ITER panel votes to postpone non-vital physics work

Oct 16, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog
Credit: ITER

(Phys.org) —Nature is reporting that a panel of experts and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) staff has announced that non-essential physics work and other experimental studies being conducted as part of the fusion reactor project, will be put on hold in order to focus exclusively on the main goal of the project: prove the viability of fusion as an energy source.

ITER is an international project with members from China, the European Union, Japan, India, Korea, Russia and the United States. Construction was begun in 2007 with a goal of completion by 2027. The following year, researchers hope to run the ITER in such a way as to achieve its ultimate goal of producing 500 megawatts of output power using only 50 megawatts of input power (shortened to Q ≥ 10). The EU is footing most of the bill, chipping in 45 percent of construction costs—the other members will each contribute 9 percent each.

The idea is to find out if fusion can be a viable source to economically produce electrical power to replace current methods such as . The concept is simple, squeezing atomic nuclei with such force as to fuse them together causing the creation of another element and in the process releasing large amounts of energy. The implementation, on the other hand, is very complex and expensive. The original plans called for ITER to achieve its goal by building a large tokamak thermonuclear facility in St-Paul-lez-Durance in southern France. The fuel used in the experiment will be plasma created from the hydrogen isotopes, tritium and deuterium—intense magnetic fields will then be used to force the fusion to take place. That plan remains in place—it's other non-essential projects that are now at risk.

Recently, some of those involved in the project have begun to worry that other experiments scheduled to be conducted as the facility is being built could cause delays to the set goal date for Q ≥ 10. Such worries were aired at this week's Science and Technology Advisory Committee meeting which led to a discussion and eventually a vote to post-pone other projects that are seen as not necessary for completion of the overall project. Planned experiments such as testing longer-pulse and steady-state plasmas will therefore be moved to the years after the facility is up and running.

Explore further: Overhead costs of fusion power plants can be reduced by planning reactor maintenance and structure together

More information: www.nature.com/news/iter-keeps… eye-on-prize-1.13957

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antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (12) Oct 16, 2013
I'm all for fundamental science projects but in this case I agree with the vote. Finding out whether fusion is viable sooner rather than later is more important. And it's not like the other experiments will get cancelled.
Modernmystic
1.5 / 5 (13) Oct 16, 2013
I'm all for fundamental science projects but in this case I agree with the vote. Finding out whether fusion is viable sooner rather than later is more important. And it's not like the other experiments will get cancelled.


Well there's one we both agree on.
sirchick
3 / 5 (4) Oct 16, 2013
A good decision indeed. Really hope to see it happen in my life time.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (10) Oct 16, 2013
What's that zephyr/jigga/teech/franklins you say that iter itself is non-vital science and should be cancelled in favor of a manhattan project to produce LENR and magnetic motors?

Mankind in the future will need to be able to do all sorts of things with materials in plasma form. It is vital that we explore any and all methods of creating, containing, storing, manipulating, transporting, and heating plasmas to fusion temps and beyond. It is vital that we do this NOW.

As a practicality if we develop your alternative methods we may lose the impetus to explore plasma physics. This would pose a critical danger to our future.
DavidW
1 / 5 (22) Oct 16, 2013
Nope, bad choice.

The correct choice should have been a requirement of each participating individual accepting, promising, and thorough enforcement, of ethical standards based in Truth first.

Seemingly endless energy without a foundation in Truth is a recipe for disaster. So, is doing nothing. We require the Truth, 100%. Get over your egos and accept that. Choosing the Truth is required too. There is no middle ground that is not a recipe for disaster. That's how it really is. What, Jesus is quoted as saying the word Truth and you don't believe in Jesus so now Truth can't be real either? Life is Most Important in Life. If our thoughts or comments do not reflect that Truth, The Most Important Truth in Life, at their core, then they cannot be Truthful.

Show some respect for all the blood that has been spilled for us in science seeking Truth. Uphold the Truth first, with Life, before all else in Life or fail to join those who have earned real honor.

TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (10) Oct 16, 2013
But your gods a lie dave. Dont you think you better fess up to that before you start demanding truth from others?
Show some respect for all the blood that has been spilled for us in science
First you take some responsibility for the blood spilled in the name of all the gods which never existed including yours.
earned real honor.
There is no honor in a life based on superstition. Be a man and admit it.
Doc Brown
Oct 16, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (11) Oct 16, 2013
The mainstream physicists intentionally ignore these findings for to keep their jobs in the existing energy research including the ITER
No, the development of plasma science and associated tech has been too important to allow any alternative science to disrupt it. And the extant religionist cultures in the third world have made our continued consumption of petroleum and the resultant influence it buys us, essential as well.

We will have our fusion stardrives and we will have the ultimate destruction of these cultures because we have paid good money for them. What good would LENR hot water heaters in your basement be if jihadis were upstairs busting down your door?

Nobody benefits from the collapse of civilization. Not even jihadis.
e commercialization of cold fusion will demonstrate clearly
We HAVE to HAVE PLASMA tech. We HAVE to. NO ALTERNATIVES. It is that or extinction. We cant travel or survive in space or manufacture the materials we will need to do so, without it.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (1) Oct 17, 2013
@ Zeph, Ya spend a lot of time railing against the physicists that are getting all the research monies. And that your pet obsessions are being ignored. At times ya sound as if YA personally are funding these physicists,,,,, as if it is YOUR money.

Just how much of YOUR OWN money is being spent in such an unfair way? Not everyone else's mind ya, just YOUR money. If it is less than 20 euro per year, I'll pay it back to ya out of my own pocket if ya promise to quite moaning about it. Here in the U.S. we pay very high taxes. And less than twenty or maybe thirty dollars per year of MY tax dollars goes to science of any kind.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 17, 2013
what the plasma tech stoff means it anyhow?
I told you. Using plasma in bulk quantities for all sorts of things. Your LENR can't power spacecraft. Antimatter, the most efficient energy source of propulsion energy, can only be handled in plasma form. And that is only one example of the many vital things plasma tech is needed for.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 17, 2013
Antimatter, the most efficient energy source of propulsion energy, can only be handled in plasma form.

If one could get enough antimatter atoms together to, say, form a small crystal of anti-iron then magnetic storage without plasma is possible. (It actually works for all types of atoms - not just the obviously magnetic ones. But for others you need enormously strong magnets)
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Oct 17, 2013
Antimatter, the most efficient energy source of propulsion energy, can only be handled in plasma form.

If one could get enough antimatter atoms together to, say, form a small crystal of anti-iron then magnetic storage without plasma is possible. (It actually works for all types of atoms - not just the obviously magnetic ones. But for others you need enormously strong magnets)
Solid containment would certainly be easier. It could also be a way of streaming pellets of it through space, to impart kinetic energy to a craft and deliver fuel. AND you could maybe drop or funnel these pellets directly into a reaction chamber to react with matter for thrust. Was this your idea aa or do you have a link?

Here is a site with info on the many uses of plasma.
http://www.plasmas.org/
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Oct 17, 2013
Streaming (uncontained) pellets probably won't work above minute (astronomical) distances. Space isn't entirely empty.
You'd get the occasional hit which would either blow up the pellet or at the very least deflect it. And at large distances even a minute deflection would mean your pellet would miss the spacecraft completely.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 17, 2013
Ah. Here is some discussion in 2002 physics forums
http://www.scienc...ainment/

-You would still need a facility with the capacity to store and manipulate antimatter in plasma form.

We might even speculate that the NIF is part of a larger effort to develop the tech (reactor materials and configuration, pellet tracking and delivery, etc) to support this anti-iron idea. You know, much like your country participated during the war in the devt and field-testing of ICBMs for delivery of nukes and securing world domination.

I think you are onto something aa.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 17, 2013
Streaming (uncontained) pellets probably won't work above minute (astronomical) distances. Space isn't entirely empty.
You'd get the occasional hit which would either blow up the pellet or at the very least deflect it. And at large distances even a minute deflection would mean your pellet would miss the spacecraft completely.
Pellet streaming is not a new idea and has been extensively investigated. Impacts would divert conventional pellets at the same frequency. And each successful delivery would have a much greater benefit. You wouldn't have to capture frozen pellets with neutral charge, you could magnetically funnel anti-iron right into the engine.

I'm saying this with the idea that it has already been thought of and resides somewhere on the net.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 17, 2013
There was a serious proposal out there somewhere on a lightsail variant which had the beam reacting with a sacrificial coating on the inside face of the sail, imparting thrust. Microscopic antimatter pellets or ions could be streamed to a such a sail with similar results, and wouldn't have to be delivered with quite the same accuracy.