Author Topic: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion  (Read 1511 times)

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Offline arthwollipot

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Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« on: November 14, 2018, 06:30:02 PM »
China's 'artificial sun' reaches 100 million degrees Celsius marking milestone for nuclear fusion

Quote
Chinese nuclear scientists have reached an important milestone in the global quest to harness energy from nuclear fusion, a process that occurs naturally in the sun.

The team of scientists from China's Institute of Plasma Physics announced this week that plasma in their Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) — dubbed the 'artificial sun' — reached a whopping 100 million degrees Celsius, temperature required to maintain a fusion reaction that produces more power than it takes to run.

...

The Chinese research team said they were able to achieve the record temperature through the use of various new techniques in heating and controlling the plasma, but could only maintain the state for around 10 seconds.

Ten seconds is a pretty long time for 100 million degrees. If this pans out, it is a significant step towards stable power generation.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 08:54:47 PM »
Nice! I'm looking forward to the next developments.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 10:51:20 AM »
Boy, those energy company execs sure are going to be rich! Bully for them.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 11:04:19 AM »
A huge number of global problems just go away if fusion works and is inexpensive. The biggest one IMO is cheap desalination averting water wars. Fingers crossed.
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Offline 2397

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2018, 11:13:24 AM »
A huge number of global problems just go away if fusion works and is inexpensive. The biggest one IMO is cheap desalination averting water wars. Fingers crossed.

There's also the need to suck all that carbon back from the atmosphere.

And once we have fusion power plants everywhere, we need to avoid finding ways to dramatically increase our consumption before we're able to use the surplus energy to solve the many problems.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 11:23:55 AM »
A huge number of global problems just go away if fusion works and is inexpensive. The biggest one IMO is cheap desalination averting water wars. Fingers crossed.

There's also the need to suck all that carbon back from the atmosphere.

And once we have fusion power plants everywhere, we need to avoid finding ways to dramatically increase our consumption before we're able to use the surplus energy to solve the many problems.
Removing carbon from the atmosphere takes energy. If energy production were inexpensive problem solved.

If water could be desalinated and pumped anywhere at a large scale we could not just produce far more foods we could also regrow forests and reduce carbon.

No need to reduce consumption if we had cheap abundance of clean energy.


The problem is fusion is hard and probably won’t work as we fantasize so we’re still basically fucked.


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Offline 2397

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 12:02:41 PM »
I didn't say we have to reduce consumption (then), I'm saying let's not immediately go to having 50 billion people live like the worst offenders do today.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 12:24:46 PM »
I didn't say we have to reduce consumption (then), I'm saying let's not immediately go to having 50 billion people live like the worst offenders do today.

It wouldn't be an offense if we could eliminate the problems caused by greenhouse gasses. (And other environmental impacts)
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 03:27:06 PM »
Everyone always assumes fusion energy, when achieved, will be inexpensive; but I will be very surprised if it does not cost every bit as much as current energy sources.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 04:02:45 PM »
Energy only solves one issue. We still have production pollution, waste disposal, and as the Latinist mentioned, cost. I'd be shocked if profit-motivated companies didn't try to recoup the costs of construction as quickly as possible by charging a "clean energy" premium. Plus there's the big economic issue from re-employing coal miners and the coal industry, and we absolutely need to be cleaning up the old mines too.

If I managed free energy tomorrow it would just be one small win and a whole series of new problems. Best not to be deceived by the siren song of progress.
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Offline 2397

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2018, 04:26:29 PM »
I didn't say we have to reduce consumption (then), I'm saying let's not immediately go to having 50 billion people live like the worst offenders do today.

It wouldn't be an offense if we could eliminate the problems caused by greenhouse gasses. (And other environmental impacts)

If. We won't have eliminated them until we've eliminated them, which includes removing 2 trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere on top of negating ongoing emissions.

And if we're going to do it through growing forests on farmland freed up by vertical farms, it will take decades or centuries to grow enough trees.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 04:29:54 PM by 2397 »

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2018, 09:07:20 PM »
Everyone always assumes fusion energy, when achieved, will be inexpensive; but I will be very surprised if it does not cost every bit as much as current energy sources.

Agreed: "...if fusion works and is inexpensive." I want it to be cheap, but I don't expect that to be the case any time soon.
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Offline gebobs

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 09:38:19 AM »
Fusion energy, if it fulfills the promise that many think here, will also enable another quantum leap in population.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 09:55:11 AM »
Fusion energy, if it fulfills the promise that many think here, will also enable another quantum leap in population.

Nonsense. Contrary to Malthus what we have observed is as societies become affluent (meaning more resources) their birth rates decline.

Population is not regulated by food supply.


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Offline 2397

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Re: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 11:05:29 AM »
Populations are limited by food supply, but there are incentives and disincentives independent of that for having children in the first place. Throw a bunch of food at a population without changing their incentives for having children, and it will grow dramatically (unless they were already not having a lot of children).
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 11:10:44 AM by 2397 »

 

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