ITER under attack

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

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GIThruster
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ITER under attack

Postby GIThruster » Thu May 21, 2015 3:44 pm

http://knoxblogs.com/atomiccity/2015/05 ... elsewhere/

$150M/year might not sound like much money when compared to the DOE budget, but it is a LOT of money when one looks at funding for fusion in general. Imagine if that were redirected to half a dozen small fusion projects in the US, what return on that investment we might see.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

mvanwink5
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Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: ITER under attack

Postby mvanwink5 » Thu May 21, 2015 3:51 pm

GT, you have hit the nail squarely. And over how many decades? Still, there is useful technology being developed that might be used for other fusion efforts... but cost effective? Always an issue with gubbermant funded troughs.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

GIThruster
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: ITER under attack

Postby GIThruster » Fri May 22, 2015 3:15 pm

http://phys.org/news/2015-05-star-power ... usion.html

At this point I certainly support pulling out. It has more than tripled in cost and we are paying for European jobs. It's not our place to employ Europeans. It's bad enough when our stuff goes over budget, but there is no reason to pay the Europeans for their poor management. I say scrap the whole mess and pay for our own projects.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

crowberry
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby crowberry » Fri May 22, 2015 4:42 pm

This proposal unfortunately surfaced already last year. The fundamental problem is that the whole field of fusion is seriously underfunded and this creates unhealthy views on different fusion concepts. You need both high (alternative fusion concepts) and low (tokamaks) risk fusion research to ensure that progress is made independent of which concept is the best in the end. The ARPA-E Alpha funding was a step in the right direction, but the $30 M sum should have been larger.

GIThruster
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby GIThruster » Fri May 22, 2015 5:28 pm

I'm not sure why you would say fusion is under-funded, if by that what you're doing is suggesting DOE spends too much money on other things. That is true. most of their money goes to nuclear security, and this is because we don't use Yucca Mountain. More than 1/3 of DOE's budget is used to pay the hidden costs of nuclear power and medical radiation hazard containment. But that still leaves about $10B/year science and energy budget, which is far more than all NASA';s human spaceflight budget.

The answer of course is not more money, but better spent money. We need to open Yucca Mountain and move all our waste in so it can be monitored cheaply at a single location, rather than at 38k locations around the country. That is what the bulk of our DOE budget goes to, and this is why we sought a solution many years ago.

Between this mismanagement at DOE, and the crazy spending on SLS at NASA, we ought to find the vast majority of government science workers guilty of criminal misconduct and put the bastards in prison. Thing is to do that, we'd need to lock up the politicians too, and they have teflon suits. Hillary is even now proving she can do anything she likes and escape judgement. For as long as we suffer leadership like this, we get what we deserve: the most corrupt government the US has ever endured.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

JoeP
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby JoeP » Fri May 22, 2015 7:32 pm

I'm not so sure any politician could change the overall trajectory, even if they wanted to, said so publicly, and somehow still managed to get elected to a key national office, such as POTUS. Last time I saw someone try do this was Reagan, and that really amounted to a speed bump to where we are now, mostly. And the 80s were a completely different time with a smaller set of domestic issues.

Do we "deserve" this? What choice do we have aside from revolution...which is still untenable for the vast majority of law-abiding citizens.

As for gov-funded efforts...I'm not sure this is what will bring success. All these small projects with possible deep-pocket private investors, such as a guy like Musk or Bezos will probably be the one to make it happen. Any government based project in the modern day era tends to get full of too much waste where the real goal is spending everything and securing as much or more funding the following year, indefinitely.

crowberry
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby crowberry » Sat May 23, 2015 5:24 pm

GIThruster wrote:I'm not sure why you would say fusion is under-funded, if by that what you're doing is suggesting DOE spends too much money on other things.


I mean that many fusion projects have been killed because of lack of funding like the MFTF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_Fusion_Test_Facility. Even tokamaks have never really gotten the needed amount of funding, see my post in this thread: http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5197#p109070

GIThruster
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby GIThruster » Tue May 26, 2015 4:46 pm

Maybe I'm reading the chart wrong, but it appears to be bullshit propaganda. It says actual funding for fusion is less than $1B/year when it is more than $10B. How would you account for that discrepancy? DOE's budget for science and engineering is larger than NASA's budget for human spaceflight, and with that money they provide no significant return on investment. None.

You do understand that 17 tokamaks have already been retired, and 30 more are in operation today? These are hugely expensive machines, and this is just ONE kind of current fusion research. The problem is NOT that we do not throw enough money at this issue. The problem is there is no accountability, because these are all government funded programs where the scientists get paid the same whether they write a paper or not, whether they make a breakthrough or not, whether they actually perform or not. The measure of success in this field is to land a large grant and become head of a multi-billion dollar program--it is not to actually SUCCEED AT SOMETHING.

I think you've been drinking the kool-aid. What we need is more funding for smaller, less expensive fusion machines that can actually provide us with an economically viable alternative rather than these reactors that can never be cheap enough to provide useful energy. Tokamak funding is a jobs program, that contrary to this chart, has been going since the 1950's. That's more than 60 years of failure to perform. Please see the bottom under current and past tokamaks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak

Why do you think we ought to give them more money? That's bat-shit crazy. What we need to do is fire half of DOE and hire people who will get the job done.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Skipjack
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby Skipjack » Tue May 26, 2015 6:47 pm

GIThruster wrote:Maybe I'm reading the chart wrong, but it appears to be bullshit propaganda. It says actual funding for fusion is less than $1B/year when it is more than $10B.

Citation?

GIThruster wrote:DOE's budget for science and engineering is larger than NASA's budget for human spaceflight, and with that money they provide no significant return on investment. None.

Most of that goes into the DOE's main job which is making sure we can still build and maintain our nuclear bombs, you know that, right?
This is the only reason why the endless money pit NIF still exists.

GIThruster wrote:What we need is more funding for smaller, less expensive fusion machines that can actually provide us with an economically viable alternative rather than these reactors that can never be cheap enough to provide useful energy.

I do fully agree with this part, though. I think that we have to fund all the alternative concepts. That does not mean that we should not fund tokamaks at all. E.g. I think that the research they are doing with the Dynomak has merit (since it would lead to a much smaller and higher beta tokamak variant).

Ivy Matt
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Re: ITER under attack

Postby Ivy Matt » Thu May 28, 2015 6:20 am

GIThruster wrote:Maybe I'm reading the chart wrong, but it appears to be bullshit propaganda. It says actual funding for fusion is less than $1B/year when it is more than $10B. How would you account for that discrepancy? DOE's budget for science and engineering is larger than NASA's budget for human spaceflight, and with that money they provide no significant return on investment. None.

Funding for the DOE's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences has been about $300-500 million a year for the past 25 or so years. That doesn't include the NNSA funding for inertial confinement fusion (which is a comparable amount), or the Navy's funding for Polywell (which is obviously much less, and funded outside of the DOE). Where do you get the $10B+ annual figure from?

GIThruster wrote:Tokamak funding is a jobs program, that contrary to this chart, has been going since the 1950's.

It's true that the tokamak design has been studied since 1956, but before 1968 there were only two tokamaks outside of the Soviet Union, and only one outside of the Warsaw Pact (in Australia). After 1968, everyone was building tokamaks. One wonders what happened in 1968 to cause so many free countries to adopt a Soviet jobs program.
Temperature, density, confinement time: pick any two.

GIThruster
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: ITER under attack

Postby GIThruster » Thu May 28, 2015 1:47 pm

I must have had a senior moment and recalled the DOE energy budget is for more than $10B--that's not the fusion budget so I stand corrected.

Last year's budget can be found here:

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014 ... 281%29.pdf

Page 8 has the breakdown. Note "Total Energy Programs" in bold in the middle of the page is for more than $10B. I presume this is what I was recalling.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis


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