EMC2 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: EMC2 news

Postby D Tibbets » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:18 am

Neutron counts is a method of measuring fusion, but it tells you little about the parameters that may be of most interest to a plasma physicist. Things like density, voltage, potential well depth measurements with probes, etc.. are used to model a system. Neutron counts from D-D or D-T fusion are demonstrative though and relatively easy compared to other measurements. Electrical counters are probably used mostly as bubble detectors give you minimal time interval information.It is a good backup though for countering any electronic noise in the electronic neutron counters.

As far as neutron counts, EMC2 reported counts with various machines up to and including WB6. I have seen no mention of neutron counts for WB7, WB8 or MiniB. Weather they were done and the possible results are not available. Also, I am unaware of any such measures in the FRC field. LPP has used neutron counts to help measure results in the DPF, with time of flight measurements providing some additional information.
I'm guessing the JET and some other Tokamak tests depended on neutron counts in their estimates of fusion output and Q ratio. The neutron counts don't tell you much about what is going on in the reactor. It does give a end result parameter that can be used to justify additional effort to find out what is going on with injection efficiency, density , confinement times, temperature and heating efficiency (mostly potential well depth in the Polywell), the type and location of fusions- core, diffuse , wall,; nature of fusions- beam- beam, beam- background, or beam- target (usually the the walls or non insulated grids)

Amateur fusioneers use neutron counts because it is again the easiest. If they have a good setup and results they have also sometimes done activation measurements (dependent on neutron driven transmutations). Some Japanese Fusor researchers have managed to measure energetic fusion produced protons or alphas (from D-He3 fusion) inside the reactor and have mapped the location of fusions (core, grid or walls).

Having said all this, it was the neutron counts at the end of WB6 tests that seemed to convince Bussard that the system would work.

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

crowberry
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby crowberry » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:23 am

D Tibbets wrote:Neutron counts is a method of measuring fusion, but it tells you little about the parameters that may be of most interest to a plasma physicist. Things like density, voltage, potential well depth measurements with probes, etc.. are used to model a system. Neutron counts from D-D or D-T fusion are demonstrative though and relatively easy compared to other measurements. Electrical counters are probably used mostly as bubble detectors give you minimal time interval information.It is a good backup though for countering any electronic noise in the electronic neutron counters.

As far as neutron counts, EMC2 reported counts with various machines up to and including WB6. I have seen no mention of neutron counts for WB7, WB8 or MiniB. Weather they were done and the possible results are not available. Also, I am unaware of any such measures in the FRC field. LPP has used neutron counts to help measure results in the DPF, with time of flight measurements providing some additional information.
I'm guessing the JET and some other Tokamak tests depended on neutron counts in their estimates of fusion output and Q ratio. The neutron counts don't tell you much about what is going on in the reactor. It does give a end result parameter that can be used to justify additional effort to find out what is going on with injection efficiency, density , confinement times, temperature and heating efficiency (mostly potential well depth in the Polywell), the type and location of fusions- core, diffuse , wall,; nature of fusions- beam- beam, beam- background, or beam- target (usually the the walls or non insulated grids)

Amateur fusioneers use neutron counts because it is again the easiest. If they have a good setup and results they have also sometimes done activation measurements (dependent on neutron driven transmutations). Some Japanese Fusor researchers have managed to measure energetic fusion produced protons or alphas (from D-He3 fusion) inside the reactor and have mapped the location of fusions (core, grid or walls).

Having said all this, it was the neutron counts at the end of WB6 tests that seemed to convince Bussard that the system would work.

Dan Tibbets


Last year the neutron rate from WB7 was published at the 16th US-Japan Workshop on IEC Fusion as I pointed out in http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5183#p117990
The relative performance of WB8 versus WB7 was also presented but not the achieved neutron rates of WB8. Actually the WB7 and WB8 results are directly mentioned on the EMC2 homepage:
16th US-Japan Workshop on Fusion Neutron Sources for Nuclear Assay and Alternate Applications, U. Wisconsin, 10-1-2014: This presentation expands on the previous one with additional information on WB-7 and WB-8 low beta mode operation.


But as Dan said, the big problem is to diagnose the plasma and tame it, so the neutron rate is not the central figure of merit to look at. Because the WB6 neutron rate was overestimated it was better for EMC2 to go public only after the high beta results had been obtained. The high beta result has at least been appreciated by Lockheed Martin which has submitted six abstracts to the upcoming 57th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Monday–Friday, November 16–20, 2015; Savannah, Georgia.

Abstract: YP12.00042 : Thermionic plasma injection for the Lockheed Martin T4 Compact Fusion Reactor experiment

Author: Jonathon Heinrich (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin's Compact Fusion Reactor (CFR) concept relies on diamagnetic confinement in a magnetically encapsulated linear ring cusp geometry. Plasma injection into cusp field configurations requires careful deliberation. Previous work has shown that axial injection via a plasma gun is capable of achieving high-beta conditions in cusp configurations [Park, J., et al., Phys. Rev. X 5, 021024 (2015)]. We present a pulsed, high power thermionic plasma source and the associated magnetic field topology for plasma injection into the caulked-cusp magnetic field. The resulting plasma fueling and cross-field diffusion is discussed. \copyright 2015 Lockheed Martin Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP15/Session/YP12.42

What EMC2 is working on is to improve the high beta condition and show it simultaneously with a deep potential well hopefully with good well creation efficiency. If that can be achieved, then it makes sense to demonstrate high neutron counts.

It is nice to see that LM is keeping their intention to work on their concept in public, as you can see be reading their abstracts. It is clear that LM will discuss things in much more technical detail than they did in their PPPL colloquium on the 6th of August 2015.

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:23 pm

so the neutron rate is not the central figure of merit to look a


YESSS!!!


WB8 did not make neutrons.
Mini-B was not built to make 0n1s. There was no attempt nor designed capability to burn.
It was a plasma instrument.

As Dan pointed out, and I am sure many know, the use of neutron detection to date in compact research has simply been focused on the binary argument (Y/N). One of the critiques of WB6 work was the attempt by Dr. Bussard to generalize the 0n1 data. It, in the opinion of many, was probably not appropriate.
In any event, as Skippy pointed out, the focus of compact research is about seeing if one's approach can create conditions for Q>1 for a given fuel regime.
Once you have that, then you fuel it to see what happens with the dynamic environment.

While JT60 demonstrated plasma conditions for Q>1, it did not demonstrate energy production for Q>1. It is speculated on the data that it could (which is NOT would).
No one has demonstrated Q>1, yet.
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)

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:40 pm

ladajo wrote:While JT60 demonstrated plasma conditions for Q>1, it did not demonstrate energy production for Q>1. It is speculated on the data that it could (which is NOT would).
No one has demonstrated Q>1, yet.

And I guess that this is where we disconnect. I see the D+D experiment at JT60 as conclusive enough. Of course that produced neutrons as well. Now for me it is only relevant that the conditions were theoretically right. The JT60 reactor was not built for D+T and it does not have any equipment to extract the energy to sustain the reaction. Neither JET nor ITER will have all the equipment necessary for that. So they wont really demonstrate energy production, just scientific break even and that was IMHO demonstrated sufficiently by both JET and JT60 already. It just depends on how you look at it. Anyway, if none of the others do it first, JET will have your "net energy neutrons" in a couple of years from now. Personally I was perfectly satisfied with the D+D experiments that demonstrated the plasma conditions for Q>1. The reason is that D+T experiments are anything but cheap. The JET refit will cost a fortune and I personally do not see much to be gained from it other than publicity for tokamaks. The inner wall had to be replaced with Beryllium- Tungsten tiles like ITER will have (all via remote handling) and the whole upgrade process involved almost 100,000 individual components. This is why I think that it is good enough to demonstrate fusion conditions with D+D first, even if it is not at a Q>1. D+T IMHO only makes sense if you are actually planning on having a plant that will ultimately "burn" D+T. Otherwise, you will be spending a lot of money on a demonstration of little practical value.

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:19 pm

From a research perspective, Q>1 is still theoretical. It will remain so until it is done.

Q>1 conditions have been seen, but conditions do not equal demonstrated Q>1.

As I am sure you know, science is the art of elimination. More specifically, the critical aspect is the elimination of those things we don't know we don't know until we are left with a plausible truth grounded in evidence of its existence. This evidence can be positive and negative in nature, where it shows that other truths can't be, and that the last truth standing is most likely the truth. This is but one (granted popular) validated framework of knowing among many.

This is what is lost on the Rossiclown blind faith fan club. Their main perspective being that the Rossiclown knows all, and thus doesn't have to prove it. This is a false framework.

If you want to take the layman's perspective, then an entire new reality opens up.
Choose. But once you have done so, then you must accept that someone who is using a different framework will have a different reality.
Just be careful as a layman, by definition, the frameworks chosen are uninformed/untested as a norm. The layman lacks informed and tested frameworks.
It is what makes the difference.
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)

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:20 pm

ladajo wrote:From a research perspective, Q>1 is still theoretical. It will remain so until it is done.
Q>1 conditions have been seen, but conditions do not equal demonstrated Q>1.

I agree with that to some extent. My main issue is that it really does not make sense to demonstrate a Q>1 with a fuel that is not particularly practical with a certain reactor type, especially if the fuel type adds a lot of extra cost during the construction and operation of the demonstration reactor.
It's like claiming to have a fantastic new rocket engine that gives 450 ISP on RP1 fuel but then refitting it for hydrogen (at a lot of additional cost) to demonstrate the Isp with that (which is a lot easier to do of course).

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:12 pm

The viable operations of D-D v. D-T v. P-B11 machines is really an engineering issue. They all have positive and negative aspects.
It is more likely that we will see a D-D/D-T hybrid as the first production plant. But that is not certain.
Even a P-B11 machine is going to have similar issues as D/T operations, it will just take longer to manifest.
It is also likely that a P-B11 machine is going to be comparatively physically bigger, which in turn magnifies the scope of the effects of the longer manifestation.
All the decay chains produce gamma, neutron, and other high energy particles. All of this have material (and personnel) considerations over time. Some are more immediate than others. Seen across the experimental approaches they all share some issues, each amplifies its own, and potentially suppresses others.
My point is that it is too soon to be debating which is best, when none of them have shown Q>1.
My other point is that any of the experimental approaches can from a physics perspective be adapted to burn any of the fuel types.
When you are still in the experimental stage, considerations about production plant design and operating costs is extremely premature.
While some thought is given to this during the science phase, at its fundamental roots this thought is about promoting funding, not directing science. And the two thought trains are not actually connected. I believe that this is where you are having difficulty in separating the wishful thinking attempting to generate support and funding, verses the actual spending of money to see if the core science can be validated. Normally the end result of the science looks very little (if at all in a number of cases) like the core science that supported it.
The first group to burn anything is going to gain knowledge exponentially faster than any other group that has burned nothing. That knowledge will help that group to understand branch and follow on science faster than the others as well. This implies that using the science hypothesis to validate Q>1 using the easiest possible fuel to do so is the smarter way to go. It is akin to the first time you build a multi-floor structure. If no-one has ever done it, and you are still unsure it can be done, why would you attempt to build 20 stories instead of two? You are adding complexity and resource expenditure against a lot of unknowns. This increases risk exponentially.
A more measured approach is more manageable, and you get to carry what you learned forward more effectively and efficiently.
One story build to two stories to ten stories to 20 stories to 50 stories to 100 stories...instead of attempting 100 stories right up front and more than likely failing at extreme risk for your ability to continue attempts.
Worrying about this is premature. And in my opinion, the more a plasma fusion group hypes up "going straight for the gold" the more inclined I am to believe they don't actually know what they are doing, or worse. If it was easy we would have figured it out long ago. For example, JT60 first argued achievement of conditions for Q>1 twenty years ago, yet still no-one has taken that and validated Q>1. Food for thought there, and also helps make my point about the risk of skipping steps because you think you are smarter than you are.
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)

bennmann
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby bennmann » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:36 pm

It's "only" $30 million... This is a 3 step process.

1). Create a crowd funded SuperPAC to lobby the US government for more fusion development on the platform of your choice (kickstarter or Indiegogo).
2). Also start another crowd funded effort linked to the first but separate for the purposes of funding the $30 mil.
3). Eat popcorn as you watch them both echo chamber up well beyond $30mil. Use whichever one gets there first to fund the research because donators to SuperPACs are used to having their money diverted into other projects anyways for administrative purposes ("we needed to lower our office complex heating bill with some DT plasma shots").

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:03 pm

Not a lot of appetite in the US for Fusion research, energy money is all focused on Solar and Wind. Might have something to do with the significant subsidies that prop them up and it being "free money" for investors.
If you are bored, take the time to look up subsidies $$ per KwH verses market price per KwH for wind and solar.
If you are unaware, the numbers will surprise you. I would also hope that they make you angry as a tax payer and seek to throw out the corruption in DC.
Talk about completely ignoring any consideration of EPRI viability criteria...
I will not post the numbers, as I want anyone who makes the effort to look feel vested in the effort.
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)

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:00 pm

ladajo wrote:The viable operations of D-D v. D-T v. P-B11 machines is really an engineering issue. They all have positive and negative aspects.
It is more likely that we will see a D-D/D-T hybrid as the first production plant.
But that is not certain.

Not having to breed tritium just solves so many problems that are plaguing D+T most (if not all) reactor designs. But whether TCD is feasible depends on the reactor concept. If a reactor can not create the conditions to fuse sufficient D+D for a TCD fusion machine, they will have to do D+T.

ladajo wrote:Even a P-B11 machine is going to have similar issues as D/T operations, it will just take longer to manifest.

Well yes, but that makes a huge difference when conducting experiments in terms of cost. Plus the tritium is not exactly cheap either.
I mean, there is a good reason why pretty much everyone does the majority of their experiments with D+D. IIRC, even ITER wont do D+T experiments right away.

ladajo wrote:It is also likely that a P-B11 machine is going to be comparatively physically bigger, which in turn magnifies the scope of the effects of the longer manifestation.

I agree that that a PB-11 machine would probably be too large of a step. On the other hand, Tri Alpha is IIRC going straight for PB11 and I think they know what they are doing.
This probably also depends on the reactor concept. IIRC, Lerner's DPF will not work at all with D+T.

ladajo wrote:My point is that it is too soon to be debating which is best, when none of them have shown Q>1.
My other point is that any of the experimental approaches can from a physics perspective be adapted to burn any of the fuel types.
When you are still in the experimental stage, considerations about production plant design and operating costs is extremely premature.

That is debatable. A large part of the ITER project consists of just that. They had to trim down their ambitions a bit, however due to the exploding costs. But a lot of ITER research went into material science for the reactor walls, Tritium breeding, etc and this work is still ongoing (some of it just wont be implemented in ITER).
Some of that research like the ITER Like Wall (yes that is the scientific term) was implemented into JET and they are aiming to beat ITER to break even.

ladajo wrote:The first group to burn anything is going to gain knowledge exponentially faster than any other group that has burned nothing. That knowledge will help that group to understand branch and follow on science faster than the others as well.

What does "burn anything" even mean? Most of the groups have had plenty of fusion reactions from their D+D experiments with neutron counts, etc. The main difference with D+T will be that it will be more reactions. The main thing that I see that can be learned is whether the plasma will behave equally well with D+T when more fusion reactions happen (and you have more products) as it does with a different fuel (e.g. D+D which is used for most experiments) and less fusion reactions.

ladajo wrote:This implies that using the science hypothesis to validate Q>1 using the easiest possible fuel to do so is the smarter way to go.

I think that depends. D+T is the easiest (for most reactor concepts) to get a Q>1 with but it is not "the easiest" fuel. In fact it could be argued that it is the hardest to work with. That makes the experiments a lot more expensive. A lot of things can be just as well validated with other fuels, even if the Q<1.

ladajo wrote:One story build to two stories to ten stories to 20 stories to 50 stories to 100 stories...instead of attempting 100 stories right up front and more than likely failing at extreme risk for your ability to continue attempts.

I do understand why you are arguing for D+t. The comparison was not really needed. I just do not agree with you on this ;)

ladajo wrote:For example, JT60 first argued achievement of conditions for Q>1 twenty years ago, yet still no-one has taken that and validated Q>1. Food for thought there, and also helps make my point about the risk of skipping steps because you think you are smarter than you are.

They did not do it because the JT60 reactor is not fit for D+T because D+T is a major pain in the ass for a million reasons and it just is not worth it when Japan is part of ITER anyway.
That said, they are now refitting the almost 4 decades old JET for break even experiments with an ITER Like Wall and better cooling (among other things like better heating and neutral beam injectors). Part of the reason why they could not do it earlier is because D+T causes so many problems which required a multi billion Dollar ITER program to solve.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:10 pm

ladajo wrote:Not a lot of appetite in the US for Fusion research, energy money is all focused on Solar and Wind. Might have something to do with the significant subsidies that prop them up and it being "free money" for investors.
If you are bored, take the time to look up subsidies $$ per KwH verses market price per KwH for wind and solar.
If you are unaware, the numbers will surprise you. I would also hope that they make you angry as a tax payer and seek to throw out the corruption in DC.
Talk about completely ignoring any consideration of EPRI viability criteria...
I will not post the numbers, as I want anyone who makes the effort to look feel vested in the effort.

I fully agree with you on that one, especially wind. Solar power has improved a lot in recent years, thankfully with storage adding to the appeal. I still don't consider it being a good option on its own, even for sunny regions, but at least it is improving. Wind just plain sucks in every aspect.
It is one of my big gripes with the Obama administration that nuclear (fusion and fission) research has been treated so badly. It is getting a bit better, lately from what I have noticed though. But not much. Compared to the money wasted on defense, fully funding all domestic fusion research programs would be peanuts and if only one of them is successful it would contribute much much more to national security.

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:22 pm

JT60 is integral to ITER as noted. However, I am unsure why you think they will do DT, is is being set up as a DD experiment as far as I know.
I have the research plans archived at the office, and I can look it up. Right now I can't be bothered to reach out and ask anyone.
But I am pretty sure it is H commissioning and DD ops for the SA series.
By the way, I am very happy that you are now pointing out that materials is the big issue. They have written checks that there is not money for on that account.
We will see if we get there.
And when I said "burning" it was in the context of Q>= 1. Another big knowledge leap yet to be made, even given over two decades of having shown conditions can be met.
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)

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:52 pm

ladajo wrote:JT60 is integral to ITER as noted. However, I am unsure why you think they will do DT, is is being set up as a DD experiment as far as I know.
I have the research plans archived at the office, and I can look it up. Right now I can't be bothered to reach out and ask anyone.
But I am pretty sure it is H commissioning and DD ops for the SA series.
By the way, I am very happy that you are now pointing out that materials is the big issue. They have written checks that there is not money for on that account.
We will see if we get there.
And when I said "burning" it was in the context of Q>= 1. Another big knowledge leap yet to be made, even given over two decades of having shown conditions can be met.

Either my English writing sucks, or your English reading does. JT60 and JET are not the same thing.
Let me try that again. Maybe I can explain it better this time.

JT-60 (Japan Torus 60) is a Japanese tokamak for D+D experiments that in the 1990ies achieved conditions sufficient for a Q>1 IF they had used D+T. It could not do D+T experiments because it was never designed to do them and refiting it is not cost effective.

JET (Joint European Torus) is an even older Tokamak located half way around the world in Oxfordshire that has been around since the 1980ies. It is now some 35 years old or so (the whole project from first conception is even older). It is JET that was built well enough that they could refit it for some short D+T experiments in the 1990ies and it is now refit again with an ITER Like Wall to do break even experiments on D+T plasma within the next couple of years.

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:25 am

<giggle>
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: EMC2 news

Postby D Tibbets » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:06 am

I think a fusion Q >one has been demonstrated. The problem is the praticality of the aproach. This can also be applied to the ITER Tokamak approach.

The most difinative demonstration of fusion Q> one is hydrogen bombs. This approach though is not very praticle for energy production, though there was a proposal to set off bombs underground and to then pump water into the resulting hot bubble, and harvest the resulting steam rto generate electricity.

The other example is the NIF, sort of, if you ignore many aspects. The laser input that directly contributed to compressing and heating the DT fuel was less than the fusion output. This does ignore the laser energy that expended doing other things, like heating and exploding the horloium (sp?). Only a small portion of the laser input contributed to the DT compression and heating.

Any benchmark is open to interpretation.
A Q>one is not useful for energy production, actual performance would actually need to exceed a Q>3 or so for a net positive electricity generation via a steam cycle. As such, that is the real minimal target. For net profitable fusion electricity production a Q >5 may be needed.

In some situations a Q < one may suffice. If you burn 1 GW of coal thermal yield, and harvest 300 MW of electricity from this, then use this 300 MW to generate 200 MW of fusion power, you have a total heat yield of ~ 1.2 GW. A 20% gain. You might never catch up from a useful electricity standpoint,but if your primary goal is to heat the streets in Copenhagen with steam/ hot water pipes, you may have a gain- more street heating with less coal burned, smaller carbon footprint, etc. Of course the money cost of doing this may be stupendous, but from a physics standpoint you have a gain. It depends on how you utilize the produced heat and how much of it ends up as final useless heat.

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


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