Q value - fusion vs. fission

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
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Chris Bradley
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Re: Q value - fusion vs. fission

Post by Chris Bradley » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:11 pm

It's all fluff-talk. It's all 'mis-information' dressed up as a reason to pursue fusion. Per mass, the storage/carriage facilities for fuel grade tritium and uranium will out-weight the actually contained fuel several-fold!! What importance discussing mass of reactants is, I cannot imagine.

It's the same vein of nonsense as when terrestrial fusion power is described as 'recreating a sun on earth'. Bone-dry nonsense. Comparing terrestrial fusion with solar fusion is like comparing corrosion of a Victorian bridge with Saturn V rocket combustion - both involve chemical oxidation yet both are dissimilar in rate by many orders of magnitude and use difference starting materials.

Arguing fusion is somehow preferable because it is 'more energy per nucleon' is like arguing that a Saturn V is more use to get down to the shops in than a model T because one is more powerful that the other.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Q value - fusion vs. fission

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:22 pm

I Really don't think there is a need to justify the fusion quest as it is an admirable one and an obviously desirable goal, regardless of how far into a distant future it might be ultimately realized to cost effectiveness.

Important issues are in the here and now and fission is certainly powering this missive as I write it since the North Anna Nuclear plant is less than 25 miles from where I sit. The fusion currently under way here in Richmond is due to my own efforts alone, piddling as they may be.

Fission and coal are pretty much it with natural gas maybe a poor third. Wind, Solar and all the others are a distant crowd melted into the background.

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Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Doug Coulter
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Re: Q value - fusion vs. fission

Post by Doug Coulter » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:54 pm

+1 Richard.
As I own one, I am also a member of the GM-Volt.com forums. Recently an update on where electricity comes from was posted there (gov source- wikipedia is years stale).

For the first time, Coal is down to 28%, behind natgas and nuclear+solar+wind (classed together as renew-ables...and yeah, I know just how enthusiastic govs are about reprocessing nuke fuel).

At any rate, nat gas, and "renewables" both beat coal now - separately.

And I charge my Volt off Solar, FWIW, works fine. Things DO change, just too slow for our taste.

Like you say, any fusion around here is in my lab. It's getting better, but I'm a looonngg way from anything remotely like breakeven at this point. Call it ~>10^6 still needed in Q improvement.

I wonder if some of ITER's predicted material problems come from the extra energy in DT neutrons to do lattice displacement in steel, or our lower 2.5mev would be nearly as bad?
Why guess when you can know? Measure!

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Richard Hull
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Re: Q value - fusion vs. fission

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:00 pm

US gov't EIA notes that coal is King

http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/rene ... ricity.cfm

Natural gas goes in cycles of tremendously expensive to cheapest form of energy. Currrently it is plentiful and cheap and has just edged out nuclear.

So Coal is still king and will remain #1 for a good while, Natural gas is #2 Nuclear is #3 and the several renewables, all bundled and totaled, are last #4, with the lion's share of renewable, 63%, being hydroelectric which produces, by itself, nearly three times what all the wind mills in the land are doing. Wind is showing only because its green and pretty with current weather patterns. Solar is a pathetic performer at the very tail end of it all.

Dominion power has tried several nat. gas plants but has no issue with shutting them down when nat. gas prices soar and they just pour in more coal to already operating coal plants. Virginia has very cheap electricity. Dominion has licenses to expand two of their nuke plants power levels.

A lot of states that are "greenies" don't mind charging their folks double for their power to be pretty and that is where a preponderance of the Gas plants are located. Gas plants are also located where the gas is "brought to ground" and is cheap. The latter is true for coal as well.

I was stunned that wood fired generation account for 7% of the total renewables....7 times that of all forms of solar energy!

Obviously, individual local regions and states may be different in percentages, but these are the U.S. averaged figures.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Doug Coulter
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Re: Q value - fusion vs. fission

Post by Doug Coulter » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:50 pm

Funny, that's in direct conflict with a report from DOE recently quoted (and linked) over at GM-Volt.com a month or two ago. Or maybe not funny, our government specializes in cooking books in various ways. And just generally being confused about such things, like the true cost of living, the fact that last month three times as many people got on the food stamp rolls as got jobs(!)...and one hand rarely knows what the other is doing.
Think we have a 16 trillion debt? How about the fact that the government has already spent all the SS taxes earmarked for that program and has much more than that in liabilities to pay it back in benefits? That's more like 60 trillion - and we're not even talking about medicare yet.

However, I have a more realistic indicator. Look at the stock prices of BTU, ANR, JRCC (oops, already filed chapter 7)...all coal companies. No one's buying their stuff anymore. It's on the way out. Frakking for NGL (which can be turned into gasoline) and various interesting use it or lose it leases for same have caused a multi year glut in Nat gas supplies. It has not zoomed for AGES. It's hard to store and transport and is used a lot - but all this depends on where in the country you are at the moment - in parts of the midwest it IS nearly all coal. I trade all these stocks to supplement my retirement income. ANR was $120/share before the crash. They're now under $6...for a reason. And still going down, it's been a very profitable move to short coal companies "for some reason".

Also, peak gas is much worse than peak oil ever was - the instant you tap a gas well - that's the peak, more or less, until you do more frakking or drilling. Yet...it's dirt cheap as its now considered a by product of gasoline refinery input. Yet it will be decades before it zooms in price again unless frakking gets banned (you never know with politicians).

How can they know how much solar I have? I'm not grid tied, neither are the other 10 or so off grid people in my county - and as it turns out, quite a large fraction of electric car owners. And so on. Lies, damn lies, statistics.

Or, for the truth, follow the money: See pic of coal companies for the last 5 years.
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Why guess when you can know? Measure!

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