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Thermonuclear Reactor To Use Coconut Shells

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the Gilligan-approved dept.

Power 251

destinyland writes "A key component of a $10 billion nuclear fusion plant is vintage 2002 Indonesian coconut-shell charcoal. After a 20-year search, German researchers discovered that the coconut-shell charcoal is the best medium for 'adsorbing' waste byproducts sucked out of the thermonuclear reactor's vacuum chamber. In what will be the first fusion power facility that's commercially viable, magnetic fields will heat hydrogen isotopes to over 150 million degrees Centigrade. (Essentially, the super-hot plasma creates artificial stars.) As the article points out, 'It's not quite a Starship warp drive, but it does harness the power of the sun.'"

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251 comments

Use Coconut Shells? (-1, Offtopic)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910619)

Like a BRA!?

Re:Use Coconut Shells? (1, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910791)

Laden or unladen?

Re:Use Coconut Shells? (3, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910921)

Heavily laden hopefully.

adsorbing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911671)

Why is adsorbing within quotation marks, samzenpus? Didn't know that adsorbing is a word? Go steal a dictionary (your preferred way of obtaining things anyway) and start reading.

Re:Use Coconut Shells? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910843)

Look At My Hearse (A GOMH Tribute)

http://lookatmyhearse.googlepages.com/index.html [googlepages.com]

That's not a horse! (1, Funny)

Tybalt_Capulet (1400481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910629)

That's not a horse, you're just bangin' two coconuts together!

Re:That's not a horse! (5, Funny)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910777)

That's not the power of the sun, you're just bangin' two coconuts together!

Fixed that for ya

Re:That's not a horse! (1, Funny)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911091)

How'd you _get_ the coconuts?!

In related news... (5, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910633)

The head of the project, a former professor, was heard mumbling "Gilligan won't mess it up this time."

Re:In related news... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911191)

The head of the project, a former professor, was heard mumbling "Gilligan won't mess it up this time."

On one of those "rescued from island" TV movies, Gilligan comes over to the professor's new university lab to chat. As expected, he bumps a part and while trying to rescue it via a balancing act, he ends up trashing the whole lab. Skipper kicks Gilligan out and then apologizes profusely to the professor for bringing him. But the professor simply says: "Don't worry, this lab is a fake, [opens door] here's the real lab. I've lived with Gilligan long enough to expect that."
     

Re:In related news... (3, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911325)

Wasn't that the same movie where The Professor was bringing out all of his various inventions he thought of while on the island...

and every one of them was something that had already been invented?

I think that was the same episode where Ginger was trying to get back into movies, but the kept getting offered adult movie roles. if I remember correctly, she was about to accept one because she thought that was the only kind of movies left, when Gilligan convinced her not to because he had just seen Star Wars.

Don't ask me why I remember that.

Even more interesting... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910653)

...is the bamboo bicycle used to remove the atmosphere of the vacuum chamber.

Yeah, I saw this episode (4, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910659)

I remember this one. The professor made the Thermonuclear reactor with a bunch of coconuts, financed, of course, by the Howell's... but then Gilligan saw Ginger...got all flustered and tripped over the whole thing causing a meltdown and the Skipper's hair to glow... yeah, that's a classic episode indeed

Re:Yeah, I saw this episode (2, Interesting)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910709)

I like the Professor / He always saves their butts / He could build a nuclear reactor / From a couple' of coconuts
She said, "That guy's a genius" / I shook my head and laughed / I said, "If he's so fly, they tell me why / He couldn't build a lousy raft"

Re:Yeah, I saw this episode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910991)

He did... didn't you see the movie? He was smart enough to realize that he has to stay on the island long enough so they have enough episodes for several seasons.

Re:Yeah, I saw this episode (4, Funny)

dpilot (134227) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911233)

They once interviewed Russell Johnson, and he had quite the succinct answer : "If you were trapped on a desert island with Ginger and Mary Ann, and your male competition was Gilligan and the Skipper, would you want to get rescued?"

MacGyver's turn (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910905)

If this trend keeps up, we'll finally get our MacGyver flying car.

Re:Yeah, I saw this episode (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910929)

It was Maryann that always made my coconuts radioactive. Those shorts!!!!

Fusion == boom? (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910681)

Read Robert Heinlein's "Blowups Happen".

BTW I love coconut.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910687)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (4, Insightful)

johndiii (229824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910695)

It's a fusion reaction. Just say that. No stars here, no power from the sun. Nuclear fusion.

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910755)

What do you think stars are? Fuckface, they're balls of fucking FUSION. Without fusion stars would be blacker than your god damn heart.

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910977)

No, even black holes give off some radiation. :P

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911307)

Theoretically they do give off Hawking Radiation. It's the objects falling into black holes that throw off radiation though, not the black hole itself.

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (4, Informative)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911713)

What do you think stars are? Fuckface, they're balls of fucking FUSION. Without fusion stars would be blacker than your god damn heart.

How do you think stars are formed? Do giant space storks bring them?

Here's the executive summary -- Without fusion stars are just really big clouds of hydrogen gas. Gravitational collapse of gas clouds leads to internal heating and eventually drives the temperature at the core of the new star up high enough to start hydrogen fusion. Even before stellar ignition occurs these gravitationally powered stars can glow as brightly as their older, hydrogen burning main sequence cousins.

So unless your god damn heart is glowing like a blackbody at two thousand kelvin, with strong absorption in the Lyman Alpha line, then stars without fusion are certainly not any blacker than it.

To learn more about stellar evolution, T-Tauri stars, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, nuclear fusion and spectroscopy, why not go to your local library or take an astrophysicist out to a karaoke bar? Either way you'll hear a lot that you may not be able to understand.

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911003)

It's a fusion reaction. Just say that. No stars here, no power from the sun. Nuclear fusion.

necessary spin is necessary

.. Nuclear ..

"fear"

.. power of the sun ..

"safe"

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911353)

Tell that to someone who has skin cancer from sun exposure! Sol is anything but safe, even if it is rather convenient.

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (1)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911717)

Yeh, you really do need to spin it. After all if they said "Bringing the power of a ball of nuclear fire the size of a million Earths to you!" they might never have gotten the project off the ground.

Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (4, Funny)

batquux (323697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911031)

Fusion reactor? You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' em together!

Old News... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910729)

RTFA... it refers back to a NewScientist story from 2 weeks ago.

Nothing fresh here, drive through!

Re:Old News... (2, Informative)

Malenfrant (781088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911499)

Isn't that the whole point of this site? It links to news stories from elsewhere.

Research was conducted by the Professor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910731)

On Gilligan's Island.

Yea so? (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910749)

Coconut shell charcoal is one of the best available for making filters. Charcoal filters are nothing new folks most fish tanks use them as do most water purifiers and even gas masks. And this "May" be a practical fusion reactor but they have been saying that since the 1950s but I am staying hopeful.
Yet another light and fluffy pop science story with a funny little twist because it has coconuts in it... Yawn.....

Re:Yea so? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911073)

Light and fluffy to the tune of 10 billion dollars this time though.

Re:Yea so? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911323)

The story is light and fluffy the reactor is interesting but the story was written at a lower level than I would expect from Slashdot. It is a big test fusion reactor that uses activated charcoal and may work really well. The reactor is the cool. The story was dull and uninformative.

Re:Yea so? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911225)

LOL, I said the same thing [slashdot.org] (but I didn't notice your comment because you didn't mention activated carbon).

Re:Yea so? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911375)

Yea I can see it now.
Sea World uses activated carbon to save whales!
Coconuts can protect you from poison gas!

It is being used for a stinking filter folks just like charcoal has been used for decades if not centuries.

Re:Yea so? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911255)

It's a cocotokamak!

Nuclear Waste? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910779)

My understanding is that this doesn't produce any nuclear waste at all, is that right?

It says the fuel is deutrium and tritium, how hazardous are those?

And it seems like there is basically zero risk of a "meltdown" as the reaction would presumably stop as soon as the power is cut off.

So worst-case scenario appears to be that they damage the reactor and everything shuts down.

Right?

Re:Nuclear Waste? (3, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910853)

Since the by-product is helium, a reactor leak would only mean that any nearby residents would talk like Mickey Mouse for a little while. Which is better than radiation sickness.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911005)

I think that really depends on the neighborhood, talking like Mickey Mouse could be highly detrimental to your health in some. :)

Re:Nuclear Waste? (2, Funny)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911605)

Since the by-product is helium, a reactor leak would only mean that any nearby residents would talk like Mickey Mouse for a little while. Which is better than radiation sickness.

Until you get sued by Disney for trademark infringement...

Re:Nuclear Waste? (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910925)

Over time, the containment vessel will eventually become radioactive. The ratio of energy to waste should be pretty excellent though.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910945)

Most fusion paths generate neutrons. The neutrons will make the walls of the reactor slightly radioactive for some value of slightly. Until we can do neutron free fusion there will still be a minor issue of waste.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (2, Funny)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910947)

It says the fuel is deuterium and tritium, how hazardous are those?

Oh, EXTREMELY hazardous. Both substances have similar properties to a highly volatile chemical that has in past resulted in some spectacular explosions. OH THE HUMANITY! ;)

Re:Nuclear Waste? (3, Informative)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911173)

Also, deuterium and tritium can be found in Dihydrogen Monoxide. [dhmo.org]

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911211)

Dihydrogen Monoxide...the most hazardous substance known to man. It kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. We need to ban it quick!

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910995)

deuterium is common in sea water. Tritium is somewhat active and has a half-life of 10 years, through beta decay. It's used, sealed in phosphor coated glass vials, for "self powered" illumination in watch dials, exit signs, gun sights, and so on.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911001)

Points of correction for you.

Fusion reactions, with almost no exceptions, will release fast moving free neutrons. The neutrons will in turn go on to radioactivate the containment structure around the reactor. So any fusion reactor we produce will generate waste, but it will be short lived and relatively easy to handle.

You've probably drank deuterium in your water intake every day of your life. It's not hazardous. Tritium is radioactive, emitting mild beta rays (weak enough to be stopped by very thin glass).

You are correct - no risk of meltdown. Stop the input of fuel, stop the reaction. It's damn hard to get a reaction going and keep it that way, let alone get a self-sustaining situation going. Takes something about the same size as the sun...

Right and wrong (2, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911039)

Fusion proponents carefully don't mention the effects of the fusion by-products on the reactor itself. It's the same with conventional thermal plants: the radioactive waste from the fuel rods isn't so bad, but the radiation converts some of the steel in the containment to radioactives (including the steel rods in the reinforced concrete.)

The solution of the Sun and other stars - spray the crap all over the Universe - is perhaps not the most environmentally friendly, but it's why we're here at all. We're basically standing (or sitting) on nuclear waste from a star that went bang.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911065)

Deuterium is a stable isotope of hydrogen, and often used in small doses as a tracer in human medical applications.

Tritium is a beta-emitter, with a half-life of over 12 years. The beta particles can cause cellular & DNA damage in living tissue, but it can be stopped by a few millimetres of aluminum.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911087)

My understanding is that this doesn't produce any nuclear waste at all, is that right?

No. It produces neutrons, so the material of the reactor will gradually become radioactive.

In addition, things will become more brittle, and thus more prone to crack under stress.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1, Troll)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911643)

things will become more brittle, and thus more prone to crack under stress

Kinda like Microsoft software.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911151)

After many years of use, the lining of a Tokamak core is supposed to get mildly radioactive. And there is no risk of a meltdown because it's hard enough just to keep the thing going in the first place.

But right now, there isn't much nuclear waste being produced by fusion.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911595)

Deuterium isn't much of a hazard at all. In the form of heavy water it starts to be a problem only if 25% of your total water is replaced by it and isn't lethal until around 50%. Essentially you'd have to drink only heavy water for about a week. The toxicity is due to deuterium inhibiting cell division. In it's gaseous form, it will simply dissipate harmlessly.

It might or might not make a good diluent for breathing gas for deep diving except that it's way too expensive for that so has never been tried.

Even with all of that, fusion reactors will have a net negative impact on deuterium since it is concentrated from large amounts of natural water but will be fused into helium.

Tritium is a beta emitter, so is a bit more hazardous, but will also dissipate quickly. Modern radio-luminescent markers use a small vial of tritium instead of the old radium and are quite safe.

The reactor hardware itself would become radioactive in use due to neutrons, but it's activity would be fairly short lived once the reactor shuts down.

No meltdown risks at all, no dangerous radiation leaks. Whatever happens, the worst possible case is that a very expensive reactor is ruined.

Re:Nuclear Waste? (1)

kidtexas (525194) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911673)

A lot of people have responded to you and they have it mostly right. Deuterium isn't harmful, tritium is. The neutron flux is a serious problem, especially from a structural standpoint. The reactor will become slowly neutron activated, or radioactive, and will need to be treated as low grade waste. Also, once tritium is introduced into the system, people won't be able to go in the reactor for maintenance because of the tritium absorbed into everything, so remote handling will be required. This is a separate issue from the neutron activation of the reactor though.

And no, no meltdown.

Harnessing the power of the sun. (4, Funny)

Spykk (823586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910795)

My vintage Casio calculator harnessed the power of the sun. This, not so much.

Where can I buy that camera? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910797)

The camera they used to take a picture of the inside of the Tokamak "during operation" at 150 million C

Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (5, Insightful)

sh00z (206503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910829)

Any editor discussing technology who still feels the need to put the word adsorb into quotes, as though it's not a legitimate English term, should be fired. If you're afraid your audience won't understand, then insert a sidebar on the mechanics of adsorption; don't act as though it's a term out of sci-fi.

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911131)

neutrons -- a neutron has no electrical charge and is unaffected by magnetic fields.

Why he felt the need to explain what a neutron is to us is beyond me. I'm tired of these people pretending to do a scientific article but then explaining stuff like this as if it's being fed to kindergarden...

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911459)

You two have so much in common. Here:

*Tosses "condescending"*

Put it in your vocabulary.

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911319)

If you're afraid your audience won't understand, then insert a sidebar on the mechanics of adsorption [wikipedia.org]

Behold the power of the web; no need for a sidebar!

BTW, I thought they quoted the word as an alternate form of [sic] [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (0)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911349)

Agreed. I just have to wonder why they didn't bother to correct the spelling as proper: ABSORB.

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (2, Informative)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911377)

Because adsorb is proper spelling?

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (1)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911381)

...Right, actually different concepts. That'll teach me to post before I drink my coffee. Moving right along.

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (4, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911685)

Because adsorption and absorption aren't the same thing. They said what they meant; suggesting that they use the wrong word is not good advice.

Re:Thanks for finding me a tech website to ignore (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911465)

I think the author intended people to pay close attention and not subconsciously read "absorb". Because I did... I only noticed the difference after you mentioned something, even though I already knew what adsorption is

Wow, so they finally split the coconut atom (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910831)

And I was impressed when that Australian split the beer atom.

Re:Wow, so they finally split the coconut atom (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910903)

Wait 'til you hear "roll and rock"!

Re:Wow, so they finally split the coconut atom (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911139)

And I was impressed when that Australian split the beer atom.

Who?

Across the ditch (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911533)

You know the guy that actually split the atom (Ernest Rutherford) was from New Zealand, not australia.

What (2, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910879)

We have commercially viable fusion reactors now, yet the "news" is that it involves coconuts?

In what will be the first fusion power facility that's commercially viable...

Oh. I see. 3-5 years out then, just like LHC, battery breakthroughs, etc.

ARC Reactor??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29910909)

Is it just me or does that reactor bear a striking resemblance to the ARC Reactor in Ironman?

Re:ARC Reactor??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911159)

What do you think the arc reactor was modeled after?

"Commercially viable"? (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910957)

In other words, because it was funded by outside sources from around the world, rather than the people of the region where it will provide power, it will be able to compete against alternatives in the region. Of course, that would also be true of anything else.

I've got some excellent windmills I'd like to sell you for 50 cents each - I just need to get global funding to the tune of $10B first.

Re:"Commercially viable"? (3, Informative)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911279)

Oh, I don't know. To be commercially viable it also has to produce substantially more power than it consumes on an ongoing basis. A fusion reactor that can do that would actually be a pretty big deal regardless of how it were funded...

Re:"Commercially viable"? (3, Informative)

TimMann (98520) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911437)

That's just confusion by the writer of the story. This reactor is a scientific experiment, intended only to be the first to demonstrate getting more energy out of a fusion reactor than you have to put into it, not to be a commercially viable power plant. So it's just one step towards the long hoped-for goal of commercially viable fusion.

commercially viable? (1, Insightful)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29910967)

If that were the case they'd be popping up all over. This place will never operate in the black. Not saying it isn't a starting point and shouldn't be done, but lets not sell it for something it isn't.

Re:commercially viable? (2, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911329)

I'm sure it'll be producing cheap, abundant power.... in about 20 years.

Just ignore the fact that we've been 20 years away from cheap, abundant fusion power for the last 50 years.

I just want to say... (2, Interesting)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911011)

It's so freaking cool that there's going to be something man-made that will reach temperatures similar to the core of the sun. It's just... too cool. Hold on to your hat, god, 'cause here we come!

Ok, now back to mind-numbingly boring and disappointing reality...

Re:I just want to say... (2, Funny)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911221)

Cool is, perhaps, the wrong word.

Re:I just want to say... (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911531)

It's so freaking cool that there's going to be something man-made that will reach temperatures similar to the core of the sun. It's just... too cool.

Oh, the irony.

Would this create a black hole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911045)

It's crazy speculation time!

According to the Holographic Universe theory, it might be thought that a black hole comes into being not really because something weighs enough to punch a hole in the universe, but because the entropy in the area is higher than the capacity of the hologram.

If this is the case, can someone tell me whether 150,000,000 C is higher or lower than any previously observed temperature?

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911101)

There they are, all standing in a row.
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head!
Give them a twist, a flick of the wrist,
That's what the showman said!

commercially viable ? (2, Informative)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911107)

without knowing anything else, highly sceptical - thought commercially viable fusion years away

PS: all you guys jerking off over how "safe" fusion is - what do you know about the neutron flux, and radioactive embrittlement of the containment shell ?

Re:commercially viable ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911429)

The 'containment shell' you are speaking of is called the thermal shield, and it is 10 inches of solid carbon steel (usually A36). First, the inside few inches may undergo embrittlement over the course of decades. There is still plenty of ductile material left to hold things together. Second, there will be literally no mechanical stresses in the thermal shield other than gravity... seems like 10 inches of steel ought to be able to hold itself up. It will see thermal stresses, but it is designed with expansion joints so that these to not convert into mechanical stresses. Finally, if these reactors follow any sort of conventional fission reactor design (they will), there will then be 6 feet of steel reinforced high density concrete surrounding the entire reaction chamber, called the 'bioshield'.

There is a lot of information on reactor design out there if you just look and educate yourself instead of reading an editorial and jumping to conclusions. the DOE's websites have a lot of non-classified documents out for public use.

Re:commercially viable ? (1)

werfu (1487909) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911457)

Fusion is still years away, but in a time frame much more reasonable than say an antimatter reactor. The first ITER estimate were talking about 2025. I think the last time I read about it, it was about 2034. We should be able to see it happens. Also the fusion CAN be safe. The containment shell radio-active decay last about a hundred years and is way smaller than the by product of nuclear fission. The fusion waste should be handled as safely than fission waste.

Re:commercially viable ? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911627)

Safety is relative. In the case of power generation, safety is relative to worst case possibilities of a Nuclear Plant. Care to enlighten us as to how nuetron flux and radioactive embrittlement of the containment shell can result in the deaths and long-term health side-effects of the surrounding community for miles around and render the area uninhabitable for years as is the case with a worst case fuck-all-safety-mechanisms nuclear power plant disaster? Because I'm not sure you could pull that off here even if a Terrorist had the full support of the entire facility staff and two weeks to try to accomplish it.

It's Just Activated Carbon... (2, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911163)

Boooooooring!

So they found the best activated carbon for their particular use comes from coconut shells. Why is this news?

Harness the power of the Sun (2, Interesting)

adisakp (705706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911237)

I believe the term for harvesting the power of the sun is solar energy. And yes the Sun's energy is original from Fusion but under wildly different circumstances (crushing gravitational forces vs magnetic confinement).

Don't piss off Milky Joe...... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911239)

Or he will hunt you down and frickin kill you for using his friends as Nuclear Waste absorbers....

Re:Don't piss off Milky Joe...... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911283)

It's adsorb. Not absorb. If you're unaware of the difference between the two, absorb and adsorption are both in the dictionary.

Article recap (1, Funny)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911335)

For those of you who dont want to read the article..this is what I got out of it....

            [wind]
            [clop clop]
    ARTHUR: Whoa there!
            [clop clop]

    GUARD #1: Halt! Who goes there?
    ARTHUR: It is I, Christian Day, Scientist, from theKarlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. King of the physicist, defeator of the Saxons, sovereign
            of all Germany!
    GUARD #1: Pull the other one!
    ARTHUR: I am. And this my trusty servant Lovelock.
            We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights
            who will join me in my court of Camelot. I must speak with your lord
            and master.
    GUARD #1: What, ridden on a horse?
    ARTHUR: Yes!
    GUARD #1: You're using coconuts!
    ARTHUR: What?
    GUARD #1: You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin'
            'em together.
    ARTHUR: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this
            land, through the kingdom of Mercea, through--
    GUARD #1: Where'd you get the coconut?
    ARTHUR: We found them.
    GUARD #1: Found them? In Mercea? The coconut's tropical!
    ARTHUR: What do you mean?
    GUARD #1: Well, this is a temperate zone.
    ARTHUR: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin
            or the plumber may seek warmer climes in winter yet these are not
            strangers to our land.
    GUARD #1: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
    ARTHUR: Not at all, they could be carried.
    GUARD #1: What -- a swallow carrying a coconut?
    ARTHUR: It could grip it by the husk!
    GUARD #1: It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple
            question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a 1 pound
            coconut.
    ARTHUR: Well, it doesn't matter. Will you go and tell your master
            that Christian Day of Germany is here!
    GUARD #1: Listen, in order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow
            needs to beat its wings 43 times every second, right?
    ARTHUR: Please!
    GUARD #1: Am I right?
    ARTHUR: I'm not interested!
    GUARD #2: It could be carried by an African swallow!
    GUARD #1: Oh, yeah, an African swallow maybe, but not a European
            swallow, that's my point.
    GUARD #2: Oh, yeah, I agree with that...
    ARTHUR: Will you ask your master if he wants to join my court
            at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany?!
    GUARD #1: But then of course African swallows are not migratory.
    GUARD #2: Oh, yeah...
    GUARD #1: So they couldn't bring a coconut back anyway...
            [clop clop]
    GUARD #2: Wait a minute -- supposing two swallows carried it together?
    GUARD #1: No, they'd have to have it on a line.
    GUARD #2: Well, simple! They'd just use a standard creeper!
    GUARD #1: What, held under the dorsal guiding feathers?
    GUARD #2: Well, why not?

Its adsorption, no absorption (1)

starkadder (819862) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911391)

The activated carbon adsorbs the waste, which means it gets trapped on the surface of the carbon, which has about 400 square meters of area per gram because it has so many micropores.

of course it's not warp drive.... (1)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29911407)

everyone knows warp drives are powered by matter/antimatter reactions.... not fusion...
duh....

the impulse engines are powered by fusion reactors, and those are limited to a speed of 1/4 c

Report Guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911441)

Star Trek Engineer: Ok! we're ready to fly...
*New fancy Fusion drive- Check!
*Purty lights are on- Check!
*2000 pounds of Coconut charcoal.... uhhhhhh..Captain?!

Where did they get the coconuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911493)

Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical! Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

How many times?!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29911553)

Ok, for all the imperial measurers out there, it's Celsius, not Centigrade. It hasn't been Centigrade since 1948!

AC

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