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Construction of French Fusion Reactor Underway

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the limitless-escargot-coming-soon dept.

Power 389

GarryFre writes "It has been said that fusion is 50 years away for quite a few decades, but now work has actually been started. Digging has begun in the south of France on the planned site for France's first fusion reactor. A tokomak is a torus shaped magnetic confinement device which is necessary to withstand the temperatures associated with fusion that are so high, solid materials can't hold them. As such, the building represents the future core of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.) It will be interesting to see if it takes 50 years to build it."

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Oh well... (3, Funny)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593594)

Guess we can't go fusion now either, since that would entail imitating the cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
(That was sarcasm...I hope. :P)

Re:Oh well... (5, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593628)

We'll do but we'll call it "Freedom Fusion".

Re:Oh well... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593672)

The summary:

A tokomak is a torus shaped magnetic confinement device which is necessary to withstand the temperatures associated with fusion that are so high,

How high?

so high, solid materials can't hold them.

HOLY FUCK!

Re:Oh well... (3, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593990)

Concrete fails at a few thousand degrees, Steel at only a couple thousand. You don't have to get all that much hotter than a conventional oven is capable of to melt/destabilize pretty much everything.
Fusion temperatures are quite a bit higher.

Re:Oh well... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594152)

Ceramics are known to hold up under above 6,000 F temperatures.

Re:Oh well... (2, Insightful)

Pinhedd (1661735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594250)

yes but not the millions of degrees needed to reach fusion

Re:Oh well... (4, Informative)

swamp_ig (466489) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594278)

Fortunatly the magnetic confinement techniques they'll be using doesn't fail at any particular temperature. RTFM!

Re:Oh well... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593758)

I would have thought "Mr. Fusion".

Re:Oh well... (1)

GarryFre (886347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593802)

Or Freesion :D

Re:Oh well... (2, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593810)

I LOVE IT!! I can't wait until I can power my AC with it and say it's Freesion in here.

Re:Oh well... (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593940)

Of course.. there'll be offshoot brands such as FuBusion and KungFusion.

Re:Oh well... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594288)

Heh, designer power...

Re:Oh well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593908)

Yeah, we're lucky we had a Luddite peanut farmer for President to save us from energy independence by banning nuclear waste reprocessing.

God bless the retards in Congress in bed with the oil industry (literally). Without them, we wouldn't have the joy of $200 billion drained from the U.S. economy every year to pay for petroleum.

And hugs to the corpse of President Nixon without whom we wouldn't have the cozy relationship with China that allows us to say goodbye to over $200 billion per year only to borrow it back so we can go further into debt all over again next year.

With leadership like that what could possibly go wrong.

Re:Oh well... (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594032)

That Luddite wanted America to pursue renewable strategies as well as the other nastier alternatives - remember the solar panel on the White House roof? Also, nuclear waste reprocessing sounds wonderful in theory but is not a slamdunk in practice. France still needs to finds a place to bury the stuff that's not worth reprocessing and the greater needs and sprawl of the US would have made for hell of a lot more waste to be dumped in someone else's back yard.
The thorium reactor might have resolved all these problems but, 50 years own, we still don't have a design that can scale up to the needs of modern society.

The Luddite also wanted to Americans to be less materialistic. Regrettably, neither of those visions have yet come to pass and probably won't in the peanut farmer's lifetime.

French? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593596)

Freedom Fusion.

Re:French? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594126)

Freedom Fusion.

Here's a fun fact: The phrase 'Freedom Fries' dates back to 2003.

Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (5, Funny)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593610)

LE DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, September 15, 2060

The country formerly known as France has successfully performed its first and last Fusion reaction.

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593660)

The burning crater formerly known was France has successfully performed its first and last Fusion reaction.

~FIXED

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593690)

Thanks, in a(n unsuccessful) rush to get first post I failed to realize that a burning crater would not only lose its name, but also status as a country.

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593830)

I have a feeling we would still call it France... as a lesson to future generations that in the end, losing all the time (http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/victories.html) becomes so ingrained as to become a permanent thing. I do wonder if the guys at albino would see this as a reason to update their list.

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593870)

France has territory outside of western Europe.

So even if France was a smoking crater in Europe, there would still be a nation of France.

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594188)

France has territory outside of western Europe

Exactly. France is probably the third closest country to the US, after Canada and Mexico. Wait... Alaska and Russia are close. Okay, fourth. Hmm... No, nothing in the Pacific... Oh, snap! There's lots of Caribbean countries that are close too.

Okay, France is closer to Maine than New York City is to Chicago.

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594268)

Lets count Quebec as French, just to piss off the Quebec nationalists and the French, so it's the second closest country to the US ;).

France almost got the US to invade Mexico to help the Mexicans, thats saying something right there. As it was the US pushed a bunch of arms and gear across the Rio Grande for the Mexican rebels to use against the French.

Re:Le Daily News - 9/15/2060 (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594164)

Well, I hope you've learned something.

probably not first post anymore (1, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593612)

Haven't fusion reactors been built already but have simply used more energy than they produced?

No time to google when shooting for FP.

Re:probably not first post anymore (3, Informative)

hpa (7948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593644)

Quite. ITER follows in the steps of the Joint European Torus (JET), and other research reactor. It is not aimed at achieve power plant break even (that is slated for the followon project, DEMO) nor economical breakeven (that would come after DEMO).

Re:probably not first post anymore (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593676)

In light of the chosen name, I'm not entirely sure I want to see what comes after DEMO...

Seriously, in a field that is already rife with misinformation and FUD, they couldn't have come up with a better name? :)

Re:probably not first post anymore (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594042)

Duh, the next iteration is BETA (Bigger Experimental Tokamak Application). Obviously DEMO is expected to produce some sort of inverse time-shifting effect, as you wouldn't ordinarily expect DEMO to arrive before BETA.
Apparently at some point between DEMO and BETA the French expect to give up on their silly language.

Re:probably not first post anymore (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594118)

The French giving up on their stupid language ? We'll have to conquer them first.

I wonder if Chuck Norris is free on friday.
Or, in this case, Stevie Wonder will do fine.

Re:probably not first post anymore (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594020)

Actually, ITER is intended to demonstrate a useful amount of energy production from fusion. It's baseline design is for Q=10, i.e. 10 times more power out from fusion than put in. This is essentially a feasibility demonstration, and experimental test bed for things like wall modules and blankets. The follow-on (DEMO) will then be a prototype power plant, and actually be connected up to generators etc.

ps. though AC, also a plasma physicist working on tokamaks

Re:probably not first post anymore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593674)

Samzenpus: now challenging kdawson for the title of most idiotic /. "editor".

ITER will be one of the many Tokamaks. (2, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593796)

"Haven't fusion reactors been built already but have simply used more energy than they produced?"

That's correct. Hobbyists have built fusion reactors in their garages, and successfully achieved fusion.

There are about 30 Tokamak fusion reactors in the world today. All of them produce fusion. None of them produce more power than they require to run. Why do the ITER managers believe theirs will be different? That I don't know.

Also, there is evidence that the ITER project is badly managed, in my opinion.

Re:ITER will be one of the many Tokamaks. (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594050)

Why do the ITER managers believe theirs will be different? That I don't know. Maybe they are trying to do some ... science ? How do you want to achieve something like this without doing research ? Is that badly managed ? Of course, politicians manage it. That's the case of nuclear research since its beginning, closed, politically based. Would it be better to think about this as a human achievement more than a country pride ? Yes. But that's not the way the world is, sadly. Anarchy ! \o/ (But I'm ok to any science experiment as long as it kills only people *freely voluntary* and aware of the hazard) (cost is too subjective, anyway).

Re:ITER will be one of the many Tokamaks. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594120)

There are two main reasons why it is thought that ITER can achieve more power out than in (10 times more in fact)

1. It is about 8 times the plasma volume of JET (about 2x in each direction). The temperature gradients in tokamaks have limits (things like Ion Temperature Gradient mode-driven turbulence) so the bigger you make the machine the hotter you can make the middle of the plasma and the better your performance. The problem with this is that the power output goes like the volume, but the area this power is deposited on goes like the area. Hence why small fusion plants would be nice, and materials are the biggest issue for ITER and DEMO

2. They will be using Tritium in ITER. Tokamaks today have only very rarely used tritium (e.g. JET, JT60-U) to produce more power out than in (very briefly 1s). This is because the plasma physics doesn't really change when you add Tritium, so experiments use Deuterium which is much cheaper and less dangerous (e.g. radioactive). At 100 million degrees, the D-D fusion rate is still pretty small and so the amount of fusion energy produced is tiny. The D-T rate is orders of magnitude higher and so significant power can be produced

p.s. Yes, AC plasma physicist

Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593622)

It has been said that Fusion is 50 years away for quite decades

Many many things have been said. Some of them make sense. That one doesn't.

Re:Quote (1, Interesting)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593772)

Perhaps. As with AI, they could be wildly off when it comes to the feasibility of what seems within reach even to leading experts.

Using "50 years away" isn't about giving an somewhat accurate estimate and certainly not a definitive timescale. When you hear this kind of phrase*, read "we don't even know what's involved in building that" or to businessmen "we're nowhere near talking about cost estimates for an actual system". Note the skepticism about our readiness for just this limited technology demonstration. The real deal, where fusion could replace (oil or whatever we're using in 30-50 years) is decades away, give or take n decades due to unforeseen obstacles or unexpected breakthroughs.

* or any long-term estimate, adjusted for time scale of technology, e.g. in the case of software perhaps 5 years.

Re:Quote (2, Funny)

Nulifier (1227312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593900)

Obligatory [xkcd.com]

Re:Quote (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594142)

Haha! Thanks for that, I missed that one.

French? Well, kind of. (5, Informative)

Trapezium Artist (919330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593626)

It may well be physically in France, I wouldn't call it French per se. The I in the name most assuredly stands for International, with technical and financial input from around the world (China, the EU, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the USA, in alphabetical order).

It's a project we all may ultimately depend on as a civilisation, so the International part is important.

Re:French? Well, kind of. (5, Funny)

tenex (766192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594220)

I can imagine the scientists and technocrats from: China, the EU, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the USA, sitting in a room pondering the question of where to put this new fusion reactor--the biggest and baddest one ever built.

China: "India is the best place..."
India: "Heck no, we reckon Russia is better..."
Russia: "Nyet... How about Texas..."
(room grows silent)
In unison: Lets put it in "France"

France (EU): "Thank you, this quite the compliment..."

Professor Farnsworth begs to differ . . . (4, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593634)

the world's first Fusion Reactor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnsworth-Hirsch_Fusor

Re:Professor Farnsworth begs to differ . . . (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593764)

Good news nobody! The fusion reactor super exploded.

Re:Professor Farnsworth begs to differ . . . (1)

drspliff (652992) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593872)

Professor Farnsworth... hrm...

Re:Professor Farnsworth begs to differ . . . (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593920)

It's the guy they named the Futurama character after.

Re:Professor Farnsworth begs to differ . . . (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594208)

I like the wiki entry "Fusors have been assembled in low-power forms by hobbyists."

The sad thing is that (5, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593652)

That eternal "Fusion is 50 years away" saying stopped being due to physics and started being due to squabbling countries and their bureaucracies many years ago. ITER could have been started over a decade ago.

Re:The sad thing is that (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593834)

If the the repulsive force of squabbling bureaucrats could be overcome using conference-room confinement, the resulting release of energy would power the world forever.

Re:The sad thing is that (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594182)

The problem is, as governments the world over have shown, the repulsive force of bureaucrats can be transmitted through power lines, so if your containment isn't tight enough, the whole world goes to hell.

Re:The sad thing is that (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593958)

Compared to the Polywell and General Fusion (as well as other MTF variants studied by LANL) ITER is a huge waste of money.

Re:The sad thing is that (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593960)

That eternal "Fusion is 50 years away" saying stopped being due to physics and started being due to squabbling countries and their bureaucracies many years ago. ITER could have been started over a decade ago.

But they have to finish it before 21 December 2012.

--

He can't be dead, not with this lifeline Jim.

As an American.... (2, Interesting)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593656)

I'm looking at France and saying, hmm...

-Leading in important technology to answer the world's problems
-Pushing for freedom while criticizing the US on its record
-Building strong military (aircraft carriers, etc)
-French President pushing US President to avoid Socialism

It's starting to look like there's a new Leader of the Free World.
Mr. Sarkozy, I think you're well on your way to earning it.

Re:As an American.... (5, Insightful)

Zzzoom (780635) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593686)

I guess your Free World doesn't have any gypsies in it.

Re:As an American.... (0, Offtopic)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593844)

And the whole business about not being able to put a veil over your face.

Re:As an American.... (1, Insightful)

Prune (557140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593970)

As someone born in a country with a large gypsy population, I have this to say: it aint bigotry if it's true.

Re:As an American.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594200)

Double standards uh?

Look at your own house as well without mexicans, aka illegal "aliens" (retarded term).

Re:As an American.... (4, Informative)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593702)

Shame about the whole 3 strikes business and kicking the Roma's out of the country...

Re:As an American.... (0, Flamebait)

avandesande (143899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593760)

I suppose you wear a Che Guevara shirt too.

Re:As an American.... (2, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593788)

Yup, because between being a corporate whore on the one side and a complete communist on the other there's definitely not an entire spectrum of political views...

Re:As an American.... (1, Offtopic)

avandesande (143899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593880)

The issue is about romanticizing about certain people or groups.
 

Re:As an American.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593892)

There's not an "entire" spectrum...there are two sides of the spectrum, it's just the middle is missing. Which is most likely what we need the most...

Re:As an American.... (0, Troll)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594014)

"a complete communist murder on the other"

There, fixed that for ya.

There aren't just two points on the spectrum, unless you posit that all Communists are killers. Oh, wait...

Re:As an American.... (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593752)

They just outlawed burqas in public. They are far more socialist than we ever were (A good thing, IMHO, but still, bad example.) Their military is, ah, not very large by any standard, for instance, they have a grand total of one carrier of some 37 kilotons. We have eleven carriers over twice that size. They may have broken ground on an international effort to build a fusion reactor, but until it produces more energy than it consumes, I would hardly call them world leaders in important technology. Sarkozy has done pretty well for a "conservative" in France (their conservatives look like our liberal fringe), but he is no world leader. Maybe if he bought some stilts...

Re:As an American.... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593800)

About those carriers, what are their value these days?

Re:As an American.... (1)

maeka (518272) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593852)

About those carriers, what are their value these days?

Same as it ever was.
Name a better way to project air power to the other side of the world?

Re:As an American.... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594246)

And what would the need to do that be again?

Re:As an American.... (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593986)

They are very valuable for bringing aid to disaster struck places and for bring bombs and missile to places that are about to be struck by disaster.

Re:As an American.... (1)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593886)

I wonder, if we USians had nearly limitless energy sources without the use of petrochemicals, would we need 11 humongous aircraft carriers?

Just a passing thought...

(And yes, I know that the new reactor is not a nearly limitless energy source, it's a research device. Maybe in 50 years...)

Re:As an American.... (-1, Flamebait)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594096)

I wonder, if we USians had nearly limitless energy sources without the use of petrochemicals, would we need 11 humongous aircraft carriers?

Yes.

Just a passing thought...

Should have let it pass. I pass wind at least a few times a day, but I don't feel the need to share it with others.

Re:As an American.... (0, Offtopic)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594038)

"They are far more socialist than we ever were (A good thing, IMHO, but still, bad example.)"

That's the problem with socialism. Good idea, bad in practice.

Like every other form of modern government. Good reason to establish the least government practical.

Re:As an American.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593766)

Too bad you can't wear your religious head dress in public if you're a muslim. And don't get me wrong, I love France (I live in the Netherlands) but the guy in charge is still a right wing thief who likes to marginalize the already marginalized. Basically, politics in France sucks. Still a very great and innovative country though.

Re:As an American.... (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593884)

Too bad about their drug laws, harsher than most of Europe.

Re:As an American.... (2, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593944)

Aircraft carrier. They have one and it's a pretty crappy one too, they built it too short for flight ops, something they learned when they tried to conduct flight ops on it, it has a balky reactor, it breaks propellers, etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle_(R_91)#Trials_and_technical_problems [wikipedia.org]

ITER as others have pointed out, is not a French reactor, it's a reactor being built in France by international partners

France is also on the leading edge of stifling religious freedom among the Islamic community, to hell with a controversy with a multi-use building, they are banning Islamic clothing

Re:As an American.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593946)

I had no idea how bad things had become in the USA, but if they're so bad that you look at Sarkozy as an positive role model, then I'm very glad I have no short-term plans to visit.

T-O-K-A-M-A-K (4, Informative)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593680)

SPELLING FAIL.

Won't make a difference (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593696)

Soon the Muslims will own France and the site will be used to build a mosque. All the gays will be beheaded and anyone not bowing to Allah 5 times a day will get a bullet in the back.

Not French (3, Informative)

gpig (244284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593704)

It's an international reactor, hence the "I" in ITER.

Duh.

Re:Not French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593850)

It's in France. However, the project is international. To be honest, mostly US and Japan.

Re:Not French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593954)

If you follow the politics of Iter, the name is officially no longer an acronym. Though ITER once stood for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the acronym was dropped and renamed Iter because the general public tended to associate "thermonuclear" with fision and with nuclear weapons. Iter means "the way" in latin, so this non acronym version of the name was retained. Finally, you are correct that this is an international collaboration with France and Japan contributing the most to the project and a host of other countries playing a significant role. This will be the most expensive scientific experiment in the history of humanity.

Re:Not French (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594228)

Also it isn't Frances first Tokamak.

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

French? I think not. (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593706)

According to sources inside the ITER meeting at Jeju, Korea, the six non-host partners will now contribute 6/11th of the total cost - a little over half - while E.U. will put in the rest.

Sounds like it's mostly not Frances'.

They cost $50,000 and come out in the year 2050! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593720)

They cost $50,000 and come out in the year 2050!

yes that from simcity 2000

Re:They cost $50,000 and come out in the year 2050 (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594094)

F-U-N-D
F-U-N-D
F-U-N-D
F-U-N-D
F-U-N-D

...

Earthquake!!!!!!

Stupid Slashdot telling me not to use caps. Doesn't it understand that my humor would make even less sense if it was lower case?

Re:They cost $50,000 and come out in the year 2050 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594254)

Now you made me fire up doxbox instead of doing something useful.

Polywell (2, Interesting)

Sunlighter (177996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593722)

The Polywell [emc2fusion.org] will get there first.

Re:Polywell (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593956)

General Fusion will beat them with their magnetized target fusion variant. They have been well-reviewed by LANL scientists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Fusion [wikipedia.org]

Re:Polywell (2, Informative)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594180)

From the wikipedia article:

In 2009 a consortium led by General Fusion was awarded C$13.9 million by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to conduct a four-year research project on "Acoustically Driven Magnetized Target Fusion"; SDTC is a foundation established by the Canadian government. The other members of the consortium are Los Alamos National Laboratory and Powertech Labs Inc.

I would hope LANL believes in the project. They're partners in it.

Re:Polywell (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594090)

WB-8 was supposed to have been completed earlier this year, yet I note that there aren't any preliminary results or even pretty pictures of it in operation on that site. I'd love to see the Polywell concept work, but they've been very quiet since getting their last bit of funding.

Both Polywell and MTF are just vaporware (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594230)

When some of the early fusion reactor designs were tried they worked great.... until they started trying to increase the temperature and confinement. Tokamaks have been chosen for ITER because they are the most promising and well tested design. When polywells can demonstrate temperatures in excess of 2 keV (many large tokamaks e.g. JET, DIII-D, JT60-U), long operation (e.g. Tore Supra, over an hour), more energy out than in even briefly (JET, JT60-U), then people might become interested.

I wish the polywell guys and General Fusion the best of luck, but the chances of their investors getting their money back is laughable

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593838)

... Gypsy scientists make significant breakthrough in fusion energy. Expect to have commercial reactors ready within 3 years.

Re:In related news ... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594130)

... Gypsy scientists make significant breakthrough in fusion energy. Expect to have commercial reactors ready within 3 years.

I don't think fusing your hand to the stove is what we're talking about here ....

Design parameters for a fusion reactor (4, Funny)

viking80 (697716) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593860)

Design parameters for a fusion reactor:
1. Shielding: 10m of water or similar as well as magnetic shielding
2. Energy density 10kW/m2
3. Politics: Not in my backyard

Conclusion:
Sun
1. Atmosphere and earth magnetic field: perfect
2. perfect almost anywhere
3. 150 million km away: perfect

Re:Design parameters for a fusion reactor (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593934)

The problem with the Sun is getting the energy from the reactor to where you need it efficiently. Solar cells just aren't cheap enough, yet.

Re:Design parameters for a fusion reactor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33594112)

The sun's power can be tapped with things other than solar cells, you know. For example:

Heliostat power plants in the form of the Solar Power Tower [wikipedia.org]

Solar updraft towers [wikipedia.org]

Re:Design parameters for a fusion reactor (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594204)

There's no purpose served in using photoelectric panels for industrial-scale power generation. We don't need better photoelectric cells to make better use of solar power. A black pipe, a reflective parabolic trench, and a turbine generator are all you need - there were a couple of plants like this in California, low tech and functional. Of course, it will never catch on, since it actually works.

Re:Design parameters for a fusion reactor (2, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594002)

3. 150 million km away: perfect

Meh. For you maybe. But what if it explodes? Probably destroy the whole planet from that close. No way I'm going to support this environmental disaster waiting to happen. I'm lobbying to have it shut down or at least moved so that it orbits the earth from further out. ;)

Re:Design parameters for a fusion reactor (1)

etherelithic (846901) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594028)

I can see it from my backyard though. I'm going to file a complaint with the HOA!

50 Years Away? (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33593924)

I'm sure Fusion was only 20 years away when I was a kid 30 years ago.

Re:50 Years Away? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594132)

I'm sure Fusion was only 20 years away when I was a kid 30 years ago.

There was a curse on the reactor.

Re:50 Years Away? (2, Funny)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#33594218)

See, once you achieve fusion, it messes with the Tachyon fields and sends you back in time. The trick is to reverse the polarity of your own Tachyon fields, so they cancel out with the Tachyon fields of the fusion reactor. You'll probably be killed in the process, but the rest of humanity will get to enjoy fusion power for the rest of eternity.

p + B - 4He + 8.7 MeV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33593932)

There are some scientists saying the ITER project may be a waste of money (like our nobel-winning Georges Charpak). They say it's just like a bigger JET reactor. After a few seconds it is detroyed. In the while, the Z-machine has achieved sufficient temperature for pure, aneutronic fusion using Boron.

I am not affiliated with those crazy rebel scientists...

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