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Archive for the category “fusion”

Fusion Scientist: No Fusion Power by 2040

Fusion insider making short shrift with any notion that fusion is going to work by 2040. It is not to say that no progress is being made, in notably ITER, but there is no hope that we can rely on fusion any time soon, if ever.

Introduction to ITER

The ITER Talks is a series of lectures on the Science and Technology of ITER and fusion, recorded by experts that are working on the ITER project. The lectures will span the science, technology, engineering, and project management challenges and other aspects of this complex endeavour. New ITER Talks will be posted periodically.

In the first episode meet Laban Coblentz – Head of Communication at ITER Organization. He will introduce the ITER project and explain in clear and simple terms what ITER is all about. What does ITER look like today? How should we understand the energy dilemma – and what is fusion energy? Find out more about ITER and how it can help us overcome some of the world’s biggest challenges. You could not find a better speaker to tell you the story about ITER and what it means for you and the future!

ITER 78% Complete

The impressive latest pictures from the ITER Tokamak fusion reactor, one of the largest tech projects on earth. The construction is expected to be completed by 2025. The first plasma experiments will be conducted soon after and deuterium-tritium operations planned for 2035.

[iter.org] – Official ITER site
[wikipedia.org] – ITER
[wikipedia.org] – Tokamak
[youtube.com] – ITER channel
[Google Maps] – ITER location
[nature.com] – Fuel for world’s largest fusion reactor ITER is set for test run
[ec.europa.eu] – Fusion power and the ITER project
[powermag.com] – Fusion Energy Is Coming, and Maybe Sooner Than You Think

The Winning Renewables – Solar/Wind or Fusion?

Currently, renewable energy generation, like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro and hydrogen and batteries as storage, have a cutting edge globally. In the long term, however, huge technological surprises are still possible. Fusion power in a way is proven technology. In fact, the entire universe is based on it. Without fusion energy, there would be no wind, solar and the rest.

The only real difference between stellar fusion and human fusion attempts is that in the first case, the fusion reactor is kept together by the forces of gravity, something that on earth is unthinkable.

The Californian private company TAE Technologies claims to have achieved a significant breakthrough:

Foothill Ranch, CA — April 8, 2021 — TAE Technologies, the world’s largest private fusion energy company, has announced a landmark fusion technology milestone by producing stable plasma at 50M+ degrees Celsius in a proprietary compact reactor design that can scale to competitive fusion-generated power.

The fuel consists of hydrogen and boron-11. The company, that has no shortage of cash, expects to bring a commercially competitive fusion reactor to market by 2030.

The company was founded in 1998, has 150 employees and by 2021 has accumulated $880 million. It has the backing of investors like Goldman Sachs, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., Rockefeller’s Venrock, New Enterprise Associates and the Russian government.

The company said it can now sustain a plasma for an indefinite amount of time. TAE’s reactor needs to be able to heat plasma to 100 million degrees Celsius, but it recently demonstrated it can get to 50 million degrees C, which gives it confidence it can reach its goal before the end of the decade.

Not sure to look forward to a future with cheap, infinite energy, even if clean. It would be a hyper-mobile world.

TAE is not the only one making real progress:

[interestingengineering.com] – China’s Artificial Sun Sets New World Record Getting Closer to Nuclear Fusion

The artificial sun, also called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), achieved plasma temperature at 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius) for 101 seconds and 288 million degrees Fahrenheit (160 million degrees Celsius) for 20 seconds, reported the Chinese state-affiliated newspaper Global Times

The Chinese achieved higher temperatures than the Americans, but admit that they still haven’t achieved “stability”.

The Wikipedia page for TAE says…

In 2021, TAE Technologies stated Norman was regularly producing a stable plasma at temperatures over 50 million degrees

…which begs the question of what their stability duration record now really is. And if it is stable, can they acieve 100 million Celsius and still keep it stable?

The TAE-fusion reactor

[tae.com] – Fusion Energy Milestone from TAE Technologies
[wikipedia.org] – TAE Technologies
[eetimes.com] – Carbon-free Energy by Fusion Technology
[techh.info] – Fusion timeline
[focus.de] – Alle Energieprobleme auf einen Schlag gelöst? Großer Durchbruch bei der Kernfusion in den USA
[cnbc.com] – Look inside this lab where scientists are recreating the energy of the sun to produce nearly unlimited clean energy
[popularmechanics.com] – This Nuclear Reactor Just Made Fusion Viable by 2030. Seriously.
[world-nuclear-news.org] – TAE reaches ‘hot enough’ plasma milestone
[techcrunch.com] – Claiming a landmark in fusion energy, TAE Technologies sees commercialization by 2030

Read more…

Wendelstein Fusion Initial Success

wendelstein3

The German engineers of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald succeeded in producing the first plasma, no surprises here.

The first plasma in the machine had a duration of one tenth of a second and achieved a temperature of around one million degrees. “We’re very satisfied”, concludes Dr. Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X, at the end of the first day of experimentation. “Everything went according to plan.” The next task will be to extend the duration of the plasma discharges and to investigate the best method of producing and heating helium plasmas using microwaves. After a break for New Year, confinement studies will continue in January, which will prepare the way for producing the first plasma from hydrogen.

[news.sciencemag.org] – Germany fires up bizarre new fusion reactor
[ipp.mpg.de] – The first plasma: the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device is now in operation

 

The Wendelstein 7-X Stellarator

In Greifswald, Mecklenburg/Germany, scientists are exploring a new approach to fusion energy, away from the Tokamaks. The new €1 billion Wendelstein machine with a diameter of 16 m and was under construction for 19 years, is now ready to be switched on. The scientific community is holding its breath.

[sciencemag.org] – Twisted Logic
[wikipedia.org] – Wendelstein 7-X

Science Magazine

ITER in Five Minutes

Cold Fusion 2.0

In 1989 two of the world’s leading electrochemists, the Brit Fleischmann and American Frenchman Pons, shocked the world with their announcement that they had found a way to initiate a exogenous nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature. After initial world wide excitement, things calmed down. Cold fusion research however never really stopped and now an Italian inventor and entrepreneur Andrea Rossi claims to have developed a cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) thermal power source. 1-megawatt cold fusion power plant now available, that is on pre-order – yours for just $1.5 million.

[extremetech.com] – 1-megawatt cold fusion power plant now available – yours for just $1.5 million
[forbes.com] Finally! Independent Testing Of Rossi’s E-Cat Cold Fusion Device: Maybe The World Will Change After All
[forbes.com] – Psstt! Want An E-Cat LENR Generator? For Free?
[wikipedia.org] – Cold fusion

Read more…

Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough?

Youtube text: Breakthrough technology: Charles Chase and his team at Lockheed have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and speedier development timeline (5 years instead of 30).

Lockhead Martin’s Skunk Works is famous for developing advanced technologies. Now Skunk Works Program Manager Charles Chase has outlined their plan for creating a 100 MW Fusion prototype by 2017.

[engineering.com]

Fusion Does Not Want Us

The NYT is pleased to let itself being used as a free advertising board for nuclear fusion. We are less convinced and happy to point out that mr. Prager is a partisan, with vested interests in the business and that he has designs on your wallet for that purpose.

[NYT]

Lets make a deal… solar and wind exist and work. Why not install these devices first so we at least can survive the end of the carbon age. Garanteed. Once we have safely made it to the other side of the energy Rubicon we can always spend our scarce resources on this fusion hobby horse. The fusion fairy tale has had fifty years now to prove itself, that should be enough. It failed. Any guy who sends roses to a girl for half a century without ‘return on investment’ is rightly considered an idiot. Fusion does not want us. There are other girls.

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