Author Topic: Stupid, Expensive, Socialist Boondoogle  (Read 850 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Weisshaupt

  • Conservative Superhero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
Stupid, Expensive, Socialist Boondoogle
« on: April 26, 2013, 11:07:55 PM »
The headline reads "One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, unlimited energy"

Does this mean that they actually achieved something with the tokamak design? Like over-unity production, producing  more power than was used in starting the reaction? No. The "Breakthough" was apparently getting approval to actually build a design.

Quote
This week the project gained final approval for the design of the most technically challenging component – the fusion reactor’s “blanket” that will handle the super-heated nuclear fuel... “We’ve passed from the design stage to being a construction project. We will have to show it is safe. If we cannot convince the public that this is safe, I don’t think nuclear fusion will be developed anywhere in the world,” Dr Alejaldre said..

This tremendous achievement isn't even shown in the timeline given at the end of the article

Quote
1950: Andrei Sakharov and Igor Tamm in the USSR propose a “tokamak” fusion reactor.

1956: Tokamak programme begins in strict secrecy.

1969: Tokamak results declassified, astounding Western scientists.

1973: Design work begins on Joint European Torus (Jet), a tokamak-type reactor in Europe.

1983: Jet completed at Culham, Oxfordshire, on time and to budget.

1985: USSR proposes an international fusion-energy project.

1988: Design work begins for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, later known as simply Iter. 1992: Design phase begins for Iter.

1997: Jet produces 16 megawatts of fusion power, the current world record.

2005: Cadarache, France, chosen as Iter site.

2021-22: “First plasma” scheduled, when ionised gases will be injected into the Iter tokamak.

2027-28: Iter “goes nuclear” with injection of tritium.

2030s: First demonstration fusion reactor to produce electricity for grid.

2050s onwards: First commercial nuclear fusion power plants.


Oh good, they worked out how to cool the thing and keep it from melting to slag due to the immense Sun-like temperatures at the core. Now a mere 25 years after it started, the design phase is over. Whoopie. 

This after building a massive seismic-safe structure.. not sure why. Probably to funnel a lot of money into the private accounts of the people behind it thought their General Contracting companies--and to give workers something to do while the egg head actually figured out how to build the thing. But good news..someday it could produce power, but won't

Quote
It is the first experimental fusion reactor to receive a nuclear operating licence because of its power-generating capacity. For every 50 megawatts of electricity it uses, it should generate up to 500mw of power output in the form of heat. Richard Pitts, a British nuclear physicist working on the project, said that even though Iter has a nuclear operator’s licence and will produce about 10 times as much power as it consumes, the Iter machine will still remain a purely experimental reactor, with no electricity generated for the French national grid. “We’re not building a demonstration industrial reactor. We’re building the first step towards one that does produce electricity for the grid. If we can show that fusion works, a demonstration reactor will be much cheaper to build than Iter,” Dr Pitts said.


So for reference,  to build a scrubbed coal electric generation plant  capable of 500 MW output it would cost 1.4 Billion. Oh, and it would be ready in 4 years..  Oh, you are a greenie moron and you want carbon sequestration- that basically double the price. Oh, and its still a better deal than a tokamak Fusion reactor.

And yes, Fusion is "cleaner" than a fusion reactor- as the fuel  byproducts are safe, but its still a FUSION reaction with lots of radiation, some of which escapes the magnetic containment field and makes it to the structure - eventually breeding new isotopes in the steel and so forth till the whole structure is radioactive and can not longer be safely used. Then you decommission it and build another one.

A Thorium Salt reactor can be built today, but we don't- largely because you need to remove Protactinium, let it age and decay into (weapons grade)  Uranium 233  and then re-introduce it to the reactor. Oh,but that won't make us look smart and use 20 Billion dollars will it?





 

Offline trapeze

  • Administrator
  • Conservative Superhero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6367
  • Hippies smell bad. Go away, hippie.
ITER: An International Science Project I Hadn't Heard Of (It's Fusion)
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 11:32:01 PM »
Saw this article on Drudge. Fusion is something that I found fascinating when I was in grade school. Back in the early seventies was when I first heard of a "tokamak." I guess that with fusion, like the petroleum industry, if you wait long enough, technology eventually advances to a point where what was previously impossible becomes possible.

Here is a link to the Iter project website which has lots and lots of information and even pictures if you poke around a bit.

Great dream: Nearly free and completely safe, limitless energy. I wasn't sure I would live to see it (and I may not) but it looks as if my kids will someday. If we don't destroy civilization before then.
In a doomsday scenario, hippies will be among the first casualties. So not everything about doomsday will be bad.

Offline Weisshaupt

  • Conservative Superhero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
Saw this article on Drudge. Fusion is something that I found fascinating when I was in grade school. Back in the early seventies was when I first heard of a "tokamak." I guess that with fusion, like the petroleum industry, if you wait long enough, technology eventually advances to a point where what was previously impossible becomes possible.

Here is a link to the Iter project website which has lots and lots of information and even pictures if you poke around a bit.

Great dream: Nearly free and completely safe, limitless energy. I wasn't sure I would live to see it (and I may not) but it looks as if my kids will someday. If we don't destroy civilization before then.

There are other folks working on Fusion using better approaches.  The Tokamak design is simply massive. Yes, in the end it may work, but, like Solar and wind, the tech won't be able to complete price-wise for many more decades..

Offline Libertas

  • Conservative Superhero
  • *****
  • Posts: 47375
  • Alea iacta est! Libertatem aut mori!
Re: Stupid, Expensive, Socialist Boondoogle
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 11:44:03 AM »
Hey, look on the bright side, we can use their own nirvana against them!  Since this is going to solve energy needs and end reliance on fossil fuels and usher in an age of clean we don't have to worry about the climate anymore! 

 ::whoohoo::
Irrumabo!  GOP? - Nope. No more. They made their bed, now let them die in it.*
* © Libertas (H/T Glock32)