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  1. 16 Dec '09 17:42 / 2 edits
    Now where is that powerplant?

    There was quite a good discussion on here about nuclear power... the UK is building some 10+ new plants...

    I'm watching the news on Copenhagen with interest and it seems the sticking point is still how do you cut emissions & increase growth?
    How do i trade in my cart horse for a donkey and give it a bigger load?

    It would be good to see the big powers in this who have nuclear facilities reach an agreement on fusion research. One leap of science here could solve at lot of problems.

    Any thoughts? I can't see a good reason why not tbh...
  2. 16 Dec '09 17:57
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility

    National Ignition Facility

    (photo caption) NIF's basic layout. The laser pulse is generated in the room just right of center, and is sent into the beamlines (blue) on either side. After several passes through the beamlines the light is sent into the "switchyard" (red) where it is aimed into the target chamber (silver). Three football fields could fit inside NIF.

    The National Ignition Facility, or NIF, is a laser-based inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research device located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. NIF uses powerful lasers to heat and compress a small amount of hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place. NIF is the largest and most energetic ICF device built to date, and the first that is expected to reach the long-sought goal of "ignition", producing more energy than was put in to start the reaction.

    Construction began in 1997 but was fraught with problems and ran into a series of delays that greatly slowed progress into the early 2000s. Progress since then has been much smoother, but compared to initial estimates, NIF is five years behind schedule and almost four times more expensive than budgeted. The construction of the National Ignition Facility was certified complete on 31 March 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy[1], and a dedication ceremony took place on 29 May 2009.[2] The first large-scale laser target experiments were performed in June 2009[3] and ignition experiments are expected to begin in 2010.[4]
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    16 Dec '09 18:45
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    Now where is that powerplant?

    There was quite a good discussion on here about nuclear power... the UK is building some 10+ new plants...

    I'm watching the news on Copenhagen with interest and it seems the sticking point is still how do you cut emissions & increase growth?
    How do i trade in my cart horse for a donkey and give it a bigger load ...[text shortened]... here could solve at lot of problems.

    Any thoughts? I can't see a good reason why not tbh...
    I'm not a scientist; but my understanding is that we're quite far from being able to harness nuclear fusion in a manner that would allow it to be used efficiently to provide power. Other clean renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric made more efficient seems to be a more realistic option. Nuclear fission and CNG are also relatively clean potential parts of the solution.
  4. 16 Dec '09 19:28
    They're building it. Google ITER.
  5. 16 Dec '09 19:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    I'm not a scientist; but my understanding is that we're quite far from being able to harness nuclear fusion in a manner that would allow it to be used efficiently to provide power. Other clean renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric made more efficient seems to be a more realistic option. Nuclear fission and CNG are also relatively clean potential parts of the solution.
    Not as far as you think. An operating nuclear fusion reactor was built in the late 80s, but it was too small to provide power (it takes more power than it produces). Right now they're building one which is supposed to give more power than it takes.
  6. 17 Dec '09 19:03
    There was one built in the 80s.... NIF looks cool .. but also doesn't look as big as it could be.
  7. 17 Dec '09 19:16
    it's just a test device, i think. a REALLY expensive one.

    you could put the hohlraum on your keychain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohlraum
  8. 18 Dec '09 00:15 / 3 edits
    Oh no... you can't get away with that ... the NIF cost $1.2 Billion
    and has the potential to give us more Electrical power then we would know what to do with. I can't think of a better way to spend a billion. in the context of govt spending that is a pittance...


    The millennium dome cost $1.1Billion ....( £0.73billion) and other then looking like a pimple from outer space served no useful purpose .. that is a waste of money...
  9. 18 Dec '09 00:37
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    Oh no... you can't get away with that ... the NIF cost $1.2 Billion
    and has the potential to give us more Electrical power then we would know what to do with. I can't think of a better way to spend a billion. in the context of govt spending that is a pittance...


    The millennium dome cost $1.1Billion ....( £0.73billion) and other then looking like a pimple from outer space served no useful purpose .. that is a waste of money...
    http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/columnists/hugh-gusterson/why-thomas-friedman-wrong-about-the-national-ignition-facility

    Friedman also tells us that, if we want a follow-on to NIF, "a pilot [fusion energy plant] would cost about $10 billion--the same as a new nuclear power plant." There is no mention of a source for the cost estimate, which is simply stated as fact. Not only does Freidman seem to have accepted a publicist's number as true; he never mentions that Livermore originally promised that the NIF would cost $1.2 billion and open for business in 2001. Instead, it has cost around $4 billion (estimates vary depending on what you count) and construction wasn't completed until this year--eight years behind schedule. In other words, buyer beware when it comes to Livemore's cost estimates for such technology. I once asked a senior manager for the NIF how they came up with the initial $1.2 billion cost estimate. I naively thought he'd tell me that they added up all of the costs for wiring, steel, glass, and labor, but somehow underestimated. Instead he told me, with astonishing frankness, that they decided how much they thought Congress was willing to spend and worked back from there.
  10. 18 Dec '09 00:38
    Originally posted by sh76
    I'm not a scientist; but my understanding is that we're quite far from being able to harness nuclear fusion in a manner that would allow it to be used efficiently to provide power. Other clean renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric made more efficient seems to be a more realistic option. Nuclear fission and CNG are also relatively clean potential parts of the solution.
    That is right, nuclear fusion is not a viable alternative right now, however, nuclear fission is. Its just a shame that it is overlooked and, instead, are fed a song and dance about wind and solar which are not that much more viable an alternative than nuclear fusion.
  11. 18 Dec '09 00:42
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    Now where is that powerplant?

    There was quite a good discussion on here about nuclear power... the UK is building some 10+ new plants...

    I'm watching the news on Copenhagen with interest and it seems the sticking point is still how do you cut emissions & increase growth?
    How do i trade in my cart horse for a donkey and give it a bigger load?

    ...
    How do i trade in my cart horse for a donkey and give it a bigger load?
    By changing the worm for the egg as the lowest form of currency.
  12. 18 Dec '09 00:51
    I cannot BELIEVE we got the millennium dome when we could have a fusion powerplant for the same price ... people would have gone to see that! that is the future!
  13. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    18 Dec '09 06:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    They're building it. Google ITER.
    KSTAR which is a smaller ITER is already producing good results.
    http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2053801


    It was built only to break even in energy terms which might seem a ridiculous enterprise but if you consider the long history of unrealized expectations that have followed the development of the TOKAMAK reactor series then you would appreciate how incredibly brilliant even getting to break even in energy terms would be.

    The only problem with the laser and high voltage systems would be the repeatability and reliability of the process( in the event that they were successful in generating a fusion event that is)

    From the link this long quote that after years of waiting we really are... this close..


    The final commissioning of KSTAR began in February 2007. It was split into four phases.

    Phase 1 involved testing the vacuum environment and the leak tightness of all vacuum systems. Testing was completed on 2 April 2008, when the pressure of the vacuum vessel and cryostat vessel measured less than the required 3.0x10-8mbar (3 microPascals).

    For the second phase of commissioning, the system was cooled down to its operational temperature. KSTAR’s 9kW refrigeration system includes a compressor, chiller and distributor. The KSTAR magnets were cooled by the circulation of liquid helium (4.2K) for a month. All the superconducting magnets successfully reached 4.48K and maintained temperature for more than three months. The second phase of commissioning was completed on 2 May 2008.

    The superconducting magnets or coils were tested during phase 3, which was completed on 6 June 2008. A toroidal field coil generates a torus-type magnetic field, which is required to hold the plasma within the vacuum vessel. All 16 TF coil currents were charged up to 15kA and maintained for eight hours without any faults. The poloidal field coil generates a large current in the plasma and controls the shape of the plasma. All 14 coils were tested for their synchronized operation.

    Phase 4 involved the production of plasma with specified parameters and characteristics. Target parameters of 100kA plasma current for 100ms were chosen to achieve 107K of plasma temperature. This figure is the same criteria as ITER for the first plasma discharge. In general, the minimum required for power generation using deuterium-tritium fusion is 5x107-108K for more than 300s.

    The first plasma that satisfied target parameters was generated on 13 June 2008 when a peak plasma current of 107kA was achieved during a 210ms pulse.

    It is also important to note that an electron cyclotron heating system using an 84GHz gyrotron was deployed successfully to start up the plasma. With it, less than 2V of loop-voltage around the tokamak chamber was required for plasma start-up. The final phase of commissioning was completed at the end of June 2008.

    KSTAR successfully achieved first plasma on 15 July 2008. The goal of the first plasma discharge test was to verify the operational capability in a new regime of plasma operation and to test whether the integration of the newly-built fusion device would be able to generate expected plasmas, even with limited ancillary systems. A plasma current of 133kA with pulse length of 389ms was generated in a 1.5T toroidal magnetic field, surpassing the original target parameters.

    For the remaining three years of the first stage of KSTAR development, the team will concentrate on enhancing the performance of KSTAR. They will test the Ohmic, L and H operating modes of the tokamak with increasing plasma current, temperature and density. In particular, by 2012, D-type plasma in H-mode operation (the standard mode proposed for ITER) is to be achieved for at least 20 seconds. This will form the basis of long-time plasma operation.

    The main goal of KSTAR development in its second stage, from 2013-2017, is to attain long-term plasma operation through various experiments of H-mode and hybrid mode operation. For the purpose of achieving this goal, non-inductive current drive, MHD instability control and long-term diverter operation technology are to be developed.

    In the third stage, 2018-2022, the team will study high efficiency AT (advanced tokamak) operation techniques under relatively low heating power and magnetic field conditions. This will involve testing the real-time control of plasma current and pressure distribution, and intensive research activity to enhance plasma beta-value. In addition, research activities into ITER advanced operation mode, including steady-state mode are to be accomplished, and then plasma transport analysis under low-velocity situations similar to nuclear fusion reactor is also to be completed.

    In the fourth and final stage from 2023-2025, the team will finalise a high-power heating device and a high-efficiency AT operation technique. To achieve this goal, bootstrap current distribution needs to be optimised, and long-term operation of the divertor under high thermal flux must be developed. In addition, KSTAR will be used to test the divertor and blanket under high power conditions so that they can be optimised before use in the DEMO reactor.

    The KSTAR programme consists of four teams (about 80 people) including an experimental research division, a tokamak operation division, a tokamak engineering division and a plant engineering division. In addition, staff of national laboratories, university research centres and companies also participate in KSTAR projects.
  14. 18 Dec '09 13:27
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    I cannot BELIEVE we got the millennium dome when we could have a fusion powerplant for the same price ... people would have gone to see that! that is the future!
    That's just one of the dire consequences of the plebs having elected Toniblair.
    The shambles and suffering caused by his maladministration, including the destruction of Iraq on false pretences, have destroyed the UK morally, politically, and economically.
    In former days such a criminal would have lost his head on the block at the Tower of London, but now the little swine has been allowed to make his fortune at our expense.
  15. 19 Dec '09 00:48
    I don't want this thread to sound like I'm cynical about climate change ...
    it is real .... i think some people maybe agreed with the facts until they realised it would lead to real changes in the economy ... then it's 'I don't believe global warming is man made' Its not an act of faith! It is a fact and it will get worse. Nuclear is one of the solutions where we maintain / increase output . But its much more likely to come about if people agree to carbon cuts.