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Fusion energy is it the Future?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
With the demands for electricity and automobile power needs to continue to grow how will we supply this demand? Fusion is likly to become a reality that will be a force for the better for our energy needs. Check out this <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/839596.asp?0cv=CB10" target="_blank">Link</a> and weigh in with your thoughts on this topic.

Do you think this is a good or bad idea to solve our energy needs?

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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

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Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #2 of 26
looks good to me.

last i recall reading about the subject was a huge breakthrough in the amount of energy they were able to get out of it.

by using tiny magnetic fields within the chamber, they were able to smooth out the path of the plasme, and therefor spin it faster and keep it hotter. sounds like the Reps. are interested in getting off oil for electricity.

lol, maybe the next step in the U.S. will be to perfect fusion then sell electricity to the rest of the world.
post #3 of 26
A good friend of mine, Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, has installed in his DeLorian a "Mr. Fusion" appliance that has replaced his need for plutonium. And where he's going to go, he doesn't need "roads".

A banana peel, an aluminum beer can (with some beer) is all he needs to power his flux-compacitor.

Although, alas, Biff still needs to put a second coat of wax on Mr. McFly's BMW, even though his first novel has just been published.

And no, I am not a chicken.
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post #4 of 26
Fusion is hot

More seriously, fusion will be the future of energy. But we are very far from, effectrive production. There is a lot of work to do and years of research in front of us.
For the moment countries are not ready to spent huge amounts of $ for something will not work until decades.
I think that a major breakthrought in this area have to occur before we have a chance to see fusion plants.
post #5 of 26
You know I think the Japanese are working very hard on this. How 'bout the US sits back, lets someone else spend all the R&D money, and then use it when it's ready?
post #6 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by Scott:
<strong>You know I think the Japanese are working very hard on this. How 'bout the US sits back, lets someone else spend all the R&D money, and then use it when it's ready?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yup...that's exactly how the US gained and maintained it's power since the Industrial Revolution. We just sat back and let someone else be the leaders of technology.

Bah.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #7 of 26
The tech is already out there. In fact our planet revolves around the biggest fusion reactor in the solar system.

Fussion is a much more natural alternative to fission. If a fussion reactor is too explode is there any radioactive debris?
post #8 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by BR:
<strong>

Yup...that's exactly how the US gained and maintained it's power since the Industrial Revolution. We just sat back and let someone else be the leaders of technology.

Bah.</strong><hr></blockquote>

We didn't, nor did we try, to invent everything. Trying to be a "world leader" in everything is a losing strategy.

Bah.
post #9 of 26
No the fusion reactor do not explode, because only a very small amount of fuel is use. It's the contrary of the fission reactor where all the fuel is use simultaneously , but very slowly.

The main problem with fusion reactor, is that the fusion do not last enough time, just a fraction of seconds. The main axis of research is to find a system that allow constant and long lasting fusion : a permanent one.
post #10 of 26
Fusion reactors solve our energy needs? Maybe in 2137, but 2037 is a pipe dream. We'd sooner see cold fusion work - well, at least explained - by 2037 than 2137.

The most readily obtainable energy source is called "increasing our efficiency". And it can be done today with available and proven technologies. All cars must be hybrid cars. All new buildings and houses must be built with energy efficiency in mind (light pipes, solar cell arrays, solar heaters on the roof), tidal power must be exploited, wind farms, thermoelectric materials, high temperature coal plants, blah blah blah.

Heck, with sufficient development of fission reactor design and waste disposal (bioagents, pebble beds), fission can solve our electricity needs long before fusion will.
post #11 of 26
I think THT's point is a broad (and good) one; instead of focusing on fusion as the ultimate answer, we can instead reallocate our attention to many smaller answers instead of the one big answer. And with all the difficulties in mastering fusion as a reliable, and safe, source of energy, don't forget other options.

For example: could we ever overcome the energy required to make antimatter versus the energy it would produce?
post #12 of 26
[quote]For example: could we ever overcome the energy required to make antimatter versus the energy it would produce?

<hr></blockquote>

more importantly, could we survive the massive explosion if we did?

post #13 of 26
You know there are ways to contain antimatter, and anyway we WANT explosions It's the thermal energy that will provide the power just like other forms of electricity production. A small stream of antimatter would hardly cause any damage... the antimatter would be most likely positrons and a positron/electron interaction produces high energy photons (gamma I think). the problem is the only way to make antimatter so far exploited is via huge particle accelerators. Not very inexpensive.
post #14 of 26
i'll switch to fusion energy when i can hook a small fusion reactor to a delorian an travel back through time. until then it's fossil fuels and fission for me.

post #15 of 26
I have one of these in my garden; in fact, why don't you just come over and I'll show you ?
post #16 of 26
and to stay on topic, some links to <a href="http://wwwofe.er.doe.gov/" target="_blank">fusion energy</a>.

and don't forget <a href="http://www.eskimo.com/~billb/tesla/tesla.html" target="_blank">Tesla</a> !!
post #17 of 26
Hey, looks like we'll be running parallel to the Sim City timeline, in which Fusion powerplants become available in 2040.

What I want to know:
Can the swirling plasma not be used to create an induced emf in some coils? Maybe that's not significant in terms of energy output, but it would allow for a much smaller reactor.

Of course, the charge of the plasma is what allows it to be contained electromagnetically. . . but if there were another way. . . It would lead to the small fusion reactors that everyone in this thread seems to want to install in a DeLorean. It would beat the hell out of their wimpy volvo v6's. (though there is a guy who put an Rx-7 engine in a DeLorean, which incidentally is how DeLorean wanted it in the first place. But enough history.)
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post #18 of 26
Fusion would be an almost perfect energy source if we could harness it. The operative word in that sentence is "if."
post #19 of 26
couldn't we use gravity as a energy source ?
post #20 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by Defiant:
<strong>couldn't we use gravity as a energy source ?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Would that be wise?. Converting gravity to energy might result in the Earths orbit around the Sun feeling 'friction' and cause a slow spiral to doom!

Just talking outta ma ass
post #21 of 26
yeah, you're talking out your a$$.

I meant the gravity here on earth. couldn't we transfer gravity into a rotation ?
kinda like if something falls down, like an apple, for example, he turns a motor with this energy... would be a kinetic energy motor, kinda-
post #22 of 26
You mean like how the Niagara Falls power generators work? Water falls, turns a turbine, generates electricity? Of course in that scenario, the sheer quantity of the water there is what makes it viable.
post #23 of 26
no, not water energy, I mean just gravity.
post #24 of 26
The problem there is sure, you can get something to fall with gravity, but the energy required to get it back where it started so it can fall again is more than what the falling energy output would be, therefore whatever generator you have is running at a loss, it takes more power than it is giving off.

On the other hand, if we can figure out antigravity...ahh, never mind. What I am thinking is probably stupid anyway.
post #25 of 26
Fusion would provide huge bang for the buck if we could get it working. The power generated by even small reactions would put other means to shame. It's inherently far more safe than fission, with non-toxic byproducts and cheap fuel. I guess the question is just whether it's possible to create man-made, actual, sustained fusion reactions.
post #26 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by Defiant:
<strong>no, not water energy, I mean just gravity.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Essentially, falling water is harnessing the power of gravity. The water is simply a medium just like plasma would be in a fusion generator. Actually, it is a hybrid power source if you want to get technical about it. The falling water comes from gravity, but the way the water got to the elevated location is via the weather system and thus the solar energy that falls upon the earth. So you can think of the energy as being derived in a number of ways that work together.
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