fusion reactor is becoming commercially viable. Or someone needs to involve new thermodynamics, or find a viable way to make use of the ca. 55% excess heat that's lost in the energy conversion process.

Exactly. 

I am pretty pissed at the number of physicists who are being cited in this particular news cycle as being "excited" (or words to that effect).

So they got another incremental improvement in Qplasma.  Fine. Get back to me when you get close to Qtotal=1. And when you get to Qtotal=2, that is when we are getting close (in theory) to real break-even, since what we need is more useful electrical power than we put in.

Scientific and journalistic malpractice it is to tout this as any kind of breakthrough...

--

Soren

 

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If they have now solved fusion how soon will we get flying cars and sex robots?

Is it another twenty years, as I am still waiting for the temperature and sea levels to rise to the levels they said they would get too twenty years ago.

Edited by Wobbly Head
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That's because it isn't.

Well, it's a first time of Qplasma > 1 for laser-triggerted inertial fusion unlike the Tokamak design of JET and ITER ... after achieving 0.7 a year ago, see the video of Sabine Hossenfelder near the top, which broke the 0.67 record of JET in 1997. All these numbers are, hower, misleading in the sense that they focus on the energy output of the actual fusion generation, not of the whole design. One might argue that if you can't get the fusion itself to generate more energy than it consumes, everything else is irrelevant. At the same time, cheap fusion reactors are not around the corner even if ITER will generate 10 times as much fusion energy than what is put into the system to get the reaction started, which is the official goal they are trying to achieve. We'll need at least 20 times as much, probably 30 ot 40 times to be commercially viable.

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14 hours ago, rmgill said:

What I've seen is that they're getting more energy out by plasma than what they put into it with the lasers. But NOT when you include the energy used to make the magnetic bottle run. 

Q Magnetics + Q Laser > Q Plasma. 

The articles I've seen explicitly compare the fusion energy output to the laser energy *output*, so it's even worse than that.

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One piece of reporting I saw said this was a breakthrough... but only in the context of American development and America is years behind everyone else.  From reading these comments sounds like that may have been the most accurate reporting I could have hoped to see.

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17 hours ago, R011 said:

While this may be the breakthrough we've been hoping for, it's probably too early to buy Mr. Fusion stock.

I was going to cash in my FTX crypto currency and by Mr. Fusion stock. Get in early on the market.

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2 hours ago, Skywalkre said:

One piece of reporting I saw said this was a breakthrough... but only in the context of American development and America is years behind everyone else.  From reading these comments sounds like that may have been the most accurate reporting I could have hoped to see.

The US has always liked the laser inertial containment approach to fusion and in the early days it seemed to be the most promising, but then the tokamak was invented by the Russians and that took the lead for more than 30 years.

The recent advances reported by NIF mean that there is competition again, but the proponents of both types are barefaced liars about what break-even should mean versus what they report. It's all about the money, honey.

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Heh... this same reporter said the running joke in the fusion community is "fusion is just 20 years away... and it always will be."  I remember there being so much hype for it when I was a kid.  The host of the show responded that her high school science teacher was lauding the potential of it... and this host has to be in her 70s.

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22 hours ago, Sardaukar said:

Well...fusion reaction works...

 

Of course it does. Just go outside and look at the sun. The problem is down scaleability from something that's not as big as 80 times the size of Jupiter. Which has site design complexities.  

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On 12/14/2022 at 8:13 PM, Skywalkre said:

Heh... this same reporter said the running joke in the fusion community is "fusion is just 20 years away... and it always will be."  I remember there being so much hype for it when I was a kid.  The host of the show responded that her high school science teacher was lauding the potential of it... and this host has to be in her 70s.

I had a copy of New Scientist, dated about 1965 which was claiming commercial fusion was 30 years away. 

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On 12/15/2022 at 12:46 AM, rmgill said:

Of course it does. Just go outside and look at the sun. The problem is down scaleability from something that's not as big as 80 times the size of Jupiter. Which has site design complexities.  

Well, Teller and Ulam managed considerable reduction in size, and several products were commercialized quickly, too. Though of course only public-sector customers so kinda commie stuff that way.......

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