Fusion in Shipping

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

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Skipjack
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Fusion in Shipping

Post by Skipjack »

This is really interesting:
https://www.fusionindustryassociation.o ... d-shipping

Interestingly, they propose to convert the steam produced by the fusion plant into electricity to drive electric motors. Why do that, rather than driving the propeller shaft directly (via a gearbox), like they do on nuclear aircraft carriers and most nuclear submarines? It would save an extra conversion step and the extra space needed for electric motors, freeing it for cargo.
Of course, if your fusion reactor would do direct conversion, like Helion's, then you can go directly to electric motors.
The one potential problem I see is that currently some harbors won't let nuclear ships dock for safety concerns. I would assume that the same restrictions do not apply to fusion powered ships, but there might still be a few that won't allow it. Mainly tritium storage on the ship could be an area of concern for people.

Thoughts?

Giorgio
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Giorgio »

Most industries are still pretty new to the whole "Fusion technology", their knowledge comes mainly from ITER related news, hence they have the general understanding that fusion will be just a thermal generator like any other generator.
I personally do not see any chance for a fusion based maritime generator until they will develop a proper aneutronic reactor (p-B11 based) to overcome any "political" fear of having a ship with nuclear material making port calls in countries considered unsafe.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

Skipjack
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Skipjack »

Giorgio wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:44 am
I personally do not see any chance for a fusion based maritime generator until they will develop a proper aneutronic reactor (p-B11 based) to overcome any "political" fear of having a ship with nuclear material making port calls in countries considered unsafe.
I think Helion's reactor would be fine. One would likely remove the tritium storage tanks between tours. So the amount of tritium would be minimal.

Giorgio
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:00 pm
I think Helion's reactor would be fine. One would likely remove the tritium storage tanks between tours. So the amount of tritium would be minimal.
Ship engines are not generally in easily accessible areas and the idea of tritium handling and transferring between each few trips in a port is also not an easy task.
Let's see before what will be Helion final design and specifications, than it will be more easy to evaluate its possibility as energy source for a ship engine.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

Skipjack
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Skipjack »

Giorgio wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:58 pm
Ship engines are not generally in easily accessible areas and the idea of tritium handling and transferring between each few trips in a port is also not an easy task.
Let's see before what will be Helion final design and specifications, than it will be more easy to evaluate its possibility as energy source for a ship engine.
I have been to the engine rooms of several ships (large and small) and the engines were always very accessible. If there is a problem while you are at sea, you need to be able to fix it right there (if possible with on board equipment). The tritium would likely be stored in relatively small but thick walled cartridges as tritiated water. Smaller cartridges so that the chance of one big leak would be reduced. Probably less than a gram of tritium per cartridge.
They would be small enough to be carried by hand. That is at least what I would imagine (not actual information on that).
An alternative could be for Helion to provide the He3 from other reactors and increase the D+He3 burn ratio over D+D reactions in the shipping reactors, thus producing less (maybe almost no) Tritium. Might be more expensive to operate that way, though.

Giorgio
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:28 pm
I have been to the engine rooms of several ships (large and small) and the engines were always very accessible. If there is a problem while you are at sea, you need to be able to fix it right there (if possible with on board equipment). The tritium would likely be stored in relatively small but thick walled cartridges as tritiated water. Smaller cartridges so that the chance of one big leak would be reduced. Probably less than a gram of tritium per cartridge.
They would be small enough to be carried by hand. That is at least what I would imagine (not actual information on that).
An alternative could be for Helion to provide the He3 from other reactors and increase the D+He3 burn ratio over D+D reactions in the shipping reactors, thus producing less (maybe almost no) Tritium. Might be more expensive to operate that way, though.
It also depends on the ships. I am speaking mainly of newest container ships. I have been in the engine room area of several 12000+ TEU ships (and few bulk carriers) and they can hardly be considered accessible if you need to move something bigger than 2 meter as it is all stacked under the superstructure. I can't speak for civil or military vessels as I never been in one of their engine rooms.

If indeed they can make the tritium container in the size of a a cartridge than for sure it will not be an issue, but I am not sure that there will be many governmental control agencies that would allow tritium to be moved in an hand carrying equipment.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

Skipjack
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Skipjack »

Giorgio wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:39 am
It also depends on the ships. I am speaking mainly of newest container ships. I have been in the engine room area of several 12000+ TEU ships (and few bulk carriers) and they can hardly be considered accessible if you need to move something bigger than 2 meter as it is all stacked under the superstructure. I can't speak for civil or military vessels as I never been in one of their engine rooms.

If indeed they can make the tritium container in the size of a a cartridge than for sure it will not be an issue, but I am not sure that there will be many governmental control agencies that would allow tritium to be moved in an hand carrying equipment.
Reading up a bit more on the topic, it seems like uranium or palladium beds are better suited for storing Tritium than Tritiated water, which is seeminlgy very corrosive. There also seems to be a way to store it in clay, which helps with the corrosiveness. In any case, I am sure there are solutions that do not require huge containers for a few grams.
Something like this would store 3 grams of Tritium, if I got that right?
http://torionplasma.com/wp-content/uplo ... -Sheet.pdf

Giorgio
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Giorgio »

Nice find.
That container has a nominal capacity of 7 sL of tritium gas, that's roughly 1 gr of Tritium.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

Skipjack
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Skipjack »

This is a bit confusing. They list "30 kCi of Tritium gas" as the capacity. At 9600 Ci/gram that would be 3 grams, no?

Giorgio
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:17 pm
This is a bit confusing. They list "30 kCi of Tritium gas" as the capacity. At 9600 Ci/gram that would be 3 grams, no?
The 30 kCi is the vessel design, but you do not have only tritium inside as you also have the 90 gr of depleted uranium as wetting material to absorb the tritium, so the 30 kCi has to be divided among the 2 according their relative activity.
In this case anyhow the limit to tritium storage is mainly given by the container volumetric capacity that is a nominal 7sL which translates to roughly 1 gr tritium.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

billh
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by billh »

Long time lurker here. I was just wondering: for shipping applications, how do you charge the capacitor bank for startup when you're not on the grid? Or maybe a better way of framing it, how long could the reactor be shut down at sea before the capacitor bank would discharge too far for a restart?

Skipjack
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Skipjack »

From what I understand, they could hold their charge for years if properly disconnected from the circuit without any current leakage through some of the switches somewhere.
Now, I have only ever thought about this for Helion's reactor (and this my own guess here, based on what I know), then the capacitor bank would have to store some 2.8 kWh of energy to power a discharge. That is not THAT much. Solar panels generally create 500 Wh/day per square meter. So you would like 6 m2 of solar panels to fully recharge the capacitors within a day. Compared to the size of a container ship, that is pretty much nothing (you could easily have 10 times that area covered). So even if your capacitors had for some reason been completely discharged, there is an easy solution for that. Though likely, they would have some sort of emergency diesel generator (or something like that) on board anyway. In any case, there are plenty of options.

Giorgio
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:13 pm
From what I understand, they could hold their charge for years if properly disconnected from the circuit without any current leakage through some of the switches somewhere.
With a leak value of 1x10-9 scc/sec it means it will leak one cubic centimeter every 320 years more or less. That container is quite exceptional.

Edited: I just noticed now that you are speaking of the capacitor banks current leaking, while I was speaking of the tritium container gas leaking.
I should not read and reply to messages from the phone...... :oops:
Last edited by Giorgio on Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

mvanwink5
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Re: Fusion in Shipping

Post by mvanwink5 »

You guys are discussing some of the factors that go into a 'Black Start.' We had equipment and procedures for that and periodically performed it. It is no big deal. (there is a lot of details involved, more than discussed so far)
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

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