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sharpiefan
03-12-2018, 10:51 AM
/* YAWN -- another we'll-have-fusion-Real-Soon-Now™ story.
I've been seeing these for fifty years----- */

MIT Is Building The World's Most Powerful Superconducting Magnets For an Amazing Cause (ARTICLE LINK) (https://www.sciencealert.com/mit-superconducting-magnets-nuclear-fusion-power-tokamak)



Excerpt
The most promising source of clean energy humans can ever hope for is still fusion power - and researchers at MIT have just received US$30 million in funding to help make it happen.

MIT has joined forces with a newly formed private company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems, and together they hope to have a pilot fusion power plant in 15 years' time.

Not to be confused with nuclear fission, which is what nuclear power consists of today and which is based on atom-splitting, nuclear fusion generates power by fusing hydrogen atoms into helium.

It's the same kind of nuclear process that takes place inside stars, including our own Sun. The heat that fusion produces can run into hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius - and, if it can be harnessed, this heat could be converted into immense amounts of electricity.

Scientists have been working on developing a fusion reactor since the 1940s. So far the problem with every attempt has been generating as much power as the reactors take to run, never mind exceeding it.

One of the most promising designs for a nuclear fusion reactor is the tokamak, a chamber that uses powerful magnets to create a magnetic field to confine the hot plasma produced by nuclear fusion in the shape of a torus, or doughnut.

MIT is hoping to build a compact tokamak, called SPARC, capable of generating 100 megawatts of heat. This won't be converted to electricity, but it will be used to produce 10-second pulses of enough power for a small city - and more than twice the power needed to heat the plasma.


#include [std-disclaimer]

mmd
03-12-2018, 11:07 AM
Remember the 'cold fusion' breakthrough twenty years or so ago that was going to negate the need for those pesky expensive magnetic crucibles?

AlanMc
03-12-2018, 11:10 AM
Remember the 'cold fusion' breakthrough twenty years or so ago that was going to negate the need for those pesky expensive magnetic crucibles?



my cold fusion device works great. you didn't get one? :D

Keith Wilson
03-12-2018, 11:27 AM
https://www.thegoodwillout.de/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/1000x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/a/back-to-the-future-mr-fusion-replica-by-diamond-select-toys-home-energy-reactor-white-699788210208_13_.jpg

LeeG
03-12-2018, 12:55 PM
Can’t fool me. Those are Lego people!


https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2018-03/processed/mit-fusion-sparc_1024.jpg

LeeG
03-12-2018, 01:00 PM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yttrium_barium_copper_oxide

The most promising method developed to utilize this material involves deposition of YBCO on flexible metal tapes coated with buffering metal oxides. This is known as coated conductor. Texture (crystal plane alignment) can be introduced into the metal tape itself (the RABiTS process) or a textured ceramic buffer layer can be deposited, with the aid of an ion beam, on an untextured alloy substrate (the IBAD process). Subsequent oxide layers prevent diffusion of the metal from the tape into the superconductor while transferring the template for texturing the superconducting layer. Novel variants on CVD, PVD, and solution deposition techniques are used to produce long lengths of the final YBCO layer at high rates. Companies pursuing these processes include American Superconductor, Superpower (a division of Furukawa Electric), Sumitomo, Fujikura, Nexans Superconductors, and European Advanced Superconductors. A much larger number of research institutes have also produced YBCO tape by these methods.

The superconducting tape may be the key to a tokamak fusion reactor design that can achieve breakeven energy production.[12] YBCO tape is often referred to as rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) tape.[13]

CWSmith
03-12-2018, 01:02 PM
My thesis advisor's big complaint is that they would run these machines for a time, get some results that the engineers thought they understood, and then dismantle them to build the new machines. They never studied them long enough to really understand them. Now they are so hot the researchers cannot put probes into them and the diagnostics are not as good.

Bottom line - the entire industry lies and you should not believe a single thing they say.

LeeG
03-12-2018, 01:17 PM
I’m going to look up superconductor parlor tricks

artif
03-12-2018, 01:36 PM
Funny, I've spent many hours inside Tokamaks between running fusion reactions, and one of the reactors has been in use since 1985. It's not that "hot" (radioactive) in there, certainly less than the conventional fission reactors which I currently work on.
Take a look at the next generation from the ones I used to work on, https://www.iter.org/


My thesis advisor's big complaint is that they would run these machines for a time, get some results that the engineers thought they understood, and then dismantle them to build the new machines. They never studied them long enough to really understand them. Now they are so hot the researchers cannot put probes into them and the diagnostics are not as good.

Bottom line - the entire industry lies and you should not believe a single thing they say.

CWSmith
03-12-2018, 01:42 PM
Funny, I've spent many hours inside Tokamaks between running fusion reactions, and one of the reactors has been in use since 1985. It's not that "hot" (radioactive) in there, certainly less than the conventional fission reactors which I currently work on.
Take a look at the next generation from the ones I used to work on, https://www.iter.org/

I mean "hot" as in temperature. Probes are destroyed in modern machines that are trying to reach break-even fusion.

artif
03-12-2018, 01:54 PM
Ah I see, but they have to be hot for it to work i.e several million degrees C and they can still get meaningful results from the instruments used, they even have film taken by the In vessel camera system https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwdWyAcZr90
BTW my uncle who is doctor of Physics also told me it would never make plasma. He looked a bit put out when i said it was already working


I mean "hot" as in temperature. Probes are destroyed in modern machines that are trying to reach break-even fusion.

LeeG
03-12-2018, 02:21 PM
Ah I see, but they have to be hot for it to work i.e several million degrees C and they can still get meaningful results from the instruments used, they even have film taken by the In vessel camera system https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwdWyAcZr90
BTW my uncle who is doctor of Physics also told me it would never make plasma. He looked a bit put out when i said it was already working

so are we still 50 yrs away from a functioning powerplant?

artif
03-12-2018, 02:33 PM
Hopefully not, but probably not far off, however saying that, we've only been flying just over 100 years.

sharpiefan
03-12-2018, 03:26 PM
My thesis advisor's big complaint is that they would run these machines for a time, get some results that the engineers thought they understood, and then dismantle them to build the new machines. They never studied them long enough to really understand them. Now they are so hot the researchers cannot put probes into them and the diagnostics are not as good.

Bottom line - the entire industry lies and you should not believe a single thing they say.

:)
I believe them when they say they want more money...


Oh, look, our new machine shows that the Q Factor rises with the square of the Technobabble Coefficient -- we need another 50 million to study this.

PhaseLockedLoop
03-12-2018, 03:44 PM
I sure hope we can get there before any other country. Then, with unlimited power, we could, like, hold everyones’ feet to the fire. Only lease the stuff to people who do what we tell ‘em to. Then too, jUst because the power would be cheap to make doesn’t mean we can’t charge an arm and a leg for it. Boy howdy!

AlanMc
03-12-2018, 03:51 PM
on that note. what kind of global economic reaction do you think would happen if there was a breakthrough that made CHEAP, EASY fusion technology a reality?

think about industries that would shut down. power, oil, gas, transportation, any others? there's bound to be all kinds of peripheral business that's tied up with the fuel industries. you're no longer mining coal so that ends all of the support industry for machinery manufacturing... and how much of the railroad's profits are generated by coal transportation?

i think there's potential for a minor to major disaster

CWSmith
03-12-2018, 04:56 PM
Ah I see, but they have to be hot for it to work ...

No, they need to be hot to make fusion, but the instabilities inside a Tokamak are often poorly understood and probed only through numerical simulation. The older, smaller machines would teach us a great deal about the plasma instabilities before going forward with newer, more expensive devices.

artif, I have a PhD in this subject. You are not going to convince me with arguments you are making except to convince me you are more a part of the problem than the cure.

LeeG
03-12-2018, 05:38 PM
ouch, can’t we have a Golden Goose pleeeeeze?

artif
03-12-2018, 06:17 PM
I've seen the results of plasma instability inside the Tokamak, ripples in the Inconel walls, quite pretty, but I'm just a clanky who used to (I stress used to) make bits for them and fit them. the science bit was way above my pay grade, and I don't wear sandals.
I've worked with a lot doctors/scientists/professors in my time, my conclusion is, they wear sandals because they can't tie shoe laces ;)

Time for me to leave the bilge, once a year is enough for anyone


No, they need to be hot to make fusion, but the instabilities inside a Tokamak are often poorly understood and probed only through numerical simulation. The older, smaller machines would teach us a great deal about the plasma instabilities before going forward with newer, more expensive devices.

artif, I have a PhD in this subject. You are not going to convince me with arguments you are making except to convince me you are more a part of the problem than the cure.

sharpiefan
03-12-2018, 06:39 PM
{SNIP}
I've worked with a lot doctors/scientists/professors in my time, my conclusion is, they wear sandals because they can't tie shoe laces ;)



:D

Sam: I keep askin' myself: what is the point to life?
Woody: Whew. That's a tough question.
Cliff: Ehh. Well, I got the answer.
Frasier: Somehow I knew you would.
Cliff: Comfortable shoes.
Frasier: Shoes?
Cliff: Yeah. If you're not wearin' comfortable shoes, life is just chaos. I mean the greatest accomplishments in history have been made by men wearin' accommodating shoes. Uh, Frasier, tell me, who do you think is the greatest thinker in all mankind?
Frasier: I don't know, uh... Aristotle.
Cliff: There you go:sandals. Perhaps the most comfortable shoe there is. You hardly even know you have them on.