Nuclear Fusion

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Could nuclear fusion be sustainable? Robert Steinhaus; Quora; 29 May 2017

Deuterium fusion and its ultimate potential for worldwide sustainable energy generation
Discusses potential energy yield of D available on Earth compared to possible energy requirement over remaining lifetime of sun, and available fusion pathways.

ITER

Imagining Fusion Power Robert L. Hirsch; Energy Matters; 26 Sep 2016

looks at cons of ITER

Fusion Research: Time to Set a New Path Robert L. Hirsch; Issues in Science and Technology; Summer 2015

The inherent limitations of the tokamak design for fusion power will prevent it from becoming commercially viable, but the lessons from this effort can inform future research.

Revamping Fusion Research Robert L. Hirsch; Journal of Fusion Energy; Apr 2016

A fundamental revamping of magnetic plasma fusion research is needed, because the current focus of world fusion research—the ITER-tokamak concept—is virtually certain to be a commercial failure. Towards that end, a number of technological considerations are described, believed important to successful fusion research. Beyond critical attention to plasma physics challenges, there must be a much sharper focus on electric utility acceptance criteria, which strongly reflect the public interest. While the ITER-tokamak experience has provided important understanding of a variety of technology issues, it is expensive and time-consuming. Engineers with commercial-world experience must become involved in future fusion research and must have a major influence on program decision-making and evaluation. Fusion engineers will have to be imaginative while being rooted in an understanding of fission reactor development, nuclear regulation, and electric utility realities, the proper consideration of which will impact fusion program success. Properly developed, fusion power holds great promise as an attractive electric power source for the long-term future.

Tokamak Fusion

Tokamak Energy turns on ST40 fusion reactor World Nuclear News; 28 April 2017

The UK's newest fusion reactor has been turned on for the first time and has officially achieved first plasma. The reactor aims to produce a record-breaking plasma temperature of 100 million degrees for a privately-funded venture. This is seven times hotter than the centre of the Sun and the temperature necessary for controlled fusion.
Oxford, England-based Tokamak Energy said today that with its ST40 reactor "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. This will allow the ST40 to produce a plasma temperature of 15 million degrees - as hot as the centre of the Sun - in the autumn of this year.

The UK Just Switched on an Ambitious Fusion Reactor - And It Works FIONA MACDONALD; ScienceAlert; 1 MAY 2017 The UK's newest fusion reactor, ST40, was switched on last week, and has already managed to achieve 'first plasma' - successfully generating a scorching blob of electrically-charged gas (or plasma) within its core.

The aim is for the tokamak reactor to heat plasma up to 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit) by 2018 - seven times hotter than the centre of the Sun. For this reactor, that's the 'fusion' threshold, at which hydrogen atoms can begin to fuse into helium, unleashing near-limitless, clean energy in the process.

Apollo fusion

Apollo Fusion website

Former Google Vice President Starts a Company Promising Clean and Safe Nuclear Energy Brad Stone; Bloomberg Technology; 3 Apr 2017

Subcritical reactor wikipedia

Accelerator Driven System

Nuclear fusion–fission hybrid wikipedia

Hybrid nuclear fusion–fission (hybrid nuclear power) is a proposed means of generating power by use of a combination of nuclear fusion and fission processes. The basic idea is to use high-energy fast neutrons from a fusion reactor to trigger fission in otherwise nonfissile fuels like U-238 or Th-232. Each neutron can trigger several fission events, multiplying the energy released by each fusion reaction hundreds of times. This would not only make fusion designs more economical in power terms, but also be able to burn fuels that were not suitable for use in conventional fission plants, even their nuclear waste.

Boeing nuclear engine

Boeing patents jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear explosions South China Morning Post; 26 Aug 2016

Laser engine may also be used to power rockets, missiles, and even spacecraft, according to patent
Boeing's new jet engine works by firing high-power lasers at radioactive material, such as deuterium and tritium.
The lasers vaporise the radioactive material and cause a fusion reaction — in effect a small thermonuclear explosion.
Hydrogen or helium are the exhaust byproducts, which exit the back of the engine under high pressure. Thrust is produced.
At the same time, the inside wall of the engine's thruster chamber — coated in uranium 238 — reacts with the high-energy neutrons produced by the nuclear reaction and generates immense heat.
The engine harnesses the heat by running coolant along the other side of the the uranium-coated combustion chamber.
This heat-energised coolant is sent through a turbine and generator that produces electricity to power the engine's lasers...."

General Fusion

General Fusion website

Magnetised Target fusion

General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion system uses a sphere filled with molten lead-lithium that is pumped to form a vortex. A pulse of magnetically-confined plasma fuel is then injected into the vortex. Around the sphere, an array of pistons drive a pressure wave into the centre of the sphere, compressing the plasma to fusion conditions. This process is then repeated, while the heat from the reaction is captured in the liquid metal and used to generate electricity via a steam turbine.

General Fusion - System Animation General Fusion Inc; YouTube; 1 Aug 2013

General Fusion's system uses a sphere, filled with molten lead-lithium that is pumped to form a vortex. On each pulse, magnetically-confined plasma is injected into the vortex. Around the sphere, an array of pistons impact and drive a pressure wave into the center of the sphere, compressing the plasma to fusion conditions.

Helion Energy

Helion Energy website

Lockheed-Martin skunkworks

Lockheed Martin's new Compact Fusion Reactor might change humanity forever Physics-Astronomy; Feb 2015

The crucial point in the Skunk Works arrangement is their tube-like design, which permits them to avoid one of the boundaries of usual fusion reactor designs, which are very restricted in the sum of plasma they can sustain, which makes them giant in size—like the gigantic International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. According to McGuire: “The traditional tokamak designs can only hold so much plasma, and we call that the beta limit. Their plasma ratio is 5% or so of the confining pressure. We should be able to go to 100% or beyond.” This design lets it to be 10 times smaller at the same power output of somewhat like the ITER, which is anticipated to produce 500 MW in the 2020s. This is essential for the use of fusion in all kind of uses, not only in huge, costly power plants. Skunk Works is committed that their structure—which will be only the size of a jet engine—will be capable enough to power almost everything, from spacecraft to airplanes to vessels—and obviously scale up to a much bigger size. McGuire also claims that at the size of the ITER, it will be able to produce 10 times more energy.

Polywell EMC2 electrostatic Wiffleball

2013 Independent Review declares EMC2 Fusion's progress to be most significant advances made in plasma physics and magnetic fusion over the past 50 years Next Big Future; 13 Apr 2016

Nextbigfuture has obtained the independent reviews of EMC2 Fusions work for the US Navy from 2012 and 2013. The reviews were obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request. In our July 5, 2013, report, the review committee stated, “The EMC2 team is finally at the threshold of success or failure with the Polywell / Wiffle Ball fusion power concept. The focus of EMC2 efforts has sharpened considerably and is now totally concentrated on experimentally producing a so-called Wiffle Ball (WB) plasma in a Polywell magnetic field configuration and diagnosing it in detail to verify its confinement properties, a step that is essential to the success of their fusion power concept.”

Polywell Fusion: Electrostatic Fusion in a Magnetic Cusp

Tri-Alpha

Tri Aplha Energy website

Tri Alpha Energy Tri Alpha Energy; YouTube; 29 Dec 2016

Wendelstein 7-X stellarator

The bizarre reactor that might save nuclear fusion

EAST / China

'Man-Made' Sun Produces Longest Pulse At 50 Million Degrees NDTV; 17 Mar 2016

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), an artificial sun experiment developed by Hefei Institute of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Science, realised a ultra-high temperature (UHT) long pulse plasma discharge for 102 seconds as of January.

Aneutronic fusion

Aneutronic fusion Wikipedia

Cold fusion / LNER

Rossi 1 Megawatt Energy Catalyzer is a failure after 3 years of testing by Industrial Heat Next Big Future; 8 Apr 2016

A lawsuit has been filed by Andrea Rossi and Leonardo Corporation against Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat rejects the claims in the suit. They are without merit and we are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves against this action. Industrial Heat has worked for over three years to substantiate the results claimed by Mr. Rossi from the E-Cat technology – all without success.