Stellarators

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Stellarators

Postby Goose on Thu 05 Nov 2015 05:45

http://www.sciencealert.com/first-of-its-kind-german-stellarator-could-revolutionise-the-way-we-use-energy

Saw this the other day and wondered...will this be one of the "triggers" for our advance to Ind2?
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Re: Stellarators

Postby Cralis on Thu 05 Nov 2015 12:51

Reliable fusion power is one of the assumed advances for HEL 1 ... but in reality, oh boy! what a difference reliable fusion power would make.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby LordKron on Fri 06 Nov 2015 06:08

Fusors are yet another avenue of research. The biggest problem from an energy production standpoint is the power loss due to EM radiation. If that loss can be recaptured (photovoltaic cells?), they may become more than radioactive isotope producers.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby szurkey on Fri 06 Nov 2015 15:55

The money spent on it would be much better spent on LFTR's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kBCMEUuSNw China has a LFTR program... With 1,000's of scientist and engineers working on it... And this year they moved the target date for the first commercial LFTR target from 2034 to 2024...
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Re: Stellarators

Postby LordKron on Fri 06 Nov 2015 17:36

India has a well developed Thorium power program. All of their new reactors are Thorium fueled.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby aramis on Sun 08 Nov 2015 00:08

LordKron wrote:India has a well developed Thorium power program. All of their new reactors are Thorium fueled.

Fission reactors, even thorium fueled ones, are long term waste product issues...
Thorium ones are very low risk, but still, the actinide radioactive wastes require special handling.

And, to date, the best recovery on fusion has been in the 99% of operational energy. Hopefully, this beast does better.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby szurkey on Sat 14 Nov 2015 15:06

LordKron wrote:India has a well developed Thorium power program. All of their new reactors are Thorium fueled.

Unfortunately it is solid fuel. The problem with solid fuel is that you can get at best 2% burnup, and most, including all US commercial reactors are 0.5% burnup. This means that the large majority of the fuel is NOT used, and you have mountains of waste.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby szurkey on Sat 14 Nov 2015 15:20

aramis wrote:Fission reactors, even thorium fueled ones, are long term waste product issues...
Thorium ones are very low risk, but still, the actinide radioactive wastes require special handling.

And, to date, the best recovery on fusion has been in the 99% of operational energy. Hopefully, this beast does better.

It is not nearly as bad as solid fuel reactors. Why? Burnup. LFTR 99% to 99.5% burnup. PWR 0.5% to 2.0% burnup. This means both much more energy extraction AND much less waste. While waste from LFTR's is highly radioactive, this is an ADVANTAGE over PWR's. How? Because it reaches background levels in 300 years vs 1,000's of years. This means Yucca Mountain can be used to store it, and the 1,000 design life of Yucca Mountain is 3x more than needed!

The problem with that fusion reactor is that we desperately need cheaper and cleaner energy NOW! A fusion reactor that may actually generate more than it uses, but costs $1 a kwh, is NOT what need to be investing in. LFTRs can be done now (and China has a VERY aggressive R&D program in them), and latter we can research fusion reactors. I suspect that the Bussard reactor using the Boron chain is a better solution than the Stellarator.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby Cralis on Sat 14 Nov 2015 16:41

szurkey, sadly this is where having a lack of direction in research hurts us. Because it boils down to a "short term" or "long term" solution. Those who choose the short term will realize that goal in a short period, but in the long run they'll be outdone by the long term solution.

In theory we should be doing both to gain the short term solution as a leg-up to the long term solution, but that's rarely how resources are allocated.
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Re: Stellarators

Postby LordKron on Sat 14 Nov 2015 21:53

India is using a CANDU derivative PHWR design for their reactors. The design is essentially a breeder reactor producing U-233 which is fissionable. The concept is several decades old. I first read about it in a book called "Toward Distant Suns" almost 30 years ago.
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