New hope for ultimate clean energy: fusion power

Apr 12, 2010 By Bob Beale

(PhysOrg.com) -- Imagine if you could generate electricity using nuclear power that emitted no radioactivity: it would be the answer to the world's dream of finding a clean, sustainable energy source.

That is the great hope raised by researchers who believe they have found a radical new path to the ultimate goal of solving the world's energy crisis through nuclear , as detailed in a paper published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

The international team of researchers - led by Emeritus Professor Heinrich Hora, of the University of New South Wales Department of Theoretical Physics -has shown through computational studies that a special fuel ignited by brief but powerful pulses of energy from new high-energy lasers may be the key to a success that has long eluded physicists.

The intense would be used to ignite a fuel made of light hydrogen and boron-11. The resulting ignition would be largely free of radioactive emissions and would release more than enough energy to generate electricity.

The amount of radiation released would be even less than that emitted by current power stations that burn coal, which contains trace amounts of uranium. In another plus, the is plentiful and readily accessible and the waste product of ignition would be clean gas.

"This has the potential to be the best route to ," says Steve Haan, an expert in at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, in a news report in the Royal Chemical Society's Highlights in Chemical Technology.

Both Haan and Hora caution that the study only demonstrates the potential of the new process and that much work would need to be done to demonstrate it in practice.

The conventional fusion process uses highly compressed spheres of deuterium and tritium as fuel. Hora says the proposed new process overcomes previous objections to hydrogen-boron11 fuel because it would not have to be compressed and therefore need much less energy than previously thought to start the ignition.

"It was a surprise when we used hydrogen-boron instead of deuterium-tritium," says Hora. "It was not 100,000 times more difficult to ignite, as it would be under the usual compression process. It would be only 10 times more difficult, using the latest generation of lasers."

As it happens, a unique new laser capable of producing the required amount of ignition energy is in its early stages of testing in the US at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Another extraordinarily powerful US laser known as the National Ignition Facility has been built at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: "It is the largest laser on earth and has cost about US$ 4 billion," he says. "The laser pulse of about few billionths of a second duration produces 500 times more power than all US power stations."

Professor Hora, who founded the UNSW Department of in 1975 and has been an Emeritus Professor since 1992, is known for his work on the theory of fusion with lasers.

Explore further: Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

More information: The new paper is here: www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journal… cle.asp?doi=b904609g (reference Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 3, (2010) 479-486).
It builds on a previous publications in the journal Optics Communications, Vol. 282 (2009) p4124, and in Laser and Particle Beams Vol. 27 (2009) p495.

Related Stories

World's largest laser opens (w/Video)

May 29, 2009

Scientists for decades have been hunting for ways to harness the enormous force of the sun and stars to supply energy here on Earth. The National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory may spark the light ...

European Union OKs fusion project

Sep 03, 2007

European scientists will build on U.S. military research to try to create laser-based nuclear fusion aimed at replacing fossil fuels, it was reported.

Recommended for you

Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

6 hours ago

Spintronics is an emerging field of electronics, where devices work by manipulating the spin of electrons rather than the current generated by their motion. This field can offer significant advantages to computer technology. ...

A transistor-like amplifier for single photons

Jul 29, 2014

Data transmission over long distances usually utilizes optical techniques via glass fibres – this ensures high speed transmission combined with low power dissipation of the signal. For quite some years ...

User comments : 65

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
Apr 12, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
robz
4 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2010
wow, a year ago we talked about one way to get fusion, with tokamaks.

now it's FIVE!!
tokamak
big laser
small laser(this)
metal sphere banged with rods
wierd levitating thing at MIT
MorituriMax
4.5 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2010
I wonder if smashing two eggs together, fat end to narrow end would do it?
seneca
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2010
Based on what is known today, it is unlikely that NIF will produce practical amounts of fusion energy.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.4229

Who Will Pay for NIF?

http://www.abqjou...nif.html
dirk_bruere
3 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
Plasma Focus Fusion
http://www.focusfusion.org/
seneca
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2010
Cold fusion is the key. Maybe we don't understand cold fusion mechanism yet - but these sparks are real and still waiting many years for their research.

http://www.lenr-c...Navy.htm

But the usage of cold fusion is not job for the contemporary human civilization, where central government promotes only research of centralized sources of energy. The structure of human civilization must change first to become able to use such decentralized resources.
MorituriMax
4.4 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2010
@seneca, Based on what is known today, the above thing is more likely to work than cold fusion. Come on, seriously, you dismiss the article above as "well it might not produce practical amounts of energy" then you jump right into science lala land (so far, I too hope cold fusion may be possible) with a process much LESS likely to produce practical amounts of energy.
Stellarparadox
4.5 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2010
Fusion energy is the answer to a source of electricity that would be so inexpensive and so plentiful that the entire world could run everything on electricity. I think the US should start a "Manhattan" type project to devolope this for us and the world. Think of the savings instead of using coal, oil, national gas or man made fuels.
Caliban
3.8 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2010
I say, Bring it on!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, I think that all of us understand that full-scale(or even partial) deployment of this technology would deprive some key people of all that easy money they've been raking in for the last hundred years or so. Expect resistance.

It's definitely the way to go, but it won't- until someone, or some group, or some government decides throw caution to the wind, roll up their sleeves, and get to it.

Let's pray that it happens soon, whichever of @robz five(or combination) it ends up being.
DaveGee
2 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
"In another plus, the fuel source is plentiful and readily accessible and the waste product of ignition would be clean helium gas."

The biggest plus of all is in a few short years of this going into service the entire population of the earth will ALL be talking like Alvin the Chipmunks... Which is nice... :)
robvoodoo
3 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
i clicked on this thread almost solely because i knew seneca would have contributed some utter bull. was not disappointed... though i hoped for a little more dismissive bile tbh
DaveGee
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
On a serious note... there are an enormous number of socioeconomic issues that will need to be addressed (hopefully IN ADVANCE to all the government leaders reading this). I don't think anyone has ever dealt with, arguably the most costly/lucrative *AND* politically volatile industry being totally turned on its ear before. On the plus side it interesting to see how some of the OPEC nations are put plans into place to keep themselves relevant in a 'post' OIL economy.
prhlava
1 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2010
Well, while water is plentiful on earth now, if used to get the hydrogen to be used in fusion reaction, the water will run out at some point. Anyone calculated this time to "empty tank" at present human energy consumption? Also, what would be the effects of increased amount of helium in the atmosphere?

Vladimir
broglia
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
@seneca, based on what is known today, the above thing is more likely to work than cold fusion.

In fact, one replicated Italian LENR experiment generated more excess power than all of the hot fusion experiments combined. Granted, the total output was less than 20 Watt hours, but still, compared to the hot fusion outputs, it's a monster.

http://www.lenr-canr.org.
broglia
2 / 5 (4) Apr 13, 2010
Anyway, I cannot understand, why scientists are so reclusive toward tangible evidences of cold fusion? IMO this video is extremelly interesting by itself. We are facing reproducible phenomena, which mainstream science cannot explain at all! (unfortunatelly the same reason, why this phenomena is interesting for many laymans becomes the main reason of its ignorance by mainstream physics - physicists are like priests of modern era, who don't like any evidence of the fact, they cannot predict/explain everything by their numerology).

http://www.lenr-c...akIR.wmv

With compare to various higgs bosons and stringy stuffs this phenomena is completelly real (a much easier to reproduce then let say top-quark), potentially extremelly usefull, but first of all it's completelly unexpected. A true mystery of Nature! Unfortunatelly contemporary physicists are just lazy trolls, who care about their safe money and carriers and exactly this sort of phenomena repels them reliably.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
@seneca, Based on what is known today, the above thing is more likely to work than cold fusion.

Minor correction Max,

The above thing DOES work, while cold fusion still remains on the border of theory and wishful thinking.
broglia
1 / 5 (4) Apr 13, 2010
The above thing DOES work
Nope, it doesn't work, as it doesn't produce more energy, then the amount of energy introduced - this is just a bare fact. Whereas cold fusion yield remains positive from its very beginning and it doesn't suffer by many disandvantages of NIF process. Based on what is known today, it is unlikely that NIF will ever produce practical amounts of fusion energy, end of story.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.4229
El_Nose
5 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
For those of you that don't know there is the ITER project goto http://[url=http://www.iter.org[/url]

the timescale is about 30 years to finish first prototype reactor
robz
4 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
Well, while water is plentiful on earth now, if used to get the hydrogen to be used in fusion reaction, the water will run out at some point. Anyone calculated this time to "empty tank" at present human energy consumption? Also, what would be the effects of increased amount of helium in the atmosphere?

Vladimir


from wiki, that using deuterium from seawater only, will last for 150 billion years (!)

also, correct me if i'm wrong, but the helium could be extracted and used for various things, it wouldn't be released into the atmosphere. and if it would, i don't think anything would happen.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2010
Whereas cold fusion yield remains positive from its very beginning and it doesn't suffer by many disandvantages of NIF process.
If and only if you can prove any form of fusion occuring.

Based on what is known today, it is unlikely that NIF will ever produce practical amounts of fusion energy, end of story.

It would be the end of the story if laser physics and nuclear interaction were already a known element in our modern fusion research which neither is as evidenced by the above article.
ubavontuba
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 13, 2010
Fusion Confusion
by Ubavontuba:

Fusion confusion, infusion and more
Funding required, greenbacks for sure
Hydrogen heated with lasers that cook
Energy forever, if they get it to work

Consumption presumption, gumption and more
Heat from a source, like from the sun's core
"It's coming soon." they assert once again
Here I am wondering, just when is then?

Conflagaration fiction, confliction and more
It passes from fact to myth then to lore
"Unlimited energy." I hear them yet say
Just burn the money, it'll cost less that way...
Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
For those of you that don't know there is the ITER project goto http://[url=http://www.iter.org[/url]

the timescale is about 30 years to finish first prototype reactor


The timescale has been 30 years since 1950.

This time . . . for sure.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
"This has the potential to be the best route to fusion energy," says Steve Haan, an expert in nuclear fusion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, in a news report in the Royal Chemical Society's Highlights in Chemical Technology.


Ok in my thinking, NOBODY is an expert in nuclear fusion until they actually achieve self sustaining fusion....

Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
Whereas cold fusion yield remains positive from its very beginning and it doesn't suffer by many disandvantages of NIF process.

If and only if you can prove any form of fusion occuring.


Only need to prove(incontrovertibly) net energy output.
broglia
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
The National Ignition Facility is over-optimistic in its aims for achieving laser fusion this year, says a government report. So do I...

http://www.newsci...lan.html
Noumenon
4.6 / 5 (51) Apr 14, 2010
It would be interesting to see if the environmentalists (~by which I mean political left) would support a Manhatten-like research project for fusion. It would sift out the true environmentalists from the leftist opportunists. I wonder if Al Gore would do talks and fund raisers to help support such research.
jj2009
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
On a serious note... there are an enormous number of socioeconomic issues that will need to be addressed (hopefully IN ADVANCE to all the government leaders reading this). I don't think anyone has ever dealt with, arguably the most costly/lucrative *AND* politically volatile industry being totally turned on its ear before. On the plus side it interesting to see how some of the OPEC nations are put plans into place to keep themselves relevant in a 'post' OIL economy.


in case nobody has noticed, the need for oil isnt going to just disapear overnight, considering the huge number of vehicles that still run on oil.
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (51) Apr 14, 2010
Exactly. Also, any transition of energy sources will occur over time and naturally, by which I mean in accord with capitalistic principals. It is the political left who are wanting to artificially drive up gas prices, and that is what is dangerous. As oil becomes more and more expensive to find and extract, more money will be invested into fusion and other alternative sources. So this way, capitalism will be the solution, without having to redistribute wealth or in any way go against the grain of free capitalistic societies, whom will be the ones investing and funding the alternaties.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010
in case nobody has noticed, the need for oil isnt going to just disapear overnight, considering the huge number of vehicles that still run on oil.

The ICE was built for use with Hemp Oil and later modified to work with petroleum, namely diesel. Easy fix in my opinion.
Skeptic_Heretic
Apr 14, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Javinator
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
That switching all automobiles on the road from using converntional fuels to something else is an easy fix?

Yes. I disagree.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
That switching all automobiles on the road from using converntional fuels to something else is an easy fix?

Yes. I disagree.


But you don't have to switch anything. It's a modification of the original fuel source. The car will run on either petroleum based fuel or hemp oil based fuel natively.
Javinator
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
I'm not going to lie Skeptic, I'm kind of confused. Do you have a source or something to support what you're saying? (I'm not being sarcastic or anything, I just want to see where your info's coming from so we're on the same page)

The ICEs of the past was a lot more robust and could run on different fuels, but as far as I'm aware, today's engines are a bit more picky as they're specifically designed for the fuel they're supposed to run on.

My car runs on unleaded gasoline. If I put deisel in my car's engine... well... that would be bad. I'm not sure about hemp oil myself.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
One of many sources: http://www.global...;aid=872

And yes, putting diesel in your petrol engine will kill it, but putting biodiesel in your diesel won't. Neither will tossing ethanol in your petrol ICE.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2010
One of many sources: http://www.global...;aid=872

And yes, putting diesel in your petrol engine will kill it, but putting biodiesel in your diesel won't. Neither will tossing ethanol in your petrol ICE.

Back then, there was a lot of experimenting going on. Electric cars actually outsold gasoline cars. And of course, who can forget the Stanley Steamer?

Wikipedia:
At the turn of the century, 40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and 22 percent by gasoline.


http://en.wikiped..._history
Caliban
1 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2010

There is no "Peak Oil"- a marketing scam to drive up price.

Gasoline engines are the driving force behind oil price fluctuations. Eliminate the gasoline-powered engine through phase-out, and phase in alternatively derived fuels/electricity/fusion/inertial storage- whatever.

Why do we insist on relying upon a manifestly harmful, poisonous, polluting fuel????

It's all about profit!!!! The entire global economy, the health of our environment, and our individual quality of life will continue to be dictated by the fossil-fuel industry until we decide -individually and collectively- to find a way to employ these new technologies and processes to entirely supplant the fossil-fuel economy.

Take your money out of Petro-based investments, and put it in alt-energy start-ups like Bloom, Siemens, et al(there are plenty). That money's not going to do you or anyone else any good, if you live in a wasteland, fighting over some scraps of food and a few mouthfuls of dirty water.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Actually Oil Production controls the price of oil. A barrel of oil yields so much gasoline comparitively that world wide more oil products are probably used in heating and power production, but in the US the primary use is transportation and that's a big chunk of global oil.

But Peak Oil is no myth my friend. There was only so much bioslime that died during the anoxic conditions and abiogenic production hasn't been replicated. Kerogen is always appearing to be a biotic waste product more and more each day, and with no Kerogen, and a lack of geological time and heat, we'll certainly run out.
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010

I diagree. Just goog "peak oil myth", or "lie", et c.- plenty of evidence to the contrary- or at least to the contrary of peak in the near future.

But just the same- argument for or against just reinforces my point regarding the need for an investment shift, now, into alternative energy production/research/development.

The fossil fuel model is taking us all with it.
It's a metaphor for the suicidal greed that sustains it.
Noumenon
4.4 / 5 (53) Apr 15, 2010
The young and the left are so naive. No one is going to invest in alternatives no matter how nicely or how many times you call them greedy or earth-killers. There has to be a potential for making a return on investment. The great thing about freedom and capitalism is that it's motive force is an inherent desire to better oneself. This does not equate to greed. You are idealistic when you say "We need to invest,..", or "There needs to be investments in ...". This is why the left are wrong headed. The only way to get your naive dream in-play NOW is to IMPOSE it onto the free-market. This would surgically remove the core principals of capitalism which has always been responsible for technological advances.

Secondly the idea of AGW is a theory, which is far from accepted and in any case is certainly over-blown, and is not without political motivation of it's own.
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (52) Apr 15, 2010
Unless the west adopts socialism or communism the following statement is true; The cheapest energy source will be the one used the most.

The idealistic left want to fix everything now, without having any alternatives in place that could even come close to substituting oil/coal. Their answer for a "now" solution is to reduce standard of living, reduce use,... a negative solution not a positive solution as the free market will provide I due time.
Javinator
not rated yet Apr 15, 2010
One of many sources: http://www.global...;aid=872

And yes, putting diesel in your petrol engine will kill it, but putting biodiesel in your diesel won't. Neither will tossing ethanol in your petrol ICE.


It's not recommended to just throw B100 or E100 into a desiel or gas powered car as they are now. Modifications can be made to the vehicles to make them run better for B100 and E100, but that goes back to my original point that it would be difficult to get everyone to retune all the cars on the road to run on alternative fuel sources. Even "flex-fuel" cars (which are fairly new) are only designed to go up to about 85% ethanol.
CavemanDev
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2010
@Skeptic
You *can* run a car on pure ethanol, but it requires the car to be re-tuned for the correct fuel-air mix. Probably requires a different set of additives to maintain the octane number (not that that's a huge problem, seeing as though they already have high ethanol fuels available).

The big problem is in the production and refining. You can't just switch the whole industry to another fuel source overnight - the supply just wouldn't be there. And bioethanol production is still expensive; a lot of our ethanol just comes from petrol ANYWYAY.

@Caliban
I just googled "UFO landings" and found tons of "evidence" about aliens landing and the government covering it up. The fact that you can find information on the internet does not mean that your statement is any more accurate.
Caliban
1 / 5 (3) Apr 15, 2010
@cave, noum,

That's right, hang onto your cherished biases. Close your minds to any alternatives. Peak or no Peak, fossil fuels must be replaced. Alternatives don't exist until they are deployed into the marketplace. The argument re: socialism, communism, godless liberalism, et c. is pure bullshit. Grow up and get some responsibility. You don't exist by yourself on this planet.
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (52) Apr 15, 2010
Close your minds to any alternatives.

Where did I close my mind to alternatives? What are you talking about? I'm all for alternatives, like fusion, nuclear, or whatever!
fossil fuels must be replaced.

I agree, and they will be,...
Alternatives don't exist until they are deployed into the marketplace.

What!! You make zero sense. There IS no alternatives ready to deploy on the scale necessary! Oil and coal will only be replaced as economic forces dictate, in accord with free market capitalism.
The argument re: socialism, communism, godless liberalism, et c. is pure bullshit.

Absolutely wrong. To force a "solution" is to break from existing free market, and would require social engineering (leftist button pushing), to moderate use. This is a fundamental change in the form or role of government. Alternatives must COMPETE with oil and win it's share of the market naturally, otherwise it's socialism, period.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 15, 2010
The big problem is in the production and refining. You can't just switch the whole industry to another fuel source overnight - the supply just wouldn't be there. And bioethanol production is still expensive; a lot of our ethanol just comes from petrol ANYWYAY.

No, but we can start now, and that start requires legalized industrial hemp production in the US.

Since it's an annual crop and can grow on marginal land quite well (hell, kids grow it in their basements in old PC cases under CFLs), and it is an annual crop, it's a sure fire winner.

Forget the hallucinogenic properties (which can be eliminated) and look at the wide range of industrial revitalization that a single plant could bring.
otto1923
5 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2010
Nou:
The young and the left are so naive. No one is going to invest in alternatives no matter how nicely or how many times you call them greedy or earth-killers.
Thats why there needs to be a Higher Authority which can determine that these things do occur at the Proper Time. Luckily, such an Authority exists.
There has to be a potential for making a return on investment.
The greatest return there can be- the continued survival of the species.
Oil and coal will only be replaced as economic forces dictate, in accord with free market capitalism.
A case in point- there was no reason to replace regional railroads in the US, and the effort took far more initial capital than it returned. But a standardized national railroad system was needed to consolidate the country and so that capital was made available- by Rothschild euro banks- and these local railroads were replaced, often by force. A few got rich but a country was forged, a much more substantial result.
JayK
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 15, 2010
We aren't a free market. Stop trying to insist that we are, because that leads to the conclusion that anything deviating from the free market is oooga-boooga bad. We are a regulated capitalistic society that has trended towards consumerism dominated ratios of exports/imports. There is no such thing as perfect capitalism or perfect socialism, the first world nations are all mixtures of -isms that exists to provide for the greatest GDP and geopolitical capital and is slightly different for all depending on natural resources. America has an abundance of shallow coal reserves and a regulated system that encourages coal usage. Get over it.
Nartoon
Apr 15, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Javinator
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2010
SH,

The original arguement was that "the need for oil will not disappear overnight". I agree that changes can and should be made, but there won't be a sharp drop off in oil consumption. It will be a gradual decline.

Well... unless we run out of course.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2010
5 years and we can be 50% of the way there, another 5 and we can be oil free.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Apr 15, 2010
I doubt there will be a linear decline in the next 10 years to 0 oil consumption. It would be nice, but it's not realistic. We'll be using oil until we're out.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 16, 2010
That I don't douobt, as there is no excessive motivation to leave the substance as a mainstay.

I feel that motivation will come sooner than any of us choose.
typicalguy
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2010
This project is way over budget. The reason no one cards is because it's not really for fusion research. It's real intent is to test new nuclear weapons while still complying with the nuclear test ban treaty.

As far as the debate over oil and fossil fuels go, I can tell you that the deck is stacked for the fossil fuel companies. They get huge tax breaks on exploration. People here are using words like "freedom" to describe using fossil fuels. Of course, we're borrowing money from China to finance oil exploration. If we cut all tax breaks for the oil companies, you'll see just how expensive that stuff is (hint, about twice as much).
otto1923
not rated yet Apr 16, 2010
Newsflash: US military predicts oil shortage:
http://www.news.c...54353413
-Is this
a. A veiled threat or promise to Iran of war plans?
b. Actually that's probably what it is. And a heads up to citizens to expect their next vehicle to be green... peak oil can be artificially created. Oil is valuable for many things besides combustion. We should expect to be using it long after we stop burning it. Crises can be a way of forcing conversion from one tech to another. By the time the price comes down again we'll be running fusion plants and driving electric cars and won't need petrol any more.
Besides, irans army hasn't had a war for too long. Unless it is used (up) soon it will become a problem. This is why saddam invaded Kuwait; so he said.
enantiomer2000
not rated yet Apr 17, 2010
For those of you that don't know there is the ITER project goto http://[url=http://www.iter.org[/url]

the timescale is about 30 years to finish first prototype reactor


The timescale has been 30 years since 1950.

This time . . . for sure.


Perhaps with Focus Fusion. They could be up and running in 5 and their design is ultra inexpensive and efficient. Seriously, check out their website.. Here is hoping!
FOURTREES
1 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2010
No nuclear waste? No acid rain?!! Sounds like my desk top Helium-3 Deuterium reactor white paper. I'll bet it's collecting a lot of dust over yonder hill and likely isn't so white any more. I was told to demonstrate fuel extraction. I did. There are lots of great ways to create a sustainable energy infrastructure. Who's going to pay for the technology transition (this includes over coming political barriers to change. With no more Yucca Mountain - perhaps the lays offs will result in diversion of funds to some worthy cause. Lunar Mining.
FOURTREES
1 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2010
No nuclear waste? No acid rain?!! Sounds like my 1991 desk top Helium-3 Deuterium reactor white paper/. I'll bet it's collecting a lot of dust over yonder hill and likely isn't so white any more. I was told to demonstrate fuel extraction. I did. There several ways to create a sustainable energy infrastructure. Who's going to over come the political barriers to change? With no more Yucca Mountain studies perhaps the lays offs will result in diversion of funds to some worthy cause. Lunar Mining. How many stakeholders does it take to solve this problem? How much time do we have to solve this problem? How is the boron reaction more containable than the HE3-deuterium aneutronic reaction? In fact, how is the boron reaction aneutronic (no charged particles emitted)? How about letting algae blooms form new landmass to take up carbon dioxide in the mean time? One man's quaking bog is another species oxygen supply
la7dfa
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2010
The most fascinating about fusion energy, is it always seems to be available 30 years into the future :-)
zbarlici
not rated yet Apr 17, 2010
Bussard's Polywell, FTW!


Mid 2011 baby! Either YAY, or NAY! None of that 30 years later BS
MorituriMax
not rated yet Apr 18, 2010
Okay, to get back to basics for a second, how exactly would one use the energy liberated with any cold fusion process to actually make Electricity? As far as I know, even with the most modern nuclear reactor, one doesn't use the energy directly to make electricity, one uses the heat to make steam which drives a turbine.

Is this how cold fusion energy would be used? To heat water and use the resulting steam? Or not?
GaryB
not rated yet Apr 19, 2010
Cold fusion is the key. The structure of human civilization must change first to become able to use such decentralized resources.


When we all become more spiritual then our prayers for energy will be answered?
GaryB
4 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2010
The young and the left are so naive. the only way to get your naive dream in-play NOW is to IMPOSE it onto the free-market. This would surgically remove the core principals of capitalism which has always been responsible for technological advances.


OK, forget about naive, how about provably wrong. Sooooo much technological innovation comes from Government ... for example, the internet. It's way worse (for you than that). In a totally free market, the internet NEVER gets created. It's because of local minimums -- there is no investment move by a private entity that makes an internet pay off. It's only when the internet is already proven and created that a google can arise. Same is true for all fundamental research -- it's simply a waste of money to do it, because you, privately, will not benefit from the advance ... your neighbor who didn't waste all his capital researching will.

We're stuck with the liberal idea that we need both government and the market.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2010
The free market created the internet, not the government.

If the internet was created by the hands of the government we wouldn't be talking over it.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2010
Just a question by an ignoramus: Wasn't the internet kick-started by the DARPA? And web-browsing by some scientist in CERN? Are those not government organisations? Just some ignorance.

More seriously: If compression fusion requires such profligate amounts of energy and design to kick start it, how can it happen in star formation when there's nothing but thinly dispersed gas clouds without any outside help? Surely Not? Doesn't the compression of a gas heat it up and then the pressure resists any more compression? And we know from fusion reactors that close to critical temperature the magnetic fields just go absolutely haywire - to the extend that plasma just leaps out at random? So just HOW can stars form in the vacuum of space where there are no constraints? Seems impossible to me.
Just an ignoramus questioning what he doesn't understand.

Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2010
Just a question by an ignoramus: Wasn't the internet kick-started by the DARPA? And web-browsing by some scientist in CERN? Are those not government organisations? Just some ignorance.


DARPA provided the mechanism by which to connect Universities (private business) for use within government research projects due to the demands by said private universities for interconnected mainframe computing. From there all further innovation and use was created within the private domain. Government did the leg work at the behest of the private education business. Thanks for trying though.
CavemanDev
not rated yet Apr 19, 2010
Okay, to get back to basics for a second, how exactly would one use the energy liberated with any cold fusion process to actually make Electricity? As far as I know, even with the most modern nuclear reactor, one doesn't use the energy directly to make electricity, one uses the heat to make steam which drives a turbine.

Is this how cold fusion energy would be used? To heat water and use the resulting steam? Or not?


That is the most likely solution, since steam turbines are currently the most efficient way we have of capturing the energy produced.
CyberRat
not rated yet May 10, 2010
wow, a year ago we talked about one way to get fusion, with tokamaks.

now it's FIVE!!
tokamak
big laser
small laser(this)
metal sphere banged with rods
wierd levitating thing at MIT


You forgot 2 other ways
Focus fusion
Inertial confinement
CyberRat
not rated yet May 10, 2010
No nuclear waste? No acid rain?!! Sounds like my desk top Helium-3 Deuterium reactor white paper.


1H + 11B = 3x 4He

Under reasonable assumptions, side reactions will result in about 0.1% of the fusion power being carried by neutrons