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Fusion

Ogan
Posts: 407
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12/3/2010 7:33:41 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
A few facts about the coming Fusion:

A truly global undertaking, the participants in ITER represent more than half the world's population: China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States of America. It is the world's largest international co-operative scientific research and development project.
The ITER site is next to an existing energy research site at Cadarache in southern France. An international team is now constructing the machine, with the first plasma expected in 2019. This will be followed by a 20-year period of operation that will test essential physics and technologies for the fusion power plants of the future.

360 Tons
Every one of the ITER Tokamak's 18 D-shaped Toroidal Field coils will weigh 360 tons. They will arrive individually by boat, and be transported along the ITER Itinerary on radio-controlled transporters. 360 tons is the approximate weight of a fully loaded Boeing 747-300 airplane.

23 000 Tons
The ITER Tokamak will weigh 23 000 tons. The metal contained in the Eiffel Tower can't compare - it only weighs 7 300 tons. The ITER Tokamak will be as heavy as three Eiffel Towers.

150 Million °C
The temperature at our Sun's surface is 6 000°C, and at its core - 15 million°C. Temperature combines with density in our Sun's core to create the conditions necessary for the fusion reaction to occur. The gravitational forces of our Universe can not be recreated here on Earth, and much higher temperatures are necessary in the laboratory to compensate. In the ITER Tokamak, temperatures will reach 150 million°C - or ten times the temperature at the core of our Sun.

Are the fuel costs significant?
The fusion energy obtained from each kg of fuel is very high (ten million times higher than from fossil fuels) so the fuel costs are a very small part of the expected costs. Using present costs, the fuel would contribute much less than 1% to the cost of electricity.

How much energy could you get from a litre of water compared with a litre of petrol?
One litre of ordinary water contains enough deuterium to provide the energy content (when fused with tritium) of more than 500 litres of petrol.

How much fuel would a fusion power plant consume in a day?
A large power station generating 1,500 megawatts of electricity would consume approximately 600 grammes of tritium and 400 grammes of deuterium each day.

What are the dominant costs foreseen in a fusion power plant?
As you might expect in a magnetic confinement system, the largest cost item is anticipated to be the superconducting magnets. The next largest cost is anticipated to be the buildings needed to house the plant. These two items together are estimated to make up more than half of the cost of a fusion power plant. There is the expectation that the cost of superconducting magnets will reduce with time.

When can we expect electricity generated from fusion to be available?
Experimental fusion machines have now produced fusion powers of more than ten megawatts. A new machine under construction, called ITER, will be capable of producing 500 megawatts of fusion power. ITER is expected to start operating in 2019. Although it will be on the scale needed for a power station, there will still be technological issues to address to produce steady, reliable electricity, so it is anticipated that a prototype power station will be needed after ITER. Electricity generation is expected in 30 to 40 years, depending on funding and technical progress.

Any comments?
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/3/2010 2:46:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You can only get the same amount of energy as you put in . . . but I see fusion in the process of matter conversion to turn spent materials into newer materials (lead into gold) and the electricity can be supplied via solar and wind and coud even be the potential way we store that type of energy but unfortunately we have no way to effectively remove the power but matter conversion could be the means we do this, if we turn basic materials (heck we can even use the carbon monoxide we wish to dispose of) into radioactive materials which we use in fission reactors, fusion could also be used in the disposal of depleted nuclear materials, also the applications for space propulsion and colonies are quite large so I say its worth the research effort.
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
Caramel
Posts: 855
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12/5/2010 10:46:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Every one of the ITER Tokamak's 18 D-shaped Toroidal Field coils will weigh 360 tons. They will arrive individually by boat, and be transported along the ITER Itinerary on radio-controlled transporters. 360 tons is the approximate weight of a fully loaded Boeing 747-300 airplane.

Why use radio-controlled transporters? Do they need to be unmanned for some reason?

Electricity generation is expected in 30 to 40 years, depending on funding and technical progress.

That timeline seems odd... Why so long? In a general sense, it's very hard to predict something (especially related to technology) that far off into the future. 40 years in nuclear physics might as well be 400 as far as being able to predict how the field will exist... Although I'm not that strong in the hard sciences so I could be completely wrong. In the 50s, here is what we thought things would look like 40 years into the future:
no comment
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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12/5/2010 11:29:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It would be interesting if they could do fusion within my lifetime. They'd be a huge explosion for demand for training in operating and building these plants.I'm a nuclear engineering minor, however I only do stuff with fission not fusion so it's nothing similar.
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Ogan
Posts: 407
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12/6/2010 3:22:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
"You can only get the same amount of energy as you put in."
That is most certainly not the case with fusion.

"depending on funding and technical progress." is the key statement. I think is will much quicker than that, but we will have to wait and see.

"Why use radio-controlled transporters? Do they need to be unmanned for some reason?"

I have no idea why this is so, but perhaps to avoid human error in moving and placing such a complex and expensive state of the art equipment.?
Ogan
Posts: 407
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12/11/2010 6:18:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
HAWKING AND COX BACK FUSION
Two of Britain's pre-eminent scientists have named fusion as the century's top scientific challenge. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper on 11 September, Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox agreed that fusion is an important priority in the search to meet increasing energy demands without endangering the planet. See the full article at: http://www.guardian.co.uk...

BC: What problem do you hope scientists will have solved by the end of the century?

SH: Nuclear fusion. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy without pollution or global warming.

BC: I share that view; that the provision of clean energy is of overwhelming importance. What frustrates me is that we know how to do it as physicists, how it works. It is an engineering solution that is within our grasp. I don't understand why we don't seem to want it enough at the moment. As a society, do you think we invest enough in scientific education and research?

SH: I don't think we invest enough. They are why we are not still in the Middle Ages. Many badly needed goals, like fusion and cancer cure, would be achieved much sooner if we invested more.

BC: I think the most important practical problem, which may be more of an engineering challenge than a scientific one, is to build economically viable nuclear fusion power stations. If we haven't dealt with our world's increasing appetite for energy by the end of this century, I think we will be in very deep trouble indeed. In physics, understanding why gravity is such an astonishingly weak force compared with the other three forces of nature is probably the great challenge. Also, understanding why the universe began in such a highly ordered state.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/11/2010 8:48:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/6/2010 3:22:40 AM, Ogan wrote:
"You can only get the same amount of energy as you put in."
That is most certainly not the case with fusion.

"depending on funding and technical progress." is the key statement. I think is will much quicker than that, but we will have to wait and see.

"Why use radio-controlled transporters? Do they need to be unmanned for some reason?"

I have no idea why this is so, but perhaps to avoid human error in moving and placing such a complex and expensive state of the art equipment.?

Ummm . . . according to the basic laws of physics and energy in = energy out there is no way around it for you are implying energy can be created which defies the law of conservation of energy . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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12/11/2010 11:16:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/11/2010 8:48:03 AM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 12/6/2010 3:22:40 AM, Ogan wrote:
"You can only get the same amount of energy as you put in."
That is most certainly not the case with fusion.

"depending on funding and technical progress." is the key statement. I think is will much quicker than that, but we will have to wait and see.

"Why use radio-controlled transporters? Do they need to be unmanned for some reason?"

I have no idea why this is so, but perhaps to avoid human error in moving and placing such a complex and expensive state of the art equipment.?

Ummm . . . according to the basic laws of physics and energy in = energy out there is no way around it for you are implying energy can be created which defies the law of conservation of energy . . .

sure, but not all energy is equally useful. energy locked in the bonds of deuterium or tritium may as well not exist, given that we can't make any use of it. its supposed to be 7x more efficient at generating energy than nuclear bombs. that is preeeeeeeeetty badass.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/11/2010 11:30:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/11/2010 11:16:00 AM, belle wrote:
At 12/11/2010 8:48:03 AM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 12/6/2010 3:22:40 AM, Ogan wrote:
"You can only get the same amount of energy as you put in."
That is most certainly not the case with fusion.

"depending on funding and technical progress." is the key statement. I think is will much quicker than that, but we will have to wait and see.

"Why use radio-controlled transporters? Do they need to be unmanned for some reason?"

I have no idea why this is so, but perhaps to avoid human error in moving and placing such a complex and expensive state of the art equipment.?

Ummm . . . according to the basic laws of physics and energy in = energy out there is no way around it for you are implying energy can be created which defies the law of conservation of energy . . .

sure, but not all energy is equally useful. energy locked in the bonds of deuterium or tritium may as well not exist, given that we can't make any use of it. its supposed to be 7x more efficient at generating energy than nuclear bombs. that is preeeeeeeeetty badass.

Energy can be changed from one form to another a the law of conservation of energy stated . . . (and what you have agreed with) . . . there is more energy in the cold vacuum of space than in any fusion reactor (vacuum energy is truly the source with he greatest potential) . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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12/13/2010 6:24:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't follow exactly how the magnets work, they keep the super hot mass of fusion suspended as to not melt whatever the containment structure is?
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Ogan
Posts: 407
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12/14/2010 3:47:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/13/2010 6:24:32 PM, lewis20 wrote:
I don't follow exactly how the magnets work, they keep the super hot mass of fusion suspended as to not melt whatever the containment structure is?

Containment...precisely. The immense heat is used to 'fuse' the atoms. (electrons fuse with protons and release neutrons). The only way of controlling it - the fourth state of matter or plasma - is very powerful magnetic fields. Not sure whether the penetration of a weak magnetic field would then allow it to melt matter... I have a feeling that it would merely 'slip through matter' at the speed of light, between the magnetic fields of the atoms and reach the sun in 8 minutes! I will do further research. Thanks for the thoughtful question Lewis20.
Ogan
Posts: 407
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12/14/2010 12:58:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ignore my flight of fancy in my last post regarding the escaping of plasma, the following is the most up to date info for we laymen from ITER:

How fusion works

In a fusion reaction, energy is released when two light atomic nuclei are fused together to form one heavier atom. This is the process that provides the energy powering the Sun and other stars, where hydrogen nuclei are combined to form helium.
To achieve high enough fusion reaction rates to make fusion useful as an energy source, the fuel (two types of hydrogen – deuterium and tritium) must be heated to temperatures over 100 million degrees Celsius. At these temperatures the fuel becomes a plasma.
This incredibly hot plasma is also extremely thin and fragile, a million times less dense than air. To keep the plasma from being contaminated and cooled by contact with material surfaces it is contained in a magnetic confinement system.
Magnetic confinement is the approach that Culham and many other laboratories are researching to provide energy from fusion. A plasma of light atomic nuclei is heated and confined in a circular bottle known as a tokamak, where it is controlled with strong magnetic fields.
In a magnetic fusion device, the maximum fusion power is achieved using deuterium and tritium. These fuse to produce helium and high-speed neutrons, releasing 17.6MeV (megaelectron volts) of energy per reaction. This is approximately 10,000,000 times more energy than is released in a typical chemical reaction. A commercial fusion power station will use the energy carried by the neutrons to generate electricity. The neutrons will be slowed down by a blanket of denser material surrounding the machine, and the heat this provides will be converted into steam to drive turbines and put power on to the grid.