Is the ITER (Tokamak) Hot Fusion Project Running out of Steam and Support ?

The following post was submitted by Doug Marker

This link was highlighted by Peter Gluck at Ego Out and is a very significant commentary of the over-priced, over-hyped, under-delivered and under-performing ITER Tokamak project.

The writer raises the prospect of the USA pulling out of the ITER project due to excessive cost overruns and lack of clarity as to the goal. I can see why some people could be very worried about any LENR success right at the time new funding for US role in ITER is being reviewed.

This issue of ITER funding, bites deeply into interest in LENR and the need for investment there.

Doug Marker

  • Zephir

    Senate panel already ordered US
    withdrawal from ITER IMO it’s a good move in general from many reasons:

    The socialistic EU projects tend to be overblown, adventurous, poorly organized and notoriously ineffective waste of tax payers money (the comparison with many failed
    astronomical projects of ESA comes on mind here).

    Russia already withdrawed its participation
    on ITER project too due to sanctions of EU for annexation of Crimea.

    The cold fusion projects based on LENR already provide much more viable route for nuclear fusion, despite their actual mechanism and relation to hot fusion is still
    unclear. By Widom-Larsen theory their energetic yield of LENR should be lower by few orders of magnitude than the hot fusion, but still at least 100.000-times higher than any
    chemical reaction.

    From this reason it’s important not to stop the fusion research completely – but to throw the existing money into research of cold fusion.

    The ITER would follow the destiny of NIF facility anyway, as the hot fusion is economically infeasible in this moment.

    The tokamak version of hot fusion in particular is probably the most dirty variant of hot fusion with respect to neutron activation of huge amount of reactor material.
    Many other ways of hot fusion (like the focus fusion) still appear more clean and scalable from this perspective.

    Additional points are collected here

    • literate-R

      I would like to ask You, where Do You have the information from, that there were several esa space fails. ESA does not belong to russia.
      The russian space programme is failing all the time, except last launch.

      • Zephir

        IMO you’re confusing arguments of different types. The Russia is used as an example of withdrawal from ITER project from political reasons – not as an example of failed EU projects.

      • giovanniontheweb

        failure is the essence of evolution

    • Pekka Janhunen

      What are failed astronomy projects of ESA?

      • Zephir

        /* Fusion (H –> D) whether hot or cold therefore always requires the same input energy and delivers the same reaction energy. */

        Not at all. It would be like to say, that the trip from one city to another one across mountains would consume the same amount of gasoline, like this one along flat route. The fast overcoming of high activation energy (Coulomb barrier) of reaction requires sharp acceleration and subsequent deceleration of its reacting particles, in which substantial portion of energy will get wasted.

        • Zephir

          The low introductory energy is not the only anomaly of LENR. The
          absence of production of energetic particles is the same anomaly of it.

          This is because the process which slows down the merging of atom nuclei is essentially symmetric and it also helps to slow down (thermalize) the products of reaction. The hot fusion means, that always at least one half of resulting energy will get wasted. So that in essence, the energy wasted in overcoming of activation energy can be estimated like the energy of energetic products of fusion (gamma ray, neutrons, muons, etc) – no matter if we manage to utilize them later (with using of molten lithium blanket or another way).

        • hunfgerh

          /*Not at all. It would be like to say, that the trip from one city to another one across mountains would consume the same amount of gasoline, like this one along flat route./*
          In both cases, the same amount of fuel is consumed.
          When route over the mountain, at the highest point just stop the engine and transpose the potential energy in the downhill ride into kinetic energy.

          • DrD

            NO, Zephir is correct, not all routes are equal in terms of energy consumption. That is an eroneous understanding of the 1st law.

          • Zephir

            This is correct at macroscale with neutral objects. The microscopic charged objects always radiate synchrotron radiation into outside during their acceleration/deceleration. This energy will therefore get always wasted.

      • Zephir

        Beagle 2 or Rosseta missions for example. The European projects suffer by lack of coordination.

        • Hi all

          The main thing that ESA fails at is: putting in backups, the cost of making three Beagle probes or Rosseta missions is not much different from making one.

          The real cost of such missions is the research and development, the manufacturing is only a small factor in the costs.

          Sending one probe on a mission is putting all your eggs in one basket. Far better to send a swarm of probes.

          Kind Regards walker

    • Zephir

      The socialism doesn’t imply the ownership of means of production, the communism does (I know something about it, as I experienced the socialism for three decades). But the contemporary society is driven by state capitalism: i.e. with lobby of private companies, which work mostly for governmental projects, like the ITER or renewable technologies. Without massive governmental subsidizes these companies wouldn’t survive at free market. This form of capitalistic socialism is more dangerous, than the obviously decadent socialism in its classical form, as it brings an illusion of free market and competetion.

  • Curbina
  • SG

    Let the hot fusion boondoggle go bust. I for one–as a conscientious taxpayer–will not shed a single tear. Tens of billions of dollars have been wasted. Elements within the hot fusion scientific community have done more to delay LENR than any other group. They have been hostile from the start, dating back to the initial F&P announcement in 1989, as is well-documented by the Infinite Energy magazine. Had we as a society devoted even 1% of the ITER budget to LENR, the energy problem would have likely been solved by now.

  • Zephir

    At the very end, the primary reason of ITER project failure is just plain physics – the ineffectiveness its brute force strategy of Coulomb barrier breaking. The scientists collide the isolated particles by high speed and such an energy will get always wasted.

    • GreenWin

      True Zephir. Same applies to collider “science” the equiv of hitting atoms with a BFHammer and interpreting each fragment as” a breakthrough discovery” in sub-atomic physics.

  • Zephir

    Polywell IIRC is just NIF or tokamak in disguise – just another brute force approach, which is advancing the needs and possibilities of human civilization by many decades.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Is this a validation of the E-Cat?

    • doug marker

      I don’t see it as so, but what it does tell us is that $Billions are being fought over by scientists whose fusion careers may go no where if the US Govt finally pulls the plug on US involvement in ITER.

      The question we can ask is where would LENR be today with just 10% of what has been wasted on ITER.

      Doug Marker

      • SG

        The self-proclaimed hot fusion scientists on Reddit are extremely vocal and even shrill in their opposition to LENR. Even mentioning the topic is like stepping into a UFC cage with them. They are worried.

        • Alan DeAngelis
          • SG

            This man speaks the truth. One of the nice long-term benefits of LENR, is that jobs will have less importance in the lives of the people. In other words, people will be less willfully blind for the sake of self-preservation of employment. The world will ultimately become more forthcoming.

        • GreenWin

          They should be ashamed to have so narrow a vision.

  • otto1923

    They matter a great deal. And theyre well-spent on learning how to store, manipulate, and transport materials in plasma form.
    The tech is so important that its worth deceiving the tax-paying public if necessary.
    What, you don’t think this has been done before? You think Obamacare was really about helping sick people rather than protecting insurance companies from collapse during the next pandemic?
    You will be saved against your will. So relax.

  • Eyedoc

    Wow….a little pent up ??… though you do make some good points

  • doug marker

    Hoa mihi . whakaae tatou e pā ana ki tenei aamu . faaite tatou i te wairua kotahi .

    Doug Marker

    • GreenWin

      E manako ki a koutou toku hoa I roto I te wairua!

  • Eyedoc

    Understandable…….hopefully we’ll hear more from you

  • GreenWin

    BIG SCIENCE SKEPTICS WIN: (from AIP Science Policy News) The ITER discussion was confined to brief remarks by Feinstein, but
    signaled that the appropriators’ concerns about the project remain
    strong. “It’s behind schedule and over budget” she said,
    commenting that the preliminary cost estimate made in 2005 for the U.S.
    contribution was $1.122 billion with completion expected by 2013. That
    figure has increased to $4.1 billion with completion projected for 2034
    and 2035, with one review suggesting the total US contribution to ITER
    could increase to $6.5 billion with further delays. Said Feinstein, “I
    don’t believe that fusion will be developed during my lifetime, and
    perhaps not the lifetime of the younger members of this [Senate] body
    It’s building a facility in another country that we may never see
    benefits from. So I have some question about continuing this,
    particularly continuing it at the amount that it is budgeted to be.”
    Next Senate challenge is to eliminate the $B “nuke waste storage boondoggle” Already years delayed and hundreds of billions over-budget. This may be the last money pit created by the fossil-fission cabal to bilk billions from the US taxpayer.

  • greggoble

    “Hot and Cold Fusion at MIT” Cold Fusion Now May 30, 2012 Gregory Goble

    This is an action initiated by Contributor Gregory Goble, poet and clean energy advocate. He felt pity for the hot fusioneers who have lost their largesse due to budget cuts, and who might now consider taking help from their poor ole cousins in the cold fusion community who have the ability to save their programs by providing clean, affordable power to probe plasma science. Ironic, huh? – Ruby Carat

    Follow This

    We are biting our fingernails waiting for commercialization of cold fusion and the hot fusion folks are sweating out their own issues.

    While a lattice-assisted nuclear reactive (LANR/cold fusion) device is operating at MIT with zero funding, the MIT hot fusion budget has been eliminated (shut down) and hot fusion energy generation research may soon end worldwide. Ironically, Tokamak reactors may be much less costly to operate if powered by low-energy nuclear reaction LENR generated power. Presently the power to create a Tokamak nuclear reaction is magnitudes greater in costs with today’s energy technologies than if supplied by cold fusion generated electricity.

    Primary utility power for the MIT Alcator C-Mod is provided by a 24-MVA peak power, 13.8-kV line. In total, storage and conversion systems have been designed to supply up to 500 MJ at up to 400 MVA to the experiment. Electrical costs are $5,002,000, which is approximately 5% of the run budget.

    Alcator C-Mod MIT Budgets and Schedule (2009 – 2013)

    Incremental costs for 1 run week (at 14 ± 3 weeks) Cost: $2,008,000

    Here is where we “turn substance into accident“.

    This is a medieval term which means “to give new quality to substance; a loose and ironic use of the terms of scholastic philosophy.” –from the glossary of Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer translated by A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt Bantam Books.

    Hot and cold fusion folks can work together to advance science by using cold fusion/LANR/LENR to power hot fusion experiments.

    • cashmemorz

      So if MIT fusion efforts can be substantiated as in “a medieval term which means “to give new quality to substance; a loose and ironic use of the terms of scholastic philosophy” by using LENR then why does Darden also need substantiation. If LENR can help hot fusion why would substantiation for LENR itself be needed?

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