20 years away, and always will be

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

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CharlesKramer
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby CharlesKramer » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:14 am

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CBK
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ladajo
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby ladajo » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:43 pm

The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Robthebob
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby Robthebob » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:48 pm

Charles,

I hate to use appeal to authority, but there are those of us in the plasma physics community, and there are those who are not.

The man in charge of NiF should be in jail for fraud.

We can't prove it to you, because there are no paper (written for the purpose of saying what NiF is), but a section of the plasma physics community knew what was going on. Even with that said, NiF (a big machine based on beam compression schemes) was still a lot closer to energy production than ITER, which may have close to no chance of getting there.

We would have to teach you about the military, about bombs, about the politics and funding, etc. Even then, it wouldnt be enough really to absolutely convince you that NiF wasnt really for energy production; the only way to absolutely convince you so is if there was an authority publication describing what was going on (which such a thing will never exist) or someone high enough in the food chain in the situation told you what was going on.
Throwing my life away for this whole Fusion mess.

CharlesKramer
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No rabbit

Postby CharlesKramer » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:16 am

================================
CBK
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CharlesKramer
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby CharlesKramer » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:26 am

================================
CBK
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mvanwink5
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby mvanwink5 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:01 am

CK, to restate the issue you are raising with the fusion projects, plasma physics is near impossible to model due to the complexity of interactions within the plasma. When the original projects began, the instabilities were not expected to be lurking in the unknowns hidden by the nastiness of the physics, but after being burned by making grand predictions as you point out and running into rude surprises their hubris was exposed and a new respect for the difficulties in making scaling predictions was appreciated. It is why machines are being built, tested, then scaled up in steps. For polywell, WB-7 was built to replicate WB-6, then WB-7.1 was built with improved diagnostics, then WB-8. But the test results for polywell are not available and those not privileged and involved don't know where the results stand.

For General Fusion, their work is with full scale components, but right now their full scale plasma injector is the difficult part. It is no surprise though because it involves plasma and instabilities when compressing the plasma. They have made experimental headway, there is cautious optimism, but the optimism is guarded as plasma is difficult science. The problem though is that until the full scale plasma injector science is pinned down and proven in actual hardware, there is no one committing full-scale hardware money. It is why the project is financed in stages. Polywell is the same situation, as I am sure Tri-Alpha is.

Everyone on this board knows this and this is not in disagreement. On the other hand, headway has been made, so that is something, not nothing. The problem with plasma is that glass 90% full isn't enough to say the glass is full, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is when working with plasma it is tricky stuff. Still, for several projects, we are waiting for movement of money to see where these guys are, but based on what I have read on released information, I am willing to go out on a limb and risk a full 2 cents and bet it will be 2014.

Until a machine is built, don't give away your flints just yet. On the other hand, there is the promise of 2014 and my 2 cent bet.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

prestonbarrows
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby prestonbarrows » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:35 am

Image

Image

AcesHigh
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Re: No rabbit

Postby AcesHigh » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:08 am


mvanwink5
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby mvanwink5 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:53 pm

It would be interesting to see expected reactor size for net fusion vs time and estimated cost to build a net fusion reactor vs time. Unlike semiconductors where cost per device stays the same or drops (as device capability doubles), fusion devices such as ITER size and cost has increased dramatically. It is why dark horse fusion projects are being pursued. Still, prestonbarrows' graph is a testament to plasma physics science advancement (albeit costly), and in it there is cause for belief that something can be built in time. Because of cost of machines projected to achieve net fusion is perhaps scaling logarithmically upwards (unlike semiconductors), economics of a net fusion reactor, government version, is the big question. But at least the science of net fusion plasma is being understood experimentally, so there is dim hope in practical fusion.

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

ladajo
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby ladajo » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:09 pm

The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

D Tibbets
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby D Tibbets » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:19 pm

Fusion always 20 years in the future?

Well, yes, or perhaps 40 years in the future. Even if a viable system was demonstrated today, it would take 10-40 years to penetrate the market. Replacing, modifying, retiring current power plants would be a gradual process.

Tokamak research has certainly demonstrated the steep learning curve with plasma physics, and they do seem to be zeroing in on a Q>1 reactor, but at very questionable economics. Part of the pace for research and development sluggishness is political and management, not actual experimental processes. If there was a great enough priority then the progress could be much faster- a Manhatten project mentality . Short of that the research plods along.

As for Bussard, the jury is still out. His research with the Polywell plodded along for over 15 years, showing promise but no clear path to net power, until the Eureka moment after WB5, where he rethought some of the concepts and their relationship to experiments. The physics in retrospect seem obvious, but he nor his reviewers caught it till late in the game. If he had not been operating on a shoestring budget and bureaucratic impediments, he might have made much faster progress. The physics and experimental evidence of WB6 showed a clear path to net fusion. There is criticisms, especially for pB11 fusion, but there have been countering arguments based on sound physics.

It has been ~8 years since Bussard's Google talk and his admittedly optimistic predictions were predicated on a Manhatten like effort (though of much smaller scale). This didn't happen, and the EMC2 research continues to plod along with limited funds, bureaucratic oversight and information blackout. But, this does not imply failure or success, merely delay.

With my admittedly limited understanding, I feel that terrestrial net gain fusion is inevitable. Tokamak understanding has seemed to narrow down till they can have high confidence in making a marginally positive net gain machine; though engineering issues for the complex systems required are formidable and the final economics, if successful are very questionable. The Polywell has many physics advantages, mostly related to the near spherical geometry and of course the marriage between magnetic and electrostatic influences.

The NIF debacle is obvious, but this was primarily a PR game , not related to research progress.

Also, consider that profitable fusion power is already well proven and available for use now. One example is of course is the Sun's output coupled to Solar panels, wind turbines, fossel fuel, etc.
Then there is well proven nuclear bombs. Fission triggered fusion bombs detonated underground with subsequent harvesting of the heat has been proposed and would be a mild engineering challenge. But, for some reason, few have volunteered to have a plant in their back yard!

The question of fusion power is not so much if it is possible, but if it can be done in useful energy densities and efficiencies that make it useful/ profitable. Tokamak trends seem to be pushing this limit unless a more concentrated energy generation version becomes apparent (essentially higher Beta machines). As for Polywell, FRC, General Fusion, DPF, etc, the jury is still out, in part due to the dominance of politics/ funding
issues as opposed to the science.

In some ways this is not always bad. The physics of net gain fusion power is challenging, but perhaps more so is the materials science and engineering that is necessary to successfully implement the physics. My impression is that this is becoming the dominate issue for the Tokamak approach. Plasma manipulation necessary to create conditions for net fusion gain is apparently close. Tritium production issues and diverter issues is another matter. The same may apply to the DPF, the physics may be solved but the durability and precision that is required for a production machine may be unobtainable. In this case the energy density may be too great and the system does not lend itself to larger size/ smaller energy density operation. Similar concerns may apply to FRC (?). The Polywell might be more adaptable. Size/ energy density tradoffs may be much greater, allowing for engineering limits vs fusion gain to be best implemented.

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

choff
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby choff » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:16 pm

It would be interesting to see a graph of output over time strictly for IEC devices.
CHoff

CharlesKramer
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby CharlesKramer » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:31 pm

================================
CBK
Blog: http://www.provideocoalition.com/ckramer

CharlesKramer
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby CharlesKramer » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:41 pm

================================
CBK
Blog: http://www.provideocoalition.com/ckramer

CharlesKramer
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Re: 20 years away, and always will be

Postby CharlesKramer » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:44 pm

================================
CBK
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