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Fusion Plasma Plant in The Future

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the have-to-do-something-different dept.

Science 640

NightWulf writes "The BBC reports that Europe and Japan are currently looking to host a new JET power plant. This new plant creates plasma, which is akin to creating a star on Earth. Interesting to note that 1kg of fusion fuel would produce the same amount of energy as 10,000,000kg of fossil fuels."

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More than a First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238286)

Let's keep posts on topic and avoid any comments others might find offensive.

Thanks.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238298)

Ok..... I can't resist. Mod -1 Troll.

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238322)

I'm afraid you fail it sir. So sorry.

Again, so sorry.

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

kunudo (773239) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238324)

He has a point, mod+5 insightful.

Not only are you going to get karma raped.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238345)

but you also FAIL IT

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Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238308)

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Jet Power Plant? (1, Funny)

walesch (745570) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238315)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these things!

And a plant explosion... (1, Funny)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238330)

...would wipe Europe off the map.

Can I nominate France to host the project? :-p

MOD PARENT UP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238487)

Funny!

Interesting, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238332)

I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waste
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung
Wanna pull up front
Cuz you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But with that butt you got
Me so horny
Ooh, rub all of that smooth skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz
Well use me, use me cuz you ain't that average groupy

Yes, indeed (5, Funny)

Control Group (105494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238334)

Akin to creating a star on Earth.

In the same sense, my logging on to slashdot today is akin to designing TCP/IP.

Re:Yes, indeed (1)

2names (531755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238521)

You are correct, sir. Just as my building a scale model of the Solar System is akin to the Big Bang.

"Akin" means just "related to", not "the same thing."

I had predicted 2050, actually (1, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238339)

I'm looking forward to fusion for a number of reasons. Yes, I'm sure there will be unforseen problems - odds are, some radioactivity will be a problem, and then you're going to want failsafe's out the ass so you don't get a "Chernobl on steriods" effect.

But this is the kind of thing that governments should be pouring tons of research into. For every politician that bitches about the Middle East and oil funding some nasty stuff ( from Iran putting a $25 million bounty on Rushdie to the US government feeling that it has to support dictatorships to get oil), fusion could fix a lot of that.

Naturally, it's no Eden idea - everything in science has a good and a bad side - but the sooner we can get this working, the better off the world will be.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (3, Informative)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238375)

you idiot. Fusion can not go Chernobyl, and the only radio activity is the Neutron bombarded walls of the chamber which dissipate quickly enough to not be a big problem

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238424)

Actually the residual radioactive materials last 50-100 years [efda.org] so we'll still have a waste problem with decommissioned plants.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (5, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238455)

50-100 years is way better than tens of thousands of years, as with fission waste. That won't outlast the containers it's in.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (5, Informative)

PhuCknuT (1703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238499)

50-100 years is nothing, and it's not the fuel or exhaust that you need to worry about, only the parts of the reactor itself that become radioactive from neutron bombardment. So, we only need to store retired reactor parts for 50-100 years, which is much less mass and much less duration than what we currently produce from nuclear plants, and massivly less environmental impact when compared to the equivilent fossil fuel usage.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (4, Insightful)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238479)

Why was this modded Funny? It's the truth. A fusion reaction is hard to keep going, and if just about anything goes wrong, the reaction will die. Somebody detonates a bomb next to the reactor? Fine, so the thing gets jolted. The worst that could happen is that the reaction is disrupted slightly---and it stops. There is not much excess reactivity in a fusion reactor. Just because something uses a process used in bombs doesn't mean it is a bomb. Gunpowder contains sulfur; does this mean that rotten eggs are an explosion just waiting to happen?

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238517)

I thought they used the gases deuterium and tritium in fusion reactors. They're both isotopes of hydrogen. Tritium is radioactive. I have no idea how toxic they are if inhaled nor how hard they are to confine. Obviously a hydrogen isotope is harder to confine than the uranium used in fission reactors, but I expect leaks if this goes in to production.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (5, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238558)

Only on slashdot can you be called an idiot if you don't know anything about nuclear fusion.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (1)

zaphod.nu (100500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238392)

we already have the bad side in the form of hydrogen bombs. the good side is way overdue.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (2, Informative)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238393)

and then you're going to want failsafe's out the ass so you don't get a "Chernobl on steriods" effect.

A fusion reactor can't "go Chernobyl".

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (1)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238475)

No, but his point is that there will likely be safety concerns for something churning out that much power (fires, reactant leaks), and there are still some radioactive contaminants to be dealt with (comparable to a "clean" fission reactor). Just because fusion is touted as a super-clean, perfect energy source doesn't make it so.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238454)

I had predicted 2050, actually

Well, in SC2K Fusion Power kind of wobbled back and forth in the timeline, but I think it usually came around 2050.

I loved it...Two plants and and I could power a map packed with buildings. Compare that to about six microwave plants, a significan portion of my acreage dedicated to solar or wind power, or way too many coal plants.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238494)

If a fusion reactor loses containment, the effects are generally limited to some damage to the equipment and a few harmless gas escapes. The amount of fuel low enough for the effects to be negligible.

Re:I had predicted 2050, actually (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238561)

The simple fact that it produces that much more engergy than traditional methods is a sure sign that we will never see it used.

The sun has existed for a very long time, and solar energy is still greatly lacking both in r&d (we only have about 12% [solarexpert.com] to 60% [bigginhill.co.uk] efficiency on average depending who you ask, when higher should be possible) and implementation (e.g. as a replacement for fossile fule and/or nuclear).

A good implementation could requier relativly little or no maintenance and relativly little attention by employees while making a hell of a lot more energy. And the sun is FREE and READY NOW.

NOT a fusion plant! (5, Informative)

dmayle (200765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238348)

Step away from the car... This is a fusion research reactor, not a reactor to be used as a power source...

someone should tell Creator of the Gaia Hypothesis (4, Informative)

Whitecloud (649593) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238350)

does this solve the energy problems? [slashdot.org]

Finally (1, Interesting)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238357)

Well, if this works it'll solve a lot of the arguments about power sources.
Although I'm not sure if they've actually achieved the energy break-even point yet. First time I heard about this was in school, when they were still having problems with the magnetic coils breaking down and letting the plasma vent. Here's hoping this'll be a little more reliable. Or sited a hell of a long way from any population centers...

Re:Finally (4, Informative)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238413)

why? vented Plasma is not toxic.

read about Fusion from Wikipedia please and cure your ignorance before you start some crazy anti-fusion lobby

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238532)

Nope - helium isn't toxic.
But helium at 100,000,000 degrees celsius might have slightly different effect if you tried to use it to make yourself sound like a munchkin...

Re:Finally (1)

raduf (307723) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238482)


Nothing new here... Last this was on slashdot they still had to choose the site for the facility (France or Japan), just like now. The only "news" is... well... none.
Still, I can't wait to see this started. A lot of things can happen if this works. Most of them will happen to our children but still :)

Re:Finally (2, Informative)

clonan (64380) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238488)

Remember, there is not that much overall energy in this system. Chernoble etc were so bad because Uranium and other fissionable material CONTINUE to react after they have left the reactor. They continue to release radiation as they material is vaporized. So now you have a radioactive cloud...etc

Fission plants (at least the current ones) only have as much free energy as is in a large, hot pot of coffee. This energy is just consentrated on a very small ammount of matter, and therefore that matter gets VERY hot. But once it leaves containment, there is nothing to maintain the temperature and pressure, therefore the reaction stops and all you get is a warm cloud of hyderogen gas (not very much hyderogen either.)

So in the event of a catastrophic failure (someone taking a sledgehammer to the reactor) not much will happen. I would not want to be standing next to it when it opened, but the people in the room next door probbably wouldn't notice anything.

Now the only radioactivity is essentially from Tritium. This is a neutron emmiter, it is relativly safe (compared to fission radiation) and is short lived (half life of 12.3 years instead of 20,000 years).

So, long comment short, there is no way this set-up could explode, leak large ammounts of radiation, or cook anyone.

Re:Finally (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238563)

As far as I'm concerned, the biggest problem with Chernoble was the cloud of radioactive caesium that was still rendering sheep in the UK inedible ten years after the event. The mess of uranium, etc that's still there is a local issue... or at least I think it is.

Re:Finally (0, Redundant)

mbrx (525713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238527)

> Or sited a hell of a long way from any
> population centers...

Well, considering the risk for a Chernobyl I would think that the bush administration actually would support having the reactor in France?

How much energy? (5, Interesting)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238361)

One kilogram of fusion fuel would produce the same amount of energy as 10,000,000 kg of fossil fuel.

How much energy do they estimate it will take to create (and control?) that one kilogram of "fusion fuel"?

Re:How much energy? (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238419)

Isn't hydrogen the usual fusion fuel?

-Peter

Re:How much energy? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238431)

I'm guessing at least 9,999,999 kg...

Re:How much energy? (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238441)

How much energy do they estimate it will take to create (and control?) that one kilogram of "fusion fuel"?

Deuterium... cheap. The oceans are full of the stuff. Tritium and helium-3 are harder to come by; we'd probably need a lunar harvesting operation if we were going to go for fusion on a commercial scale.

Re:How much energy? (0, Troll)

CodeMonkey4Hire (773870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238493)

So the moon is made out of Hydrogen and Helium now?

Re:How much energy? (5, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238545)

So the moon is made out of Hydrogen and Helium now?

No, but you can get helium-3 out of the regolith [asi.org] , where it's been collecting in small quantities for a few billion years out of the solar wind.

Re:How much energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238504)

last i heard the fuel wasn't so hard to come by or control (storage-wise). it was getting the fuel 'lit' that was the catch.

Re:How much energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238513)

TO give you a idea of how much power this would produce.

about 100kg it takes to power the nation for about one day. Now 10 million is about half a year. This can produce roughly the nations power needs in less then one reaction. This would be great if they can fix the problem. Plus with nuclear fuision is totally safe. First they use hydrogen molecules to fuse. So what do they use to fuse..... water. The only really out put is a little steam and vapor. The problem lies in the extreme heat needed to produce the fusion. If this works the whoole world could cahnge cause of this. hurray.

Re:How much energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238528)

Not sure, but Deuterium and Tritium are abundant in the ocean.

That could be prophetic since (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238367)

This is coming from the "land of the rising sun"?

Sweet! (3, Insightful)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238369)

Wow, I had no idea fusion power was so far along.

It would be the first fusion device to produce thermal energy at the level of conventional electricity-producing power stations, and would pave the way for commercial power production.

This is awsome. Expensive for the amount of power though. Anything that can reduce our dependency on oil, deserves some research in my eyes.

Re:Sweet! (2, Informative)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238555)

Umm, They *hope* to get it to produce 500 MW for 500 seconds. That's less than 10 mins. Hardly far along.

I've been hearing about fusion power being *just* over the next hurdle since I was born. White elephant.

Toxic waste, but not much of it (4, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238370)

"Interesting to note that 1kg of fusion fuel would produce the same amount of energy as 10,000,000kg of fossil fuels."
Be expecting the environmental types to scream. One of the things I think environmentalist groups often miss is that, while nuclear waste is undoubtedly toxic, it also does not come in large quantities. I'd much rather have 1kg of incredibly toxic stuff in a sealed container than 10,000,000kg of fossil fuel residues in the air I have to breathe.

Of course, fusion is better than fission in this regard, but the same arguments hold in either case.

Re:Toxic waste, but not much of it (-1, Troll)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238444)

umm, no, they don't.

Re:Toxic waste, but not much of it (-1, Flamebait)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238445)

Indeed, I've often thought that the best way of disposing of radioactive waste would be to have an airplane fly over the US burning it (very slowly). The waste would be disbursed over such a large area that it would be below the background radiation levels - what makes it dangerous is that to store it we concentrate it!

Re:Toxic waste, but not much of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238474)

Another good way would just be to reprocess it, using a breeder reactor, like the ENTIRE REST of the world does...

Re:Toxic waste, but not much of it (1, Insightful)

Snafoo (38566) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238470)

I'd much rather have 1kg of incredibly toxic stuff in a sealed container than 10,000,000kg of fossil fuel residues in the air I have to breathe. ...until some clever dude with a 747 decides it'd be fun to aerosolize that 1kg in an explosion.

It's daft these days to think only of environmental problems in scenarios which presume human responsibility. What you also need are scenarios where (some) human beings are intentionally trying to break the system down.

Same argument with electric cars (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238500)

People were talking up electric cars ten years ago... nevermind that the coal power plant that was buying and selling pollution credits to generate the electricity to charge the batteries was pulluting 10x what the engine in a normal car would've polluted.

Helium (4, Funny)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238372)

Well taking that you get left with helium its obvious that a by product will be a market for baloons

Rus

Re:Helium (1)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238524)

Well taking that you get left with helium its obvious that a by product will be a market for baloons

Not to mention all the funny voices.

Re:Helium (3, Interesting)

CodeMonkey4Hire (773870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238540)

Actually, if helium could be harvested as a byproduct of this it would be great. Until now, helium has been a nonrenewable resource and there have been worries that we would run out one day. Better yet, if the helium could be made cheaply, maybe some of the technologies that rely on extremely cold temperatures would become ecomonically viable.

I bought my own Plasma generator (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238374)

about 40 bucks from Spensors gifts, though Google has them cheaper [google.com]

Re:I bought my own Plasma generator (2, Interesting)

crow (16139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238415)

That's a lot cheaper than the plasma I was looking at (for a TV). In both cases, though, the engergy involved is much lower. Would someone care to comment on the actual physics here? Are those TVs and balls really based on matter that is in the plasma state?

Re:I bought my own Plasma generator (1)

zaphod.nu (100500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238506)

like this [howstuffworks.com]

strange fascination... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238376)

Slashdot has a strange fascination with potential energy solutions. Ah...so much energy wasted thinking about potential energy.

Re:strange fascination... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238554)

i think it has to do with the big let down from the matrix movies.
hook a geek up like a battery and allow his mind to have his dream world, possibly record and sell the resulting porn, and i forgot where i was going with this.

Oh yeah... (1, Informative)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238378)

Would this be the one that France was offering to host? Because I seem to recall they got push-back from the U.S. (part of the ITER consortium) because of their lack of support for the Iraq war, and that the U.S. was putting its support with the Japanese site.

Re:Oh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238438)

Would this post be the one that Slashdotters reading it reply to with RTFA? You've just essentially repeated a portion of the article. Please don't mod this guy up.

What the article doesn't mention... (5, Interesting)

Plaeroma (778381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238384)

...is how much energy it will take to maintain that 100 million degrees Celcius temp for 500 seconds or longer. Sure, 500 megatwatts sounds awesome, but fusion reactions are historically extremely difficult to maintain as the plasma constantly bumps into the container and kills efficiency. That being said, more research into the field is a Good Thing(TM).

True... (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238427)

This is where they will need to find the break-even point. Does it cost more to maintain the necessary temperature for fusion, than the benefits we'll get out of it? My guess is that right now, yes. However, get more $$$ and research into the project and in the future this may be very, very possible.

Re:What the article doesn't mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238481)

Sure, 500 megatwatts sounds awesome

If China has one billion people, and assuming 50% females, there would be 500 megatwats there.

Re:What the article doesn't mention... (2, Interesting)

MBAFK (769131) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238511)

the plasma constantly bumps into the container

One reason the next machine will be larger is because it is easier to control the plasma (shown by the work done at JET).

Re:What the article doesn't mention... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238512)

Sure, 500 megatwatts sounds awesome

You'd have to be pretty damn horny. 'Nuff said.

Re:What the article doesn't mention... (1)

OneOver137 (674481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238550)

Pun intended? That being said, more research into the field is a Good Thing(TM)

Fusion eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238401)

quote from article

THE QUEST FOR FUSION What is nuclear fusion and how can it be achieved?

I guess the first part is done already :-)

but seriously, so far, all of fusion tries were overall endothermic, they needed more power to keep fusion going than the process itself could produce

Japan (3, Funny)

astrokid (779104) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238414)

But the decision on whether the Iter project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is built at Rokkasho-mura in Japan, or Cadarache in France, has been delayed several times.

I would have thought that decision to build the project in Japan would have been unanimous. How else could Gozilla be resurrected?

Risks? (0, Troll)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238416)

But whats the possible damage if one of these plants pulls a Chernobyl on us?

Mod Parent Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238461)

This doesn't happen in a fusion reactor.

Re:Risks? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238496)

How would someone smuggle in that much uranium or plutonium?

Re:Risks? (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238507)

But whats the possible damage if one of these plants pulls a Chernobyl on us?

Not much. The waste produced by a fusion reactor is helium - probably the most harmless stuff you can get. The process of fusion produces neutrons, so the fusion container itself will become mildly radioactive, but nowhere near the kind of nastiness you get with fission.

In addition, fusion is inherently fail-safe. If something goes horribly wrong with a fission reactor, you can get a runaway reaction. Meltdown. Not good. But in a fusion reactor, you have to carefully maintain the right conditions for the reaction to happen at all. Screw up and the light goes out, that's about it.

This is Off Topic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238418)

I don't like calling it the "war" in Iraq. Where's the declaration of war? I want to see a document from Congress that says "We are at war with Iraq." Otherwise it's an invasion/police action/conflict. The last war was World War II, when the president did the right thing, asking Congress to declare a war instead of writing a blank check.

Re:This is Off Topic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238497)

There is a declared war on "Terror".... HAHAHAHA

It's time for another good idea, bad idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238421)

In terms of the physics and huge amounts of energy involved, the project would be akin to building a star on Earth.

Does this strike anyone else as a bad idea?

(And did the picture at top of the article remind anyone else of the human harvest fields from "The Matrix"?)

no whimper (0)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238425)

... the project would be akin to building a star on Earth ... many times hotter than the centre of the Sun.

Tired of waiting for that ultimate supernova your philosophy professor kept mentioning? Well, guess what...

JOIN THE REVOLUTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238426)

And stop Moderator abuse... Go here [anti-slash.org]
for more info.

500 seconds?? (1)

Geek_3.3 (768699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238428)

"Iter would be more than double the size of the facility at Jet, and would aim to generate 500 megawatts of fusion power for 500 seconds or longer. "

Did I take this out of context or what? 500 seconds 'or longer?' What do you do for the rest of the time there? I don't think out capacitors are THAT sophisticated to work on this kind of model, but I could be wrong...

Re:500 seconds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238516)

Ah, but if they generate 1.8 jiga-watts for 88 seconds they can go back in time and kill Michael J. Fox before he even thinks about humming the stupid theme song from "Family Ties."

isnt that... (1)

gL4cier (678091) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238430)

Old news? I've heard about that reactor for like at least six months. And they still havent decided where the reactor would be at? IIRC US, Canada, Korea and Japan wants the reactor @ Japan site. But Europe wants it @ France. They better stop arguing and starting working on it. So we can have one more alternative to the fossile fuel if it becomes successful.

Plasma plant?! (1, Interesting)

baywulf (214371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238433)

For a second I though they meant a "plant" as in one you water and fertilize. I kind of imagine a sunflower plant where the flower glows bright and gives of heat while you water and fertilize it every few days.

Not good news for Barney and Dino (2, Funny)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238450)

1kg of fusion fuel would produce the same amount of energy as 10,000,000kg of fossil fuels
I bet there are some dinosaurs turning over in their graves right now.

So, uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238452)

Is this a REAL fusion reactor, or is this just another prototype reactor which is a steppingstone to fusion but which doesn't get there?

JET info and pictures (5, Informative)

MBAFK (769131) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238457)

If anyone is interested there is a wealth of information on JETs website [efda.org]

Including some pretty cool pictures of their kit [efda.org] .

20 years (1, Funny)

valkoinen (81260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238464)

Fusion researchers have said for two decades that they will get it to work in 20 years, and that statement is still valid.

Fusion Powered Cars (1)

NodeZero (49835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238467)

Take that Oil Companies!

Not very optimistic about it... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238468)

I doubt anytime soon it will be developed to a functional status, not because of technological reasons, but because of economical reasons.

Imagine destroying MOST of the current energy corporations. Also, unlimited energy would permit underdeveloped countries to have enormous economic growth, destroying the Status Quo.

Not energy would be the main trade in the world, but pure human intelligence and the products of it.

"In the Future" (1, Funny)

gkuz (706134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238476)

So for once a Slashdot headline is actually factually accurate. Fusion is "in the future", as it has been for the last 30 years and will be for the next 30 and the 30 after that. Who remembers Tokamak?

Am I being too skeptical? (2, Funny)

Control Group (105494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238483)

After some quick googling, I can't seem to either confirm or deny the statement, but I admit that there's a little tingle in my bullshit detector when I hear them claim a ten million-fold increase in released energy.

On the other hand, I don't know enough about it to confidently say it's crap. So - anyone out there able to tell me what, exactly, this "kg of fusion fuel" is made up of? And, if possible, provide support/debunking for the 10,000,000x as much energy claim?

What's the fusion fuel? (1)

StefanoB (775596) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238486)

I thought this was hydrogen, so I wonder: how long will it take before we are running out of water? Maybe there are other resources from which hydrogen can be extracted, but the same question remains: does this new technology increase the timespan of our use of energy?

I also think we should be able to store the surplus of released energy from fusion if we don't want to spoil it. This can be done by pumping water to a higher altitude, and lowering the water to get that energy back, but we're converting energy then to lower quality :-(.

Another point that raises is question is the needed temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius. How will that temperature be reached? I think we're still away from better than break-even :-s.

Sometimes I wish that articles were more detailed ;-).

Greets,

Stefano

Let's get the facts straight (5, Informative)

image (13487) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238501)

Goodness -- I was surprised by the number of wildly incorrect postings about nuclear fusion. Some I could have tried to clear up myself, but a better recommendation would just be to read up for five minutes before posting some misinformed comment.

Wikipedia has a good article on Fusion Power [wikipedia.org] . Read it, then post.

It won't matter in the US (1)

eaddict (148006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238538)

since we [doe.gov] are addicted to oil. Until we suck the Earth dry we won't bother looking for other things. Unless Haliburton and the like invest in something else...

Planting the Plant... (1)

queenofthe1ring (768698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238542)

France already has some large portion of their power (like 90%) that is produced by nuclear power plants.

Japan probably has more big power-eating industries and would need more and cheaper power, but they probably don't really have as much room to build the plant.

I also noticed that the United States wasn't on the short list to having the experimental plant. Too much fear of nuclear power started it, and so it will probably be a long time before we can ever break away from the dependency of fossil fuels.

Hotter than the sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9238544)

"To use fusion reactions as an energy source, it is necessary to heat a gas to temperatures exceeding 100 million Celsius - many times hotter than the centre of the Sun."

Why is it that in order for us to achieve fussion here on Earth we have to use temperatures that are hotter than the center of the Sun? Why can't we achieve this at temperatures that are about the same as the center of the Sun? Is it a pressure issue? Or is the center of the Sun cooler and the real fussion takes place in other places?

France? (-1, Troll)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238546)

The last place they should put the thing is France. I mean, you know it will just get destroyed when someone gets bored and invades again.

Besides, Japan has a much better scientific infrastructure for a project like this to begin with.

Wow just to boil water (3, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238556)

I would hope these same scientists would also be looking for a way to tap the energy off the reaction vs superheating turbine water. How much energy is wasted in the conversion process that could be better tapped through other methods.

Awesome! (3, Informative)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 10 years ago | (#9238566)

But since when do we power our power plants with oil?

We will always depend on Arab oil in some way or another.

Oil is used to make plastics, and from what I see it seems like everything is made out of plastic.
American cars for one.

So the Arabs will find a way to still charge $100.00 a barrel.

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