BBC on Fusion

We’re talking about ‘hot’ fusion here. The BBC has published a report on the current state of the Iter project in Provence, France where there is ongoing construction of a Tokamak reactor. The article discusses the delays that have held up progress on the project, but says that some of the problems have been resolved with better coordination between the participating countries.

Here’s a brief explanation of what they are trying to do from the BBC


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There are however still problems projecting a completion date. Parts for the reactor need to be built to very exact specifications, and shipped to France from all over the world in a strict sequence. Once on site, all these parts have to be assembled to very tight specifications:

The 28 magnets that will create the field containing the plasma have to be machined to a very demanding level of accuracy. And each part must be structurally sound and then welded together to ensure a totally tight vacuum – without which the plasma cannot be maintained. A single fault or weakness could jeopardise the entire project.

Assuming Iter does succeed in proving that fusion can produce more power than it consumes, the next step will be for the international partners to follow up with a technology demonstration project – a test-bed for the components and systems needed for a commercial reactor.

It’s a major undertaking, and there still seems to be much uncertainty in terms of project completion, and whether the reactor will work as planned. So why are governments willing to expend so much effort and spend so much money on the project? There is the hope that we could one day replicate something like the energy of the sun at a high COP (this article mentions production of 500 MW at a COP of 10 ) from a cheap fuel, with no greenhouse emissions and ‘relatively little’ radioactive waste.

For a long time, without any alternative way to reach these goals, such a project may have made sense, but it seems to me the plan is now quite outdated since it appears that now E-Cat has demonstrated that it can meet these objectives in a much cheaper and easier way.

  • atanguy

    We have to stop this nonsense!
    I suggest that from this blog we start a petition asking all the governments involved to have an independent study showing the actual and future problems of this technology,if it can work, and the past,current and future costs.
    The lobby of the nuclear high energy physicists linked to the industries that profit of the project should be stopped!

  • GreenWin

    Nobel laureate Ohysics Pierre-Gilles de Gennes said of nuclear fusion, “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty. The problem is, we don’t know how to make the.”

    • Dickyaesta

      ….the box 😉 This seemed to got lost two times in the translation he Greenwin

  • GreenWin

    Nobel laureate Physics Pierre-Gilles de Gennes said of nuclear fusion, “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty. The problem is, we don’t know how to make the.”

    63 years, $259B global taxes dollars – ZERO useful energy.

    • GreenWin

      From the BBC article: ” I asked a panel of experts when the first commercially-available fusion reactor might generate power for the grid.

      A few said that could happen within 40 years but most said it would take another 50 or even 60 years. “ BBC

      • Gerrit

        It’s not the R&D scam of the century. it’s the R&D scam of two centuries.

        • Roger Bird

          Actually, in all honesty, even though I am a hyperbole addict, hot fusion is the worst R&D scandal in the history of the World. Really.

      • Roger Bird

        I am telling you the truth, people. Since the late 1960’s when a nuclear physicist friend of mine pointed this out to me, that time to ignition has increased. If only politicians understood this.

  • l

    Even if ITER will be completed it will be a utterly nosense.

    A reactor rated 300-400 MWe with a strike price rounding 15B$ will remain on the desk.

    • GreenWin

      ITER is presently 300% OVER budget with no end in sight. 2035 may be the reactor startup procedure. Twenty years later for commercial product IF all is perfect.

      http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/10/30/1544252/iter-fusion-project-struggles-to-put-the-pieces-together

    • otto1923

      Costs will come down with advances in high-temp superconductors and materials tech.

      The money we are spending now is essential to learning how to store and manipulate bulk plasma in the only configuration with any potential for doing so. IT DOES NOT MATTER whether it can ultimately produce power or not.

      The enabling tech will catch up.

      • Roger Bird

        Why bother?

      • l

        I suppose that the future hot fusion reactors will have to replace all the magnets every five years for a couple of bilions.

        In my opinion hot fusion reactor will produce radioactive waste.

        For sure a huge bureocratic apparatus will be need to exploit this energy.

        And there are plenty of alternative, not-tokamak, nuclear fusion reactor designs able to produce knowledge and maybe energy, this really matter.

        • MStone

          If the e-cat works as advertised. I would like to see the ITER turned in to a pure-science project for the study of high energy plasma and hot fusion.

          • Roger Bird

            I don’t want to spend a penny of my money, including my tax money on it. I will be voting against it.

  • wiilgh

    “It will take an unforeseeable amount of time” this sounds like an exit strategy, doesn’t it?

    Care about Yourself, enjoy the summer an forget the e-cat until Your local newspaper reports on it!

    “The E-Cat technology is undergoing rigorous testing and the results positive, negative or inconclusive will provide further guidance about its potential. It will take an unforeseeable amount of time before we will make public any precise information regarding the E-Cat under scrutiny in the USA.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.”

    • Kim

      Cold

    • Lukedc

      What summer? It’s winter here.

    • Deleo77

      Yeah, if you are holding your breath to see an e-cat anywhere in the world soon, I think you do so at your own peril.

  • dsm

    Re overcost projects promoted by people who are beneficiaries of the over cost program.

    The below is one I am well aware of because of my own involvement with new aircraft designs. The V-22 Osprey program est costs are around $60 billion $s – for devel, manufacture and keeping them in the air.

    The 1st site lists in excellent detail information that is well known in the military aircraft manufacturing industry. In a nutshell the V-22 Osprey was a defective concept that was shown to be able to work if you throw billions of $s at it and as many billions again to keep them in the air.

    The cost over runs are staggering and in line with the same massive billions re ITER.

    http://www.g2mil.com/scandal.htm

    This 2nd link adds another perspective as to how deep the corruption went.
    http://www.militarycorruption.com/osprey.htm

    Below is a pretty accurate & unemotional history of the Osprey program (Wiki) and an extract …

    EXTRACT:
    Controversy

    The V-22’s development process has been long and controversial, partly due to its large cost increases.[49] The V-22’s development budget was first planned for $2.5 billion in 1986, then increased to a projected $30 billion in 1988.[31] As of 2008, $27 billion had been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required to complete planned production numbers by the end of the program.[24]

    Its [The V-22’s] production costs are considerably greater than for helicopters with equivalent capability—specifically, about twice as great as for the CH-53E, which has a greater payload and an ability to carry heavy equipment the V-22 cannot… an Osprey unit would cost around $60 million to produce, and $35 million for the helicopter equivalent.
    —Michael E. O’Hanlon, 2002.[50]

    LINK:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Boeing_V-22_Osprey

    Point about the Osprey is it is flying and in use in very restricted places (well away from combat risk). It is the cost of keeping it in the air on top of the massive cost to get it flying.

    DSM

    • dsm

      PS note re the Osprey that the two times 27 Billion is as I recall it only the cost of design and build of the committed craft, it does not include the extraordinary running costs of keeping each craft in the air.

      This link estimates the 30 year lifespan of the project will total at around $121 Billion.

      The cost for the Marines to fix and fly their full fleet of V-22 tiltrotors has grown by nearly two-thirds over just four years, according to a Pentagon estimate. In 2008, the Defense Department calculated the “lifetime” cost of operating 360 V-22 Osprey transports at $75 billion over roughly 30 years. Today the figure is more than $121 billion — a 61-percent increase.

      http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/osprey-costs-soar/

      DSM

      (ITER may turn out to be cheap – lol – 🙁 )

      DSM

      • Roger Bird

        Someone has to defend the Corrupt States of America.

        • dsm

          Roger
          I tried to work out how many people in America work & then divide that number into 121 billion as that will say how much each person will have contributed over the lifetime of the project.

          My guess is – a lot !.

          DSM

  • Lukedc

    Just having a quick browse through;
    http://rossilivecat.com/
    It would appear that the reigns have been put on him by his commercial partner. I don’t doubt that it is still Rossi that is penning the comments but anyone could see that he has been advised to stop disseminating information in minutiae about the E-Cat…
    Not sure where this leaves us all who are used to the constant breadcrumbs of news going forward.
    If I was to speculate, the partner in the US has evaluated the engineering sample that Rossi has delivered. I have no doubt that it exhibited anomalous heat. What I think they may have issue with is the energy density and serviceability of the reactor. If they are going back to the product engineering stage for the original designs then we could be looking at in excess of 12 months before a decent prototype is ready.
    From an engineers perspective, albeit not a mechanical or nuclear I would be making attempts to streamline the maintenance of the device. Simplify the exchange of the Ni + H + Catalyst cores, and trivialise the exchange of a failed or faulty reactor while maintaining the parallelism of the reactors in production. If this is to be a primary source of power with 99.99% uptime then this would be my main concern. He could get away with a fluctuating thermal heat supply. But if he was to get into electricity generation fluctuations are to be kept to a minimum.

    Anyway just my two cents…

    • Kim

      Good two cents.

      They want to americanize the thing.

      Your right they know it works.

      Now they want to take it apart and
      streamline the engineering
      for maximum profit and max work load
      with confidence.

      When they present there will be no
      doubt we have entered a knew age

      Respect
      Kim

      • MStone

        thus, the question on my mind…

        how long is it going to take them to present.

  • Patronym

    And jean-pierre petit explained that the plasma is too unstable and dangerous for the structure of tokamak, disruptions will cause important dommage rapidly in the first experiments.
    But nuclear and oil lobbies are too strong in france.

  • Ramey

    For those wondering why hot fusion gets funding while cold fusion gets left out in the cold …its actually simple mathematics. Cold fusion equals more independence for the masses. Hot fusion cannot have a home version. Just look at the solar initiatives in California. As long as you stay on the grid, the state will subsidize the investment. Anyone planning to go off grid gets cold fusion treatment .

    • Kim

      Your are right on.
      We worship gold.

      We need to worship people.

      Respect
      Kim

      • Roger Bird

        That would be a really great idea, and I do worship people. But how are you going to get most other people to worship people. You can’t. The only thing that you can do is be a friend and be an example. A true worshipper of people told me that once. And I have never forgotten it.

      • Ramey

        If you mean respect and value the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters, then yes I agree, worship in the true sense…not quite….just sayin….

        • Roger Bird

          He means value intensely. But I use “worship” a lot to mean value intensely.

        • Kim

          Value

    • Ryan

      While I am an avid supporter of cold fusion technologies I also have to mention that even if hot fusion is achieved and had large reactors to start that would not preclude the development of smaller, compact reactors later on. Remember the first computer filled a building and didn’t even have the power of a modern calculator. Now we have smart phones that can fit in your hand and blow away the power of that first computer by orders of magnitude.

      Ideally I hope that cold fusion tech will be able to be micronized so that we can have hearing aid battery sized power plants that we can plug into mobile devices so we aren’t constantly tethered to power plugs. This would also be great for robotics though the power plants could be larger in those cases.

      Honestly I hope that cold fusion research gives greater insights into how hot fusion works as well given that hot fusion has a number of applications that could be useful as well.

  • Carl Nelson
    • Roger Bird

      Outstandingly sane, sensible, and reasonable article.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    The mainstream media sees us as geese that must be force fed. They’ll never tell us about LENR. They’ll just keep forcing this sort of thing down our throats.

  • Ramey

    Not only do I feel …and think…that by participating in the conversation here at ecw,,,that I am among some critical scientific thinkers,but also in the midst of some visionaries as well. Sooo.. since we are the”less than one percent”. Could we establish a side forum with the goal of turning our exclusive knowledge into…..uuhhmm .money. for charity….absolutely.. lets share our thoughts just as we ask AR to share his..The one percent refers to the limited number of people that are paying attention to cold fusion…nothing else.

    • Roger Bird

      Since I am one of the struggling poor, I’ll just cut out the middle man and keep my cut for me and my family. (:->)

  • Ken

    The Tokamak is a huge money trap. I’m not too positive on whether or not it will be beneficial. While there may be “relatively little radioactive waste” It will still have waste and the safety concerns of a chain reaction or meltdown.

    On another note. Anyone seen the latest work on solar thermal boilers? Nano-particles that when in water turn it directly to steam if placed in sunlight? (http://revolution-green.com/2013/08/08/full-steam-ahead-with-nanoscale-heating/)

    Ken

    • MStone

      Fear mongering.

      No possibility of a chain reaction or meltdown.

  • georgehants

    New Statesman
    We still don’t really know how bicycles work
    The publication plunged bicycle dynamics back into chaos. It turns out that taking into account the angles of the headset and the forks, the distribution of weight and the handlebar turn, the gyroscopic effects are not enough to keep a bike upright after all. What does? We simply don’t know. Forget mysterious dark matter and the inexplicable accelerating expansion of the universe; the bicycle represents a far more embarrassing hole in the accomplishments of physics.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/07/mysteries-bicycle

    • Roger Bird

      Physicists would be blind to the human element, naturally. After “the angles of the headset and the forks, the distribution of weight and the handlebar turn, the gyroscopic effects, etc”, the human being applies a little negative feedback, and there you go, a bicycle with rider on their merry way.

  • georgehants

    ScienceBlog
    If someone told you there was a way you could save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year and simultaneously halt global warming, reduce air and water pollution and develop secure, reliable energy sources – nearly all with existing technology and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today – why wouldn’t you do it? According to a new study coauthored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, we could accomplish all that by converting the world to clean, renewable energy sources and forgoing fossil fuels.
    Read more at http://scienceblog.com/65427/the-world-can-be-powered-by-alternative-energy-in-20-40-years-stanford-researcher-says/#mtdtLRYk3Wq0oVaH.99

    • MaxS

      the article also says

      The researchers approached the conversion with the goal that by 2030, all new energy generation would come from wind, water and solar

      Obviouly, nuclear fusion, cold or hot, is not on their agenda.

      • georgehants

        So what a Wonderful advantage Cold Fusion could be to the above analysis if main-line science ever attempts to help the few brave Cold Fusion pioneers.
        Every scientist must feel very proud of their profession.

        • Karl

          George I think it might be an illusion by us cf lenr entusiasts that msm including mss ever in a foreseable future will acknoledge this opportunity. They are obviously closely tied to another agenda.

  • Curbina

    Dr. Jean Pierre Petit has been in a lonely campaign to point out the follyness of the ITER project. He recently engaged in an open polemic as the people that runs ITER published an open letter against his character.

    Dr. Petit is an advocate of the Inertial Confined Fusion approach to hot fusion, which costs a fraction of the ITER or Tokamak, and have already reached temperatures well above 2 billion degrees Kelvin. He has been trying to rise public awareness on this, to no avail. I have seen one or two comments from Dr. Petit about Rossi, BTW, not supportive but also not dismissive (he is awaiting to be surprised, but not holding his breath). He recently published an assay criticizing Paul Biberian for his unprofessional and biased attitude towards supporting cold fusion. Its a very interesting read.

    Anyway, regarding Hot Fusion, and the impressive results obtained in Sandia Lab’s Z machine in 2006, he stated:

    Pour moi, comme pour les spécialistes, Français ou étrangers avec qui j’ai eu des contacts, il est évident que la fusion est au bout du chemin. Il suffit de placer par exemple une aiguille d’hydrure de lithium au centre de la “cage à serin”, ou une fine baguette de deutérium-tritium solidifié ( qu’on sait fabrique de longue date ) pour déboucher sur des expériences lourdes de conséquences, sur une émission de noyaux d’hélium, faciles à identifier.

    Pour l’humanité c’est la source d’énergie, illimité, non polluante, non-radioactive, la machine qui peut changer toute l’organisation et la politique de notre planète, en peu d’années ( …)

    Pour les militaires c’est la bombe H et la bombe à neutrons à la portée des pays les plus modestes, la dissémination incontrôlable de l’arme thermonucléaire (…). Une machine comme celle de Sandia coûte à peu près le centième de celui d’un tokamak comme ITER.

  • elasticbucket

    Here’s a bucket stretch, LENR (Fissionable Trigger)- Plasma – Fusion (as primary energy source) Appears to be an unquantifiable amount of energy released by LENR, but is it hot enough?

  • orsobubu

    After Fukushima and its worldwide spreaded radionuclides on earth, water and air, seeping continuously during at least 25 years from now, with a life span of hundreds of thousands – even millions – of years, we must say NO to any form of contaminating technology. All life on the planet will be affected and DNA mutated, with children in the US west coast among the first to pay the price.

  • robiD

    More about Defkalion Europe and the tests.
    This is a news release by Franco Cappiello DE managing director:
    http://www.nextme.it/scienza/energia/6150-fusione-fredda-defkalion-cappiello
    please use Google translate.

    • Okay, so concluded:

      Defkalion Europe confirms the discrepancies and has therefor suspended all its business activities now, and will conduct a new/last measurement test in the first week of september.
      This test will decide if Defkalion Europe and Defkalion GT (Canada) will further work in a collaboration or go separate ways.

  • Thomas

    “So why are governments willing to expend so much effort and spend so much money on the project?”

    They don’t! Compare the money they are willing to spend with other things …

  • GreenWin

    What the public is generally unaware of is that hot fusion produces an enormous amount of very dangerous radiation. The failure of tokomaks like ITER is the inability to prevent plasma from destroying the container walls. Those walls become highly radioactive, and there is no practical way to remediate that material except to bury it.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hanford-nuclear-cleanup-problems

    Simply put, hot fusion produces LESS radioactive waste than fission – but there IS radioactive waste and it is dangerous to life on Earth. Take for example Scientific American’s recent look at the US Hanford nuclear site – the most radiation polluted site in the world.

    “The [Department of Energy’s]… current attempt at a permanent solution for safely storing that waste for centuries—the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant here—has hit a major snag in the form of potential chain reactions, hydrogen explosions and leaks from metal corrosion.”

    Can we really afford to pretend LENR is not a better solution than fission or hot fusion?? Mr. Secretary Moniz, your duty as a public servant is to pursue any and ALL viable avenues to clean, abundant energy for the United States. GO to University of Missouri and meet with Dr. Robert Duncan to discuss immediate funding for LENR research.

    • MStone

      This is fear mongering.

      Yes the walls of the tokomak are bombarded by neutrons. Yes they become radioactive.

      What isn’t being said is that the walls aren’t very radioactive compared to fission waste. Like comparing a hot plate to a blast furnace.

      Also, the walls remain radio active for only about 10-100 years. They need to cool off. Not like fission waste of 10,000-100,000 years.

      You could very easily store those walls in a place like Yucca then re-use them after they have cooled off.

      • GreenWin

        Regardless Mstone, ITER is not a radioactive-free process (even if it can achieve unity.) By international agreement the USA is a partner in ITER – but we already know it is highly unlikely for this “experiment” to be of use to humanity.

        So why not redirect American tax dollars to areas we have indication may obviate radioactive waste entirely?? Why not?? Is it only because Ernie Moniz’s Department of Energy wants to protect the outdated nuke power industry?? Well, yeah, that’s just about the crux of it. Ernie is a lapdog to the big fission reactor companies.

        Can Ernie avoid the shietstorm coming from Fukushima, waste mitigation, failed power plants, corrupt fusion investment?? Sure. Ernie commits to financing LENR via Rob Duncan and a consortium of LENR researchers nationwide. One (1%) of the DOE budget should set DOE back on the righteous path. Ernie can then take credit for bringing American developed technology (i.e. SPAWAR) to the benefit of the citizens.

        Ask Hill and Knowlton what discovering a clean, green, non-radiative source of energy is worth to Ernie and his politicians. There is no number. The benevolent do not work for money. They work for enlightenment. Ernie is 70 years old and has not much time left.

        Ernie, a legacy as just another dweeb running a dysfunctional agency? Or a stand up pioneer who took a political risk and changed the world for the better?? Who are you Ernest?

  • Joannes Van den Bogaert

    Why not try the “hot fusion” process described in Belgian patent BE904719 (lapsed) removing electrons from the deuterium plasma by positively charged slitlike electrodes insulated from each other and compressing the deuterons(+) in the plasma-whirlstream by repulsion from said electrodes and Lorentz force exerted on the whirling deuterons. See drawings (without said electrodes) in the patent.