Polywell and Proliferation

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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dch24
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Postby dch24 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:47 pm

MSimon wrote:The answer to neutrons is ITER will generate 1,000 times as many for the same power output.
Also, medical neutron generators using IEF or similar processes (not running at breakeven) are used all the time. If they are not already posing a threat as a source of neutrons for enrichment, how would the opposing side spin an IEC fusion device as a threat, when they are (already) not?

hanelyp
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Postby hanelyp » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:55 am

My understanding was that fusion neutrons, because of their high energy, were more inclined to fission U238 than transmute it to Pu239. Thus the uranium casing on fusion bombs and the proposal to surround fusion reactors with uranium to be fissioned for extra energy gain. An opinion from a nuclear physicist in the group?

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:51 am

Yes.

That is the reason for using a Uranium salt dissolved in water as a moderator/breeder.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:07 am

http://www.ferro.com/Our+Products/Fine+Chemicals/Products+and+Markets/Glymes/Butyl+Diglyme.htm

There are still all the radioactive fission byproducts to deal with.

Then there is the small problem of designing a detonator.

Keegan
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Postby Keegan » Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:13 pm

It could well be that the information contained here, in this forum is Born Secret ?

At least we can kick back knowing at least one precident of free speech is on our side.
Purity is Power

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:12 pm

Keegan,

I believe our beloved Analog Science Fiction, published an article on how to build a U-235 gun type bomb in your basement prior to the Progressive article.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:29 pm

Keegan wrote:It could well be that the information contained here, in this forum is Born Secret ?

At least we can kick back knowing at least one precident of free speech is on our side.


I believe our beloved Analog Science Fiction, published an article on how to build a U-235 gun type bomb in your basement prior to the Progressive article.

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:51 am

MSimon wrote:Polywell is out of the bag. It might take 5 to 10 years to reproduce it independent of a government, but it could be done with a team of about 10 to 100.


Possibly. The growing surveillance society in the First World would clamp down on that in the EU, US and Japan/ANZAC. Tho I agree you're right in principle. Any decently funded Second World group could do it. And a well funded 2nd world group like AQ Khan's group in Pakistan would be even more effective.

MSimon wrote:Extracting Pu239 is equivalent to reprocessing spent fuel from a nuclear reactor. That is tough and detectable. By the chemicals obtained. By radiation emitted from the process.

This is not an operation amenable to terrorists. State support will be required.


True.

Also, there are time limits for breeding Pu239. You can't run a production reactor for much more than 6 months maximum before the fraction of Pu240 becomes too much for the Pu to be weapons-grade. To get weapons-grade Pu239 out of reactor-grade Pu (high Pu240 percentage) you need to run the reactor grade Pu through a centrifuge cascade for separation.

MSimon wrote:Production reactors for export will be designed to burn pB11. This will require extensive modification including different software. It will not be done by Osama in the hills of Afghanistan.


I can easily see "refit kits" being sold by the like of the AQ Khan network.

But if/when Polywell is proven, stopping it will be impossible. You're looking at 150-8000 MW(t) reactors being darn common. That won't be blocked. I can also easily see good quality patent-jumping units being sold by 'Energy de Argentina,' etc. Polywell has the potential to be the next cotton gin. So useful that attempts to enforce patents at more than minimal license fees will break down.

So limitations on export units may be more theory than reality.

Duane
Vae Victis

wdfarmer
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Postby wdfarmer » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:07 pm

There's another use for a neutron source that hasn't been discussed in this thread; you can convert Th-232 directly into nuclear weapons capable U-233. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium#Thorium_as_a_nuclear_fuel.


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