Fusion Will Never Work

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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MSimon
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Fusion Will Never Work

Post by MSimon »

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http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/5929/

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An excellent critique of tokamaks. No mention of Polywell in the article. It does get a mention in the second comment (of 385 so far)
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scareduck
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Post by scareduck »

Dittmar is getting a lot of press lately, but there have been some substantial questions raised about his data indicating that he refuses to acknowledge shortcomings in his own work. There's a reason the peak oil doomers asked him to be on their site; he gives no hope at all, and I rather wonder if he's overlooking some particulars; many of the problems with nuclear technology are legal rather than technical.

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Post by MSimon »

scareduck wrote:Dittmar is getting a lot of press lately, but there have been some substantial questions raised about his data indicating that he refuses to acknowledge shortcomings in his own work. There's a reason the peak oil doomers asked him to be on their site; he gives no hope at all, and I rather wonder if he's overlooking some particulars; many of the problems with nuclear technology are legal rather than technical.
I would go further. They are ALL legal. The technology has its dangers. But it is pretty well proven we can handle those.

And if the nuke guys would just say: it will buy us 40 years until fusion is developed they would have a good selling point. Although with coal so abundant - why bother?
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TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

I found the various confusions about Polywell amusing.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

TallDave wrote:I found the various confusions about Polywell amusing.
You might want to visit:

viewtopic.php?t=1610
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TheRadicalModerate
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Post by TheRadicalModerate »

Wow, that whole thing is pretty grim. Two things jump out at me from the whole 4-part series:

First, he's taking really big swipes at the Red Book with minimal evidence but, if he's right, this is the most cogent case against fission investment that I've seen.

More relevant to fusion development, though, is his analysis of the near-impossibility of a self-sustaining tritium breeding cycle. If this is correct (and I'm in no position to offer a decent critique), then it seems to suggest the following syllogism:

1) Commercial D-T fusion is impossible due to tritium breeding problems.

2) D-T fusion is the only viable equilibrium fusion reaction.

3) Therefore, commercial equilibrium fusion is impossible.

Sure do hope that Rider is wrong...

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Post by MSimon »

More relevant to fusion development, though, is his analysis of the near-impossibility of a self-sustaining tritium breeding cycle.
I have looked into that and tend to agree. A tritium breeding cycle is theoretically possible. However the engineering margins are very slim. Generally you want a minimum theoretical margin of 2 to 1 for something like that (roughly the neutron economy in a fission plant). In theory the tritium cycle envisioned has a 10% margin making the design constraints very tight because you would like to generate an excess of tritium.

Polywell looks good even if pB11 doesn't work because the fallback is D-D. You get stuck with a thermal plant and high neutron fluxes but those disadvantages can be dealt with. And if you are willing to waste a lot of heat direct conversion might prove workable.
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scareduck
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Post by scareduck »

MSimon wrote:
scareduck wrote:Dittmar is getting a lot of press lately, but there have been some substantial questions raised about his data indicating that he refuses to acknowledge shortcomings in his own work. There's a reason the peak oil doomers asked him to be on their site; he gives no hope at all, and I rather wonder if he's overlooking some particulars; many of the problems with nuclear technology are legal rather than technical.
I would go further. They are ALL legal.
All of them? I rather think the ability to run a fast breeder reactor economically is at this point wholly unproven. And that's a crucial thing if it's going to be held up as a potential solution to energy problems.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

scareduck wrote:
MSimon wrote:
scareduck wrote:Dittmar is getting a lot of press lately, but there have been some substantial questions raised about his data indicating that he refuses to acknowledge shortcomings in his own work. There's a reason the peak oil doomers asked him to be on their site; he gives no hope at all, and I rather wonder if he's overlooking some particulars; many of the problems with nuclear technology are legal rather than technical.
I would go further. They are ALL legal.
All of them? I rather think the ability to run a fast breeder reactor economically is at this point wholly unproven. And that's a crucial thing if it's going to be held up as a potential solution to energy problems.
The only way to find out is to do some paper designs. Choose the best and build one. Although the control is twitchier we have much faster controls than we used to.
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Post by williatw »

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Last edited by williatw on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kurt9
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Post by kurt9 »

Guys at Los Alamos told me that there was serious concern about breeding Tritium sustainably in order to support D-T fusion. What is the problem with D-D fusion?

Anyone ask Art Carlson about the issues raised in this paper?

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Post by D Tibbets »

kurt9 wrote:Guys at Los Alamos told me that there was serious concern about breeding Tritium sustainably in order to support D-T fusion. What is the problem with D-D fusion?

Anyone ask Art Carlson about the issues raised in this paper?
I think that there is a strong consensus that tokamacs and other systems in thermodynamic equalibrium can only reach breakeven with the D-T reaction, and even that is still uncertain from a practical/ profitable perspective.

Dan Tibbets
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kurt9
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Post by kurt9 »

D Tibbets wrote:
kurt9 wrote:Guys at Los Alamos told me that there was serious concern about breeding Tritium sustainably in order to support D-T fusion. What is the problem with D-D fusion?

Anyone ask Art Carlson about the issues raised in this paper?
I think that there is a strong consensus that tokamacs and other systems in thermodynamic equalibrium can only reach breakeven with the D-T reaction, and even that is still uncertain from a practical/ profitable perspective.

Dan Tibbets
Other than IEC polywell, which concepts do not operate in thermodynamic equilibrium?

kurt9
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Post by kurt9 »

MSimon wrote:
More relevant to fusion development, though, is his analysis of the near-impossibility of a self-sustaining tritium breeding cycle.
I have looked into that and tend to agree. A tritium breeding cycle is theoretically possible. However the engineering margins are very slim. Generally you want a minimum theoretical margin of 2 to 1 for something like that (roughly the neutron economy in a fission plant). In theory the tritium cycle envisioned has a 10% margin making the design constraints very tight because you would like to generate an excess of tritium.

Polywell looks good even if pB11 doesn't work because the fallback is D-D. You get stuck with a thermal plant and high neutron fluxes but those disadvantages can be dealt with. And if you are willing to waste a lot of heat direct conversion might prove workable.
Would not the fission/fusion hybrid concept (LIFE) be the way to get around this problem? Certainly fission reactions are used to breed Tritium.

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Post by TheRadicalModerate »

kurt9 wrote:Would not the fission/fusion hybrid concept (LIFE) be the way to get around this problem? Certainly fission reactions are used to breed Tritium.
Most of Dittmar's objections would seem to apply to any D-T fusion reaction, so the hybrid approach will only work if the Li6 is receiving neutrons from fission, not fusion. I suspect that this is harder than you think, if only for the reason that most tritium is bred in heavy water reactors, using a D+n-->T reaction. (I'd kinda guess that it's vastly easier to extract the T from heavy water than it is from Li...)
Last edited by TheRadicalModerate on Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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