Fusion progress

begreen Posted By begreen, May 28, 2017 at 12:16 PM

  1. begreen

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  2. Tracks74

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    That is one of the most interesting reads of 2017! Very very cool stuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. woodgeek

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    I have been watching the new fusion review.

    This article looked a bit weak to me. 'First Plasma' with no magnets installed at all? So, not a demo of magnetic confinement, and it is not yet a tokamak...its a big fluorescent lamp. But I suppose...watch this space.
     
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  4. begreen

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  5. woodgeek

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    Indeed not clear. The last photo of the vacuum chamber does not show any coils....is it a current photo or an old one?...of coils are installed...why not show a recent photo with them? Similarly, there does not appear to be any gradient in the blue plasma glow....which would make sense if there were not field?
     
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  6. iamlucky13

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    I've surprisingly not heard much about this project. At a glance, they seem very optimistic, but I also couldn't help but notice they don't seem to be talking about some of the big issues the ITER team is working through, including neutron embrittlement of the structure, controlling the lithium breeding process and replenishing it, helium "ash" extraction, and tolerance to withstand potential superconductor quenches (which can be both thermally and mechanically damaging). That said, they may simply be hoping to benefit from the work ITER is doing on those challenges if they can prove they get the power scaling they need in order to attempt to make a viable powerplant.

    It sounds like magnets are coming, but testing the heating system is an important milestone, too.

    I'm a little more familiar with NSTX, a spherical Tokamak at Princeton:
    http://nstx-u.pppl.gov/overview
     
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  7. woodgeek

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    All good points @iamlucky13

    I suspect that this experiment is not intended to do any long-duration test that would produce enough n's to lead to those issues, but rather is another confinement experiment. If they get great confinement (through some unstated innovation), i.e. temperature and density, they could then raise funds for another machine that might make real energy.
     
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  8. iamlucky13

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    I agree. ST40 will not have to deal with those issues. I don't think it's even actually intended to conduct actual fusion reactions - only to verify the design to achieve the conditions under which we know fusion occurs. Actually conducting fusion means a lot of extra expenses for radiation protection and handling of neutron-activated components.

    Their long term plan has those issues becoming directly relevant in relatively short order, however.
     
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  9. pdf27

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    Amusingly enough, I used to work there including on a rather larger version of that Tokamak which has been running for a number of years. Bit hard to tell from those photos but I'm pretty sure that the magnetic coils are internal to the vacuum vessel rather than external.
     
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  10. Seasoned Oak

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    States may be commercially operational by 2030 .
     
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  11. WoodyIsGoody

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    Yeah. And when I was 7, everyone was supposed to be travelling around in flying cars by year 2000.
     
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  12. woodgeek

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  13. Ashful

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    From the article: "With the ST40 up and running, the next steps are to complete the commissioning and installation of the full set of magnetic coils which are crucial to reaching the temperatures required for fusion."
     
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  14. begreen

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