General Fusion in the news

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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D Tibbets
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:43 am

General Fusion, are they targeting D-D fusion. If so the neutrons will account for ~ 50% of the fusion energy yield, not 5%. And if they are using lead, I seem to recall that lead is one of the neutron boosters that have been suggested for tritium production in Tokamaks. I don't know if it is the common lead isotope but apparently for each neutron absorbed, the resultant isotope decays with several neutrons emmited, thus amplifying the available neutrons- good when you need them to produce excess tritium for feeding D-T Tokamaks, but bad if material degradation and secondary radiation is the concern.

Lets see. non mainline fusion pursuits include:
Tri Alpha- apparently well funded
Other FRC research -? funding
General Fusion - well funded
Dense Plasma Focus- poor funding
EMC Polywell and possibly Lockheed Skunk Works variant- unknown funding

Secondary fusion harvesting- solar cells- continuous evolutionary improvements in efficiency and costs may end up being economically competitive.

If I was a Tokamak/ ITER fanboy, I would be a little nervous. If I was a fossil fuel (especially coal) executive I would also be nervous.

Of course if any of these things actually work economically it will take decades to penetrate deeply into the markets, so I would be only slightly nervous if I was a coal executive. Job security in the Tokamak community may be more acutely threatened.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

93143
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby 93143 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:03 am

I thought it was D-T. Hence the molten lithium mixed in with the lead; that's where they get their tritium...

You couldn't ask for a better neutron shield than a multi-metre layer of this stuff. If the compression event results in significant amounts of it transiently surrounding the entire fusion plasma (I don't see anything else giving good compression), the injectors won't have to deal with the full flux either. The General Fusion concept seems to solve the first-wall problem by simply leaving out the first wall entirely...

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:37 am

Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

D Tibbets
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby D Tibbets » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:53 am

Indeed, I now appreciate that D-T is the target fuel. And with lithium in the surrounding blanket, neutron damage to more distant structures may be well suppressed. I wonder how much of this lead +lithium rotating layer is for reactor function, and how much it is for tritium production. If both functions are covered by this single stage, then it would be a feather in their cap. Considering the size and coverage of the lithium+ lead layer, with the spinning helping to cover the near polar regions (while keeping the more equatorial portions pushed out) it would seem to have a huge advantage over Tokamak lithium blanket engineering challenges. Also, I think that the extremely challenging diverter needed for Tokamaks is avoided.

If their tests/ computer models are showing that symetrical compression of sufficient magnitude is reasonable, I start to see why their funding has reached hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

swamijake
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby swamijake » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:27 pm

I'm pretty sure they do not have hundreds of millions of dollars funding. I think it is about 30 million. It is a mixture of public funds through STDC (gov of Canada research investing arm), VC (Chrysalix and others), and private funding. They may have commitments for further investment pending results of the minisphere with injectors testing. Canada, and BC in particular, also has a very attractive tax regime for research and development. While you still need success to make money on the investment, the tax benefits greatly reduce the sting if the research doesn't go anywhere.

They have some interesting funding sources including Cenovus, a large tar sand oil developer. Cenovus has deep pockets. I'm sure if they produce enough neutrons to match their modeling the 100 MW test reactor will not be hard to fund. May be hard to find a good place to build it, but that will be a good problem to have.

Its kind of funny, the best possible outcome with the minisphere test is that they irradiate the hell out of all their equipment....

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:05 pm

Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

swamijake
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby swamijake » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 pm

No, they are using lead. Plan according to their website is eventually to use a molten lithium/lead mix to breed tritium as they go.

paperburn1
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby paperburn1 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:14 pm

General atomics news
http://www.theengineer.co.uk/channels/p ... 18.article
superconductors away.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby crowberry » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:30 pm

The Fusion Power Associates held their annual meeting on the 10th to 11th of December 2013 in Washington. General Fusion attended the meeting also this year and presented their status. The slides are up on the website at
. The GF presentation MTF Progress Update and Compression Heating of Spheromaks - Doug Richardson, General Fusion is here .

Slashdot posted this article about GF .

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:59 pm

Thanks a million crowberry for those links, and you were right that these guys haven't gone "dark." In fact, Richardson's presentation that you provided the link to (repeated):

is as much as anyone could ever expect.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:21 am

Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:44 pm

Next Big Future has a January 01, 2014 article on General Fusion's Japan presentation.

It seems to me NBF has got the projected progress graph x-axis meaning wrong. It can't be month and year as test data points exist for 2017 based on NBF's x'axis interpretation. What I think is the last date on the x-axis is Dec 18, 2013, then work backwards to put years to dates. Or, possibly, the dates on the graph are completely bogus. I can't figure which it is though.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby crowberry » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:26 pm

The progress graph is on page 48 of the slide set from Japan. It is true that the graph is logarithmic and that the shown growth is faster than exponential. The headline says 2013-2014, but it is true that the x-axis of the graph is funny since it covers partly five years. Maybe the leftmost date November 14th is for 2012. Then February 15th would be 2013 and the rightmost date would be December 18th 2016. So I think you are right that the NBF got the dates wrong.

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion in the news

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:06 pm

I took the graph to apply to plasma generation efforts needed to support demonstrating that net fusion can be reached with their full scale components, not the whole project full scale components assembled and tuned for net fusion. If that view is correct, then the time placement of "chalice" shape which has already been determined experimentally to be required, plus the data points and their placement (experimentally determined), would imply that most of the graph represents the past. Also the vertical line on the graph (where dramatic test pictures are placed adjacent) would indicate a point in the past. Further, the days which were interpreted by NBF as years are inconsistent with the month progression which is sequential. In addition, based on a recent interview with Richardson, the plasma compression seems to be further along (0.5 of needed density) and nearing the goal of net.

I suspect where GF is in plasma testing is where they are scaling up their tests to reach net at the upper right (edit) side of the graph. But then again…

So, GF is not leaving us in the dark, but I can't say I know where they are either, and am left with just guesses. Unless you have some insight…

I am hoping they reach net plasma triple product first quarter 2014 and trigger next round of money and building the net device.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.


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