NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

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Mike Beauford
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NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

Post by Mike Beauford » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:26 am

The BBC is reporting that they actual have reached break even at the NIF finally!!!

Time will tell if this goes anywhere, but at least they got to break even.
Mike Beauford

Doug Browning
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Re: NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

Post by Doug Browning » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:49 pm

"The BBC understands that during an experiment in late September, the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel - the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world."

And how efficient are the lasers, 1%?
Only 100 times further to go.
Last edited by Doug Browning on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:38 pm

Yes, that sentence stood out for me as well, when I read it.

I would not be too surprised if the efficiency is on par or lower than a table top fusor.

Steven - Gamma Spectrometry Systems - Various papers and patents on RG

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Rich Feldman
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Re: NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

Post by Rich Feldman » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:32 pm

Sounds like they could be nearly a million times more efficient than tabletop fusors, in fusion energy yield per wallplug joule.
Using D-T instead of D-D might account for one or two of those many orders of magnitude.

IIRC they approach 1% efficiency in converting capacitor energy to UV laser energy (about 2 MJ of UV).
But I have no idea how much of that makes it through the conversion to thermal X-rays and gets delivered to the fuel.
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Chris Bradley
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Re: NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

Post by Chris Bradley » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:36 am

This sounds like a retrospective confirmation of a model, rather than real power output, viz. "the results and the model both say X, and the model predicts we could achieve break even, so let's call it 'break even'".

I make this interpretation from the following paragraph;

"However, the latest experiments agree well with predictions of energy output, which will provide a welcome boost to ignition research at NIF, as well as encouragement to advocates of fusion energy in general."

Seems like some philological wiggle-room there.

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Richard Hull
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Re: NIF Breaks Even ... or so they say...

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:06 pm

100 to 1 loss with putt-putt boat fusion is a net loss many times greater when thinking about power ready fusion. Poo-poo on this.

Give me a 100 to 1 net loss in a fusion machine operating 24-7 for 4 years and that is a major step forward, indeed!!! That's a breakthrough!

They are trying to save funding after the earlier admission that power fusion at NIF didn't look good. At least the weaponeers are doing something useful with it.

We must remember; all those cubicles at NIF filled with M.S and Phd's on the fusion energy study have kids in college. They are frightened. Their dad's old saw that got them through college isn't playing well anymore.

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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