Fusion vs. Fission

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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Postby KitemanSA » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:43 pm


chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:22 pm

Just to take a yet bigger excursion away from the thread topic, I never quite understood why biological weapons are so condemned. I mean, OK, limit which bio agents you can use, but I'm looking forward to the day when someone develops a bio weapon that gives people a poorly tummy and bad headache so that they have to go home to mummy and tuck in bed with a hot water bottle. I mean, isn't that a weapon worth developing? A weapon of mass indigestion, or similar?

I like the idea of smell weapons as well - something that stinks so bad, but is otherwise harmless, that you are compelled to run away!

Maybe one day the UN could develop a 'Minsitry of Peace' which holds weapons of mass distraction that they can drop on everyone in a combat zone that causes everyone to forget what they are doing and to wander off home.

Anyhows, in answer to the question, yes, actually, I think it might still be a bit too early for fusion. The problem is fission. Fission just works so darned well!

The only reasonable argument is that fission produces more long-lived waste than fusion. To be honest, I think that is a really thin argument. Fusion waste lives for a shorter time simply because it is far far more radioactive and the waste has a shorter half-life. All this cobblers about fission being bad and fusion being good - don't put too much belief into those kinds of arguments.

Fission is good, and it's good for several hundred years yet, at least, and that's just from known reserves [don't forget reprocessing and fast-breeders]. The lust for fusion is like alchemy. Alchemy lead to an understanding of chemistry, but even so it still took a few hundred years to make use of chemistry as a science. The difference is that fusion is not just a new gadget or technology, it is THE single technology that is going to run on until the end of humanity itself. There is no other basic level of new technology that you can conceive of that will hold such a significance as being the first person/people to get fusion to reveal its secrets. Therefore, fusion is, actually, a vanity of sorts, just as alchemy was.

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Postby MSimon » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:59 pm


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Postby cksantos » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:24 pm


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Postby D Tibbets » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:34 pm

To error is human... and I'm very human.

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Postby jsbiff » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:51 pm


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Postby MSimon » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:07 pm


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Postby D Tibbets » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:49 pm

Not touched on in this thread is the fusion -fission hybird. A Polywell, FRC or DPF might provide enough neutrons to drive a thorium (or uranium breeder) fission reaction. The advantages are that the fusion neutron source does not need to reach breakeven (how close does it have to come?). The fission side makes up the differwence. Advantages include safty issues- not hovering on the edge of criticality, potential to further process fission byproducts, and an extended fuel supply allowing for much longer times before we run out of fuel.

This has been discussed on other threads.

Dan Tibbets
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Postby chrismb » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:52 pm


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Postby ladajo » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:53 pm


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Postby cksantos » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:24 pm



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