Compact Fusion Reactor

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nafod
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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by nafod » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:58 pm

Hell, even combustion engine vehicles would immediately cease to have much utility.

There'd be a push for the Hydrogen Economy where electricity would be used to make hydrogen, which has a byproduct of water when it burns.

Fuels are still more energy dense than batteries.

But it could be that the Hydrogen is used in fuel cells, so not really combustion.

Beautiful, clean Hydrogen.
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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:30 pm

Assuming +Alpha fusion is perfected and commercialized in the next 10 years, you still have to factor in the enormous amount of sunk cost in the current fossil fuel economy. The average car has about a 15 year life cycle now. So every IC car sold will likely be on the road for a decade and a half before it's replaced with an electric fueled version. Most people are going to have to get the full life cycle's worth of value out of the IC car before they can justify buying a new one. Unless there are huge subsidies to get the nation's fleet switched over faster.

Then there's the investments companies have made in the FF extraction and distribution system. They'll have to pretty much keep that stuff on line until they can amortize the cost unless they get a massive subsidy as well to mothball all that equipment. They can't abandon billions of $$ worth of infrastructure that they're still making payments on.

But one area where a clean and nearly limitless source of electricity could have an immediate effect on vehicles and C02 is in direct extraction of CO2 and processing it back into liquid fuel. This would end up being a carbon neutral way to transition while keeping the existing IC fleet running for the near term and taking excess GHG out of the atmosphere. It's not super efficient, but with cheap electricity you can do damned near anything, including desalinating seawater to green deserts and provide drinking water to cities.
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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:33 pm

One other thing I've always wondered is why there's never been a big push to pursue Thorium fission reactors. The liquid salt reactors that use Thorium as the fissile material are apparently a c hair away from being melt down proof. If they overheat, the liquid salt expands to the point that the fission process slows down and it finds a balance point well short of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.

From everything I've read, the technology is there and we don't need to invent anything new. Just perfect the reactors and deploy the things. The waste product is even an isotope that's used to fight cancer.
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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Sua Sponte » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:43 pm

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Last edited by Sua Sponte on Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Sua Sponte » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:47 pm


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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Sua Sponte » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:48 pm

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:33 pm
One other thing I've always wondered is why there's never been a big push to pursue Thorium fission reactors. The liquid salt reactors that use Thorium as the fissile material are apparently a c hair away from being melt down proof. If they overheat, the liquid salt expands to the point that the fission process slows down and it finds a balance point well short of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.

From everything I've read, the technology is there and we don't need to invent anything new. Just perfect the reactors and deploy the things. The waste product is even an isotope that's used to fight cancer.

Gamma source. Poor breeding. Would require one hella investment to make practical. Lower yield than fusion.

From: https://www.world-nuclear.org/informati ... References
Developing a thorium-based fuel cycleThorium fuel cycles offer attractive features, including lower levels of waste generation, less transuranic elements in that waste, and providing a diversification option for nuclear fuel supply. Also, the use of thorium in most reactor types leads to extra safety margins. Despite these merits, the commercialization of thorium fuels faces some significant hurdles in terms of building an economic case to undertake the necessary development work.A great deal of testing, analysis and licensing and qualification work is required before any thorium fuel can enter into service. This is expensive and will not eventuate without a clear business case and government support. Also, uranium is abundant and cheap and forms only a small part of the cost of nuclear electricity generation, so there are no real incentives for investment in a new fuel type that may save uranium resources.Other impediments to the development of thorium fuel cycle are the higher cost of fuel fabrication and the cost of reprocessing to provide the fissile plutonium driver material. The high cost of fuel fabrication (for solid fuel) is due partly to the high level of radioactivity that builds up in U-233 chemically separated from the irradiated thorium fuel. Separated U-233 is always contaminated with traces of U-232 which decays (with a 69-year half-life) to daughter nuclides such as thallium-208 that are high-energy gamma emitters. Although this confers proliferation resistance to the fuel cycle by making U-233 hard to handle and easy to detect, it results in increased costs. There are similar problems in recycling thorium itself due to highly radioactive Th-228 (an alpha emitter with two-year half life) present.

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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Gene » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:44 pm

nafod wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:58 pm
Hell, even combustion engine vehicles would immediately cease to have much utility.

There'd be a push for the Hydrogen Economy where electricity would be used to make hydrogen, which has a byproduct of water when it burns.

Fuels are still more energy dense than batteries.

But it could be that the Hydrogen is used in fuel cells, so not really combustion.

Beautiful, clean Hydrogen.
Come on, Man! Hydrogen leaks easily. Hydrogen has wide explosive limits in air. Hydrogen has shitty energy density.

Keep the hydrogen in the chemical factories. Putting it on the streets gets you this kind of shit......
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Re: Compact Fusion Reactor

Post by Gene » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:53 pm

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:33 pm
One other thing I've always wondered is why there's never been a big push to pursue Thorium fission reactors. The liquid salt reactors that use Thorium as the fissile material are apparently a c hair away from being melt down proof. If they overheat, the liquid salt expands to the point that the fission process slows down and it finds a balance point well short of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.

From everything I've read, the technology is there and we don't need to invent anything new. Just perfect the reactors and deploy the things. The waste product is even an isotope that's used to fight cancer.
There was a thermal spectrum prototype at Oak Ridge. Would require a scale up.

Carter had Shippingport's original gadget run an experiment. They put in Thorium. They got some U233, a net gain of fissionables. One of Reagan's dumber ideas was ending the work.

China is working with the Oak Ridge stuff. They already have a fast neutron reactor, a Russian one.

It's a nice idea.

People made fusion power work too. Isn't practical to set off a bomb to generate power... Los Alamos ran an experiment using very small bombs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_PACER

An additional project measured energies required for inertial confinement. Halite experiments. They set off bombs, extracted some energy to measure confinement requirements. The amount required was higher than expected.

https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/21/us/s ... tists.html
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