Fusion closer than ever!

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    • #489247
      HassleCat
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      • Total Posts: 9,177

      Meaning it’s still many years away. Or maybe we’re just that much closer to never, no way, no how. We regularly see these optimistic articles predicting cheap, unlimited energy if only we invest another few hundred billion dollars in Tokamak or whatever the latest thing is.

      https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2022/05/world/iter-nuclear-fusion-climate-intl-cnnphotos/

    • #489377
      A Simple Game
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,392

      Energy too cheap to meter.  When have I heard that before?  Oh yeah, back in the late fifties and early sixties about fission reactors.

      I think we should stick to solar and wind, a lot safer and easier to clean up after an accident.

    • #490551
      Gryneos
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,132

      have never heard of Polywell fusion. Always sticking to the mainstream, they are.

      (I know it’s Quora, but the first answer is well-researched and explained in detail)

      https://www.quora.com/Why-is-a-polywell-fusion-reactor-not-able-to-reach-net-energy-generation

      The people-to-cake ratio is too high.

    • #490636
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 25,021

      The thing is, the last thing the American oligarchy wants to see is cheap, clean, reliable fusion power. They will do what they can to make sure no nation ever gets a fusion reactor online. Once that happens, the whole imperial system comes crashing down.

      Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

      The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

      • #490673
        Gryneos
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 2,132

        relegate fusion to space purposes only, especially if this new drilling technology takes off. Because it could easily make geothermal power available literally anywhere:

        You Can Have Geothermal Power Everywhere If You Drill Deep Enough
        A new technology drills with microwaves and can go down 12 miles to where the real heat is.
        By Lloyd Alter | Published February 23, 2022 09:00AM EST

        True geothermal energy is truly green. This is where you get heat from the Earth’s core, which some have calculated is hotter than the surface of the sun. According to Treehugger’s Kiah Treece, it’s estimated that heat located within the first 6.25 miles of the Earth’s surface contains 50,000 times more energy than the world’s oil and natural gas supplies.

        Quaise Energy, a startup spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is applying new drilling technology to make it possible to get geothermal energy anywhere. They don’t want to lily dip at 6.5 miles, either, but they want to go down 12 miles to where it is even hotter (930 degrees Fahrenheit) and anywhere in the world—perhaps right next to existing generating plants already attached to the grid.

        The key is the drilling technology, developed by Paul Woskov at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Instead of drill bits that will wear out or even melt, they drill with microwaves. As Quaise Energy describes it:

        “Our gyrotron-powered drilling platform vaporizes boreholes through rock and provides access to deep geothermal heat without complex downhole equipment. Based on breakthrough fusion research and well-established drilling practices, we are developing a radical new approach to ultra-deep drilling. First, we use conventional rotary drilling to get to basement rock. Then, we switch to high-power millimeter waves to reach unprecedented depths.”

        Good article well worth the short read 🙂

        The people-to-cake ratio is too high.

        • #490699
          Babel 17
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          • Total Posts: 6,804

          But before too long some fool is going to jokingly ask “Say, isn’t that how the planet Krypton blew up?”.

          lol, couldn’t resist. 😉

          Don't Kill the Whale
          Don't feed the trolls

          • #490700
            Gryneos
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 2,132

            But, if you are patient you can help people understand that getting a little heat from the planet by drilling into it isn’t going to hurt it like polluting the atmosphere and oceans. The planet is huge and we’re hardly visible on it in comparison.

            Or use the example of the Krell from “Forbidden Planet” where the big machine was “powered by 9,200 thermonuclear reactors” and 200,000 years later were still operating without destroying the planet 😉

            The people-to-cake ratio is too high.

            • #490898
              HassleCat
              Participant
              • Total Posts: 9,177

              The technology was foolproof but human nature was less so.

              • #490908
                Gryneos
                Participant
                • Total Posts: 2,132

                but they destroyed themselves with a technology we don’t have or understand how to create. Their fusion reactors were still working, unattended, two-hundred thousand years later. We should be so lucky to have just that part of their tech 😄

                The people-to-cake ratio is too high.

          • #490723
            HassleCat
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 9,177

            It seems to be in early, early development but it looks more promising than fusion, which they have been dangling in front of us for decades.

            • #490905
              Gryneos
              Participant
              • Total Posts: 2,132

              the big projects almost always get the big money (other than how we supremely dropped the ball on the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), now operated in Geneva). The one I mentioned above, Polywell fusion, got a few million from the US Navy and then that funding dried up. The SSC was partially ended due to petty politics from Illinois reps due to Fermilab being in their state. I have to wonder if the same is being done to the newer methods just because so many moneyed interests are already committed to Tokamak and the other big ones (laser fusion, for example).

              The people-to-cake ratio is too high.

        • #490895
          Ohio Barbarian
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 25,021

          There is no reason we should not do both. As you say, in space fusion power can make some science fiction real. Like, say, the Earth-Mars-Belt civilization in The Expanse.

          Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

          The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

          • #490907
            Gryneos
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 2,132

            to watch that series. Sounds like it’s covering many of the ideas presented in golden-age science fiction 🙂

            The people-to-cake ratio is too high.

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