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Building a Homemade Nuclear Reactor In NYC

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the extreme-diy dept.

Power 219

yukk writes "Mark Suppes, a web developer for Gucci, is working on his own personal fusion reactor. His work in a NYC warehouse using $35,000 of his own money and $4,000 raised on a website has made him the 38th independent researcher recognized as creating a working fusion reactor. How's that for a hobby?"

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219 comments

Neat (2, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677758)

This is really cool. Though I'd guess that the neighbors will be up-in-arms soon, even if you tell them it's completely safe.

Re:Neat (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677812)

We all saw spiderman 2.

Re:Neat (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679306)

    Actually, some of us skipped it. Maybe I'll catch it when it comes on TV in 10 years. It was 2 hours spent very well elsewhere. :)

Re:Neat (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679364)

I'm sure it is reasonably safe, but why should the neighbors take the guy's word for it? It looks to me like a complex piece of high energy equipment. Does his insurer know how to classify the risk ?

Simply a Fusor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677802)

A Fusor, while not cheap, is not new. This isn't a breakthrough. It's surely interesting, but barely news.

Re:Simply a Fusor (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677830)

yeah, slashdot needs to stop posting this DIY crap. Even if it is interesting and nerdy it has no place here. We need to get back to politics and rants about the RIAA!

Re:Simply a Fusor (3, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678904)

Don't you mean Apple? The government needs to break them up for all their anti-competative behavior. You can't expect the invisible hand of the market to do anything with a company that makes such cool products.

Re:Simply a Fusor (5, Informative)

Kopachris (1594707) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677872)

Agreed. There are at least 25 people who've done it, maybe a lot more. Here's a guide to the whole process if you want to do it yourself: http://brian-mcdermott.com/fusion_is_easy.htm [brian-mcdermott.com]

Re:Simply a Fusor (5, Interesting)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677962)

Indeed, at our engineering department a student society just had one sitting on a table in a corner and didn't mention it, as though it was a completely normal thing to have around.

Re:Simply a Fusor (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677960)

its not just any fusor though.
It was created by Philo T. Farnsworth.

I wonder if he also said "Good news, everyone..."

Re:Simply a Fusor (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678934)

Damn it! Now I have his voice stuck in my head. My inner monolog is going to sound really weird today.

Uh Typo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677818)

Wouldn't it be a fission reactor?

Re:Uh Typo (5, Informative)

bami (1376931) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678048)

No, Fission involves the process of heavy (unstable, usually something like Uranium) element decaying into a lighter element and some radiation, where the radiation is used to generate electricity.
This is a proper fusion reactor, as it uses electricity to join (light, usually some form of hydrogen, be it H2 or H3) atoms together, releasing neutrons in the process from which you can generate electricity.

Problem with fusion reactors is that the input (electricity used to join the atoms) is usually bigger then the output, so it's not viable yet as a power source, but when it is figured out, you have a clean power source that uses light elements to produce slightly heavier elements with no radioactive by-products.

Re:Uh Typo (1, Interesting)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678282)

But what happens to the neutrons? Wouldnt that be something similar than beta-rays?

Re:Uh Typo (2, Informative)

DrKnark (1536431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678664)

"Beta-rays" means electrons and positrons. These are light charged particles. Neutrons are heavy and neutral.

That being said, being in a high neutron flux for any length of time can be harmful to a human.

Of course this is handled with shielding. And I believe in any serious fusion reactor breeder blankets (not sure which material) are put in place, which absorb neutrons to generate lithium. Lithium is required for the D-T reaction.
Since I'm no expert in fusion I'm sure someone else can give a more precise answer.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678694)

Beta particles are high energy electrons, not neutrons. And so long as you don't swallow a beta emitter, you're not going to get hurt from beta particles.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678954)

Wait, you mean human skin is powerful enough to block beta particles? Can we block electricity too?

Cool!

Re:Uh Typo (2, Informative)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678286)

By no radioactive by-products we are ignoring the walls of the torus which do become radioactive and do need to be replaced.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678414)

I didn't see a torus, it looks like a fusor in the article. They still produce neutrons, but the issue isn't the shape of the device or the confinement method it's the fuel you use. Not every reaction produces neutron radiation; if for example we can get a useful p+11B (hydrogen + boron-11) device we'll have a pretty plentiful fuel source and helium coming out of the exhaust pipe.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

buback (144189) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678702)

it's not a tokamak. there is no torus. There are neutrons, which will make something radioactive, eventually, but it'll take a while at the rate a device like this produces neutrons.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678894)

GP's post was about the difference between fission and fusion. While the story is about a fusor (I am guessing here). Fusors are not capable of getting to a break even point do to the screens they use. Tokamaks are though. When discussing Fission vs Fusion for energy creation. Fusion while being a clear winner of fission is not completely clean.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

randomencounter (653994) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679402)

Which is why it isn't a Fusor he's building.

It looks like one but a Magnetic Grid fusion device replaces the electric grid of the Fusor with a self-shielding magnetic grid. The idea is to create a "virtual Fusor" with the magnetic fields inside, thus eliminating grid losses.

A full-scale prototype has yet to be built, but I have seen an estimate that a magnetic grid of under 2m diameter is necessary for break-even which is going to be orders of magnitude cheaper to build and test than even the cheapest Tokomak.

Re:Uh Typo (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678726)

The walls are damaged by the neutron emission, but not all radiation damage results in the material becoming radioactive. The induced radioactivity in the walls of the reactor is much less significant than it simply becoming brittle. That's the reason why it needs to be replaced.

Torus? (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679226)

When I first read your comment I thought you said torso and wondered how one replaced the walls of ones torso... mine don't look replaceable.

there are radioactive byproducts in fusion (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679066)

however, they are lot better behaved than the radioactive byproducts in fission

hhere is such a thing as nuclear waste with the idea of fusion power. however we are talking about things with half lives and types of radioactivity that makes handling the waste not a permanent nightmare, more like a manageable sustained effort

Re:Uh Typo (1)

SanitaryFather (1631317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679378)

Don't have a problem with your explanation except for the part about generating electricity with radiation. When the neutron hits an atom within the uranium and splits it, energy is released as both radiation and heat. The heat from the process is used to produce steam which is used to spin turbines, etc... The radiation part is useless except to make gophers glow and help you grow an extra arm or eye, if you are into that sort of thing.

fusioneers (5, Interesting)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677836)

I've worked with a couple of these people online before. Depending on where you mark the threshhold, there are a few more fusion hobbyists than most people would think. They're good to talk to because they are some of the few hobbyists playing with high vacuum technology (which interests me for the purpose of vacuum metalization, aka evaporative deposition).

Wiki link to Farnsworth fusor (4, Informative)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677840)

(yeah, yeah, I know...never trust anything on Wikipedia... but it's still a good reference starting point)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wiki link to Farnsworth fusor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678008)

yeah, yeah, I know...never trust anything on Wikipedia

Do people really still say this?

Re:Wiki link to Farnsworth fusor (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678794)

***yeah, yeah, I know...never trust anything on Wikipedia

  Do people really still say this?***

Of course they do. We are not close to Peak Tinfoil which remains much in demand for headgear amongst certain segments of the population.

Re:Wiki link to Farnsworth fusor (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678930)

Disturbingly yes,

While walking amongst my fellow techy geeks, this sort of talk is usually promptly squashed or a heated debate takes place and the smackdown cometh.
But out in the "real world" with people like the suits, the poor D&D guys, street people, and office drones, a lot of them still think the idea of publicly aggregated knowledge to be silly. Hell, a lot of street people barely know computers exist much less wikipedia.

Re:Wiki link to Farnsworth fusor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678688)

I'm confused. Can we trust that Wikipedia is a good starting point or not?

Yes, but... (3, Funny)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677850)

Can it run on garbage yet?

If you call that web developing... (-1, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677866)

HIs site has a few errors.
For example This:
        if((Prototype.Browser.IE && (/MSIE 6\./.test(navigator.userAgent))))
        DD_belatedPNG.fix('.overlay-text .overlay-title');
        document.observe('dom:loaded', function(){
                Menu.initialize('homepage');
        });
Should say
        if((Prototype.Browser.IE && (/MSIE 6\./.test(navigator.userAgent))))
        window.location = 'http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/'
        });

Re:If you call that web developing... (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678258)

Should say
if((Prototype.Browser.IE && (/MSIE 6\./.test(navigator.userAgent))))
window.location = 'http://www.google.com/chrome'
});

FTFY

Re:If you call that web developing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678926)

Please go die in a fire. No one is impressed at your weak attempt in snarky humor. If you put more energy into moving around, maybe you wouldn't die a lard assed cheeto-fingered virgin.

You can do it for a lot less... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677870)

You can do it for a lot less if you have access to manufacturing like cad/cam software and machining centers. You also need to add a lot of electricity to sustain a reaction so getting a deal on some electrical components help too.

Very cool that he did it! I wonder if you get a t-shirt or something.

what could possibly go wrong ? :) (0, Troll)

Antity-H (535635) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677902)

"How's that for a hobby ?"

"Dangerous"

Re:what could possibly go wrong ? :) (4, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678254)

And what, exactly, makes you think it's dangerous? If you're going to call it dangerous, you should be able to lay out a plausible failure scenario that shows the risk; do you know enough about the devices these guys are building to do that, or are you just afraid of anything that uses the word "nuclear"?

fallout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677904)

Uhhh! I know! I know! Link it to a fridge!
Best source for Nuka Cola and Roetgen Beer!
( by the way.. even my verification picture for this comment said "cooked" )

Didn't end well for the last person who did this. (3, Interesting)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677916)

Uh oh, I've heard this before... Wikipedia article about David Hahn, the 'Radioactive Boy Scout' [wikipedia.org]

Re:Didn't end well for the last person who did thi (5, Informative)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677998)

That's fission, they really are pretty different. On a hobby level, fission consists of lots of playing with radioactive things and all that. Fusion consists of putting some gas in a box, turning it on, putting a whole lot of power in and ending up with a different gas in the box.

Re:Didn't end well for the last person who did thi (2, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678026)

He tried to build a fission reactor. This is a fusion reactor.

Re:Didn't end well for the last person who did thi (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678058)

Actually, Hahn didn't do this - He created a fission reactor. (Which, IMO, makes him deserve far more credit because fission is dangerous and far harder to get the materials for.)

Basic fusion is easy with the Farnsworth Fusor design. The problem is that it's not a useful design for anything but low-yield neutron generation for experiments - it can't generate power due to operating nowhere close to breakeven and, if I recall correctly, with quite a bit of physics saying that such a design will never be able to achieve breakeven at any scale.

Re:Didn't end well for the last person who did thi (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678084)

> Actually, Hahn didn't do this - He created a fission reactor.

No he didn't. A pile of radioactive scrap is not a reactor.

Re:Didn't end well for the last person who did thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32679256)

Quite.
Stacking some Americium (from smoke detectors) and Radium (from glow-in-the-dark clock paint) does not a "reactor" make.
Just because the kid used a Geiger counter to know when he got a bigger reaction from more stuff doesn't make him a brilliant amateur physicist.

Re:Didn't end well for the last person who did thi (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679290)

with quite a bit of physics saying that such a design will never be able to achieve breakeven at any scale

Because physics has never been wrong about anything, ever.

And how is he not in jail? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677936)

Im sorry how does one get away building a freaking unsafe amateur nuclear device IN NYC, I know he is an expert and all (you kinda have to be to develop a static web catalog) but Jesus

last time I went up there, I couldn't carry a travel size tube of toothpaste and this dink is making a bomb in his basement

Re:And how is he not in jail? (2, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677990)

He's not making a bomb, he's making a fusion device. A very lower power, low-yield fusion device.

It can create some neutron radiation, but the device is so low power that the radiation is rather negligible.

Re:And how is he not in jail? (3, Insightful)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678234)

Im sorry how does one get away building a freaking unsafe amateur nuclear device IN NYC, I know he is an expert and all (you kinda have to be to develop a static web catalog) but Jesus

last time I went up there, I couldn't carry a travel size tube of toothpaste and this dink is making a bomb in his basement

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the basic reaction of 99% of the population* when they read this story.

*people who know precisely dick about physics

This guy will be lucky if his neighbors don't lynch him. :(

Re:And how is he not in jail? (4, Funny)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678958)

***This guy will be lucky if his neighbors don't lynch him***

People who live in NYC don't generally care enough about their neighbors to lynch them. Now Texas or Oklahoma, There any half way decent rabble rouser can get a lynch mob together with just a megaphone and few cases of beer.

I think (2, Funny)

ack_call (870944) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677948)

somebody must have already done this in my neighbourhood as it's already overrun with mutants.

movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677982)

remember this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manhattan_Project_%28film%29

This get's picked up every couple of years... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678000)

The site you want to visit is www.fusor.net. He got the idea from this site. Spending $35K on this is really high. Most guys make there fusor for around couple $2k-$5K.Some do it for a couple of hundred dollars. It's all in how you scrounge for parts. I wish him luck, but he needs better scrounging skills.

Re:This get's picked up every couple of years... (4, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679270)

Its all the high vac stuff that gets expensive and time consuming, its a real pain in the ass. Good backing pumps and high vac pumps (like Diffusion or Turbomoleculer pumps) are tough to come by for cheap unless you are willing to rebuild them. I bought three smaller diffusion pumps off eBay for another experiment and let me tell you its not an easy task finding parts for a $20 nondescript pump you bought off ebay. Then your need vacuum valves to control the pump down process. First you need to rough the chamber and wait for the pressure to drop to about 4E-2 Torr and then keep it there to remove as much vapor as you possibly can. then close the roughing valve and then open the forline valve to pull the back of your high vac pump down and then open the main valve which exposes the high vac pump to the chamber. Those vacuum parts alone can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Also given the fact that high vacuum fittings like Kf or CF elbows, flex pipes, tees etc can cost $50-$100 each! I applaud him for throwing that much money at the problem, he looks like he built a nice fusor with the right parts the first time so he isn't spending hours trying to figure out why he cant pull a vacuum below the -3's (Torr).

Its fun trying to iron out vacuum leaks! Especially without a $20,000+ helium leak detector. But a little vacuum grease on the KF O rings and making sure you tightened your CF flanges properly should help eliminate your problems.

I was trying to build a small electron beam welder for fun. I work on them for a living now so it looked like a nice little project but its not easy or cheap. As of now its a half assembled pile of parts because I cant afford to keep throwing money at it. The 3HP Stokes Microvane (55CFM) alone cost me 550 bucks. And that was a lucky find, don tthink the seller knew what he had. And it needs a rebuild because it cant pull lower than 7E-1 Torr. I also need good vacuum gauges (dial gauges arent much help below a few Torr, and the old Hastings I got from work are not that reliable), Hastings makes real nice ones, have them at work but they cost about a grand for the low-med vac gauges (1E-4 Torr) and I believe 1500+ for the one that goes all the way to ultra high vac (good to 1E-10 Torr).

Anyone who puts this kind of time, money and effort in to their hobby is a real dedicated person. My hats off to you Mr. Suppes.

Re:This get's picked up every couple of years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32679420)

tl;dr

Please post a how-to with numbered steps.

he works for gucci? (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678020)

i know everyone is freaked out about the military thoecracy of iran and the cult of personality of north korea with nukes, and that nuclear technology will inevitably trickle down to smaller and smaller states: suriname, east timor, vanuatu... and then factional organizations: al qaeda, FARC, doctors without borders, make a wish foundation, girl scouts...

but when fashion designers have their hands on nuclear technology, i think we can pretty much declare the effort to contain nuclear technology over, and just start writing the epitaph for civilization. we're doomed

Re:he works for gucci? (2, Interesting)

KenSeymour (81018) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679068)

An oldie but goodie from Tom Lehrer:

First we got the bomb, and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way.
Who's next?

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side (I believe).
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
They can't wipe us out for at least five years.
Who's next?

Then Indonesia claimed that they
Were gonna get one any day.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white.
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense.
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb.
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go,
And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb.
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?

Nukular - it's pronounced nu-ku-lar (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678094)

Scientists say ["nuclear"] devices like Mr Suppes' pose no real threat to neighbouring communities or the environment because they contain no nuclear materials, such as uranium or plutonium.

Attention hadrons: you are not welcome here!

Yes, I know they meant "radioactive", but it's a bit rich to publish folksy "We don't take kindly to your new fangled 'science' round these parts" vox-pop quotes when you can't even get the single most significant safety aspect of fusion vs fission right yourself.

Re:Nukular - it's pronounced nu-ku-lar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678360)

And yet sit and watch all the Ignorant morons kneejerk post about doom and bombs.
  Nuclear Energy is the only kind of energy that will do for us in the long term - global economic forces can not and will not stop fossil fuels - the cheapest alternative will always win. LFTR is that cheap alternative.

But it works and is scientifically dull - with Bussard reactors one could fly to the moon for a weekend getaway.
Way cooler. Bussard Reactors FTW!

Re:Nukular - it's pronounced nu-ku-lar (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678392)

This is not a direct quote of the anonymous scientists, this is just crappy writing from the journalist. In other words, it's not the scientists who can't get it right, it's the idiot writing about it.

Re:Nukular - it's pronounced nu-ku-lar (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679086)

Thus my taking issue with the publisher, not the scientists. Fair point though, I should have elided the first two words. You win an Internets.

Cool, but pretty easy to do (2, Interesting)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678104)

Lots of people have made fusors, even high school students for science fairs.

The article is really light on details, his setup looks far more complex than a basic fusor would need to be and I assume that's where he spent all the money. Getting good deals on things like used vacuum pumps you could probably do this for a couple of thousand. It's a neat hobby but fusors are far too inefficient to be used as anything other than a cheap neutron source, and even then only if you really up the voltage. Most make for a cool looking lamp.

um, ok (5, Insightful)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678156)

As a (non-amateur) physicist and former fusion researcher, I recommend putting in a deposit at a sperm bank for any man intending to do this.

Contrary to popular belief, fusion does cause significant radiation.

That said, this is pretty cool. It's too bad people like this don't go all the way and do physics professionally. Perhaps if advanced physics research paid as well as working for Gucci...

Re:um, ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678586)

Actually, any physicist knows and can prove with pen and pencil that the fusor is a waste of time and resources. Heck, everyone can build a pocket accelerator with a 1.5V battery.

Physicists do get paid, but it's not an easy job and you don't always get to pick on what you are working on. But then physics makes science go (and mathematicians would argue the same thing about physics, but hey, it took them decades to figure out the Delta function that physicists invented for QM :P

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac_delta_function

Re:um, ok (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678628)

Just a thought, but wouldn't Fusion research be better performed on the moon where H3 is lot more plentiful? H3 isn't the size of small car, and all the test equipment that one sees appears to be for solving problems that apply to larger structures.

Re:um, ok (1)

RickyG (1009867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678914)

I always wondered why Gucci stuff was so expensive... Well, it might be that someone needs to get Mr. Obama to hire this man. If he can do something that the govenment has thrown billions at, and FUND it from the Rich people, he is a gold mine that the Treasury needs to learn to tap.

Re:um, ok (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678996)

Meh, I'm having a vasectomy tomorrow so this has all of the cool and none of the drawbacks.

One of my friends owns a metal shop so I can get some nice looking parts made...

Stay tuned, folks. I'll either end up on /. or in This is True.
     

Am I wrong or... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678530)

...or is a 'nuclear reactor' quiet different from a 'fusion reactor'?

Re:Am I wrong or... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678704)

...or is a 'nuclear reactor' quiet different from a 'fusion reactor'?

Fission and fusion reactors are both operating on the nuclear level, so I don't really see a conflict here.

Re:Am I wrong or... (2, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679078)

Yes, they are quite different. One is a super-category, and one is a sub-category. Like vehicle and car. All cars are vehicles, but not all vehicles are cars. Similarly, all fusion reactors are nuclear reactors, but not all nuclear reactors are fusion reactors.

Fusion is Easy... (5, Insightful)

Jerrry (43027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678750)

Fusion is relatively easy to achieve on a small scale. What's extremely hard to achieve, judged on the efforts of various organizations over the past 60 years, is fusion that produces more power than it consumes.

Re:Fusion is Easy... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679216)

You just need a few quadrillion tonnes of hydrogen.

Ok, if you want something a little smaller, then let's look at the problem. Ignition can now be done. Lots of ways to ignite fusion. A sustained reaction is harder. However, as a general rule, in other domains when instabilities have appeared to be a problem, it is the instabilities that proved to be the solution. Instead of working to eliminate them, perhaps they could be used as a pump mechanism to draw in new fuel and expel the helium produced.

Re:Fusion is Easy... (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679340)

Fusion is relatively easy to achieve on a small scale. What's extremely hard to achieve, judged on the efforts of various organizations over the past 60 years, is fusion that produces more power than it consumes.

Not easy maybe, but certainly been done numerous times before [wikipedia.org]...

Fusion or Fission? (1)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679210)

Did they really mean Fusion, or did they mean Fission?

I was under the impression that a Fusion reactor was a little harder to build.

That's awesome (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679246)

So he's built a fusion reactor in an old warehouse in New York.....

...Does he bust Ghost as well?

Nuclear Reactors Aren't Dangerous... (3, Funny)

humphrm (18130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32679314)

Mr. Wizard -- Today Timmy, we're going to take an old spatula, an inner tube and some macaroni noodles to make a nuclear reactor.
Timmy – Gee, Mr. Wizard! Aren't nuclear reactors dangerous?
Mr. Wizard -- No, Timmy! But old spatulas are! They can poke your little eyes out!

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