North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
MarkS
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Re: North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Post by MarkS » Fri May 14, 2010 2:47 pm

In the spirit of the of the thread...
It'd take 10^11 2.4MeV Neutrons to light up a 3V / 20mA LED, and running a really smoking fusor at 10^7 N/s for a few hours one could power an LED for a second or so!

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Richard Hull
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Re: North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Post by Richard Hull » Fri May 14, 2010 4:41 pm

The whole fusion biz, as commonly yapped about in the press, relates to real power to the real electric mains, 24-7, no let up, no failures, etc. and operated at a profit significant enough to interest hard nosed power/energy people and their appointed bean counters...... It just isn't happening in my life time and probably not for anyone else here who is able to read. Yet, the carrot still dangles in front of a lot of donkey's faces. The hope is that one of them "becquerels" onto something at some point.

It doesn't seem that noodling it out has done much but warranted that several generations of well paid donkeys could send their offspring to the better schools in hopes of taking over chasing the carrot that dear old dad snapped at. Sort of like being born in the coal belt. There is only one paying job and it, seemingly, will never go away.

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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Chris Bradley
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Re: North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Post by Chris Bradley » Fri May 14, 2010 5:23 pm

Richard Hull wrote:
> It doesn't seem that noodling it out has done much but warranted that several generations of well paid donkeys could send their offspring to the better schools in hopes of taking over chasing the carrot that dear old dad snapped at. Sort of like being born in the coal belt. There is only one paying job and it, seemingly, will never go away.
Richard; when you refer to carrots and donkeys, it sounds like you are saying people are asses for trying. I am not sure if you are trying to say that people shouldn't bother trying to take steps towards what they believe might be the means for viable controlled net fusion power, or whether your 'asinine' references are specifically aimed at the press and their overblown hyperbole.

Do you think people should try but should keep quiet about it (which'd probably mean they will need to do it all and fund it all on their own as there's never fund$ without publicity) or just not try as it will never happen for anyone, ever?

I've never been quite sure of your message as you seem to think it might happen in the future. But unless people are busying themselves to the task then it can't happen by itself!

Would you ever join a chorus of approval if anyone were to ever take a step towards fusion, or is the only step you think is worth taking is to go straight from nothing to power-station in one go? What intermediate steps would you think "ah, at last, progress"?..

I'm not talking about this NK announcement - which we can trust is, indeed, hyperbole. But I'm just interested in where you stand on the future for net fusion power and whether anyone could avoid your scorn by approaching the challenge of net-fusion power in some particular way that you think is neither foolhardy, self-serving, nor laughable.

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Rich Feldman
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Re: North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Post by Rich Feldman » Sun May 16, 2010 1:11 am

lutzhoffman wrote:
> This whole thing reminds me of China spending close to a billion dollars to put a man in space a few years back. Durring that same week a private group of people tested Space Ship One, and did the same thing for only 2 million in the California desert, plus they could re-use their spacecraft : )

Sorry, can't let that slip by. Putting 1 pound into Earth orbit takes at least 25 times as much energy as launching 1 pound into "space" (at 100 km) for a minute or two.

By national space agency standards, the Ansari X prize bar was set pretty low. If you will allow me a bit of poetic license, it's like fusion in the garage vs. in tokamaks and NIF.

-Rich

p.s. the HARP gun could propel 400 pound projectiles up to 180 km in the 1960's, for a few thousand dollars a shot.
Mike echo oscar whisky! I repeat! Mike echo oscar whisky, how do you copy? Over.

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Re: North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Post by John Futter » Mon May 17, 2010 9:15 am

Using the non existent data from North Korea
and reversing the polarity in my non existent fusor so that neutrons and high voltage input give the reciprocal of what we normally get

I can confirm that Kim Jong Il or any of his daughter products did not appear, and my back yard appears to be free of North Korea.


Seriously do we have to take up bandwidth on this????????????

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Richard Hull
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Re: North Korea Claims to Achieve Elusive Nuclear Fusion

Post by Richard Hull » Mon May 17, 2010 4:14 pm

In answer to Chris' questions to me......

It relates more to the more obvious, (in the U.S.), need for occasional press hypes that fusion is on the move, which it is really not. Add to this the normal press reports failing to give meaningful specifics and you have what amounts to a feel good press report of little or no real substance designed by the fusion P.R. people as a "keep alive" for funding and the ever present promise of fusion energy. Coupled with these press reports is the release of no new real progress data or info from the scientific side in the form of what one might charitably call progress.

Everything is political in this day and age, even in science, at all but the nitty gritty level.

Next, what is progress worth speaking of? I mean, really speaking of that can lift fusion's dream above its current sleep walking state.

Real progress is utterly simple and that is, sustained, over unity fusion.....But this begs the question; over what interval?.... For a minute?.... For an hour? It depends on your perspective. If you are used to 100usec sustains before the wall ablation fouls the environment then a minute is a marvelous achievement and the P.R. department is kicked into high gear with the success reports. At an hour sustain, will they swear that fusion power to the people is just around the bend! Again!

What will the above really mean if, after the one hour run, the entire chamber is damaged and a 5 week rework is needed for the next 1.2 hour run. How close are we then?

I guess I'll get excited when the power utilities get excited at the prospect of actually building a fusion power plant. Then we will be only 10 years out from a replay of the 1957 Shipping Port power plant fission reality.

What does it take for me to be happy? Probably what I saw in Life magazine in the early 50's where a woman is at an electric stove in her little apron cooking with one of the early ugly black nuclear sub fission, test bed reactors in the background powering that stove and her cooking efforts. We were, at that time, still about 5 years from Shipping Port in Pennsylvania going on line, but that broad was cookin' due to the conversion of fission energy to electrical power! Cheezy, cheap publicity stunt? You bet......Real electrical energy from fission? You bet. Let me see this cheesy assed fusion demo publicity stunt with a fusion reactor in the background and for me, Fusion power will be just around the bend. Until that time, fusion is as dead in the water as fish floating in Love canal.

"Lucky donkey", "donkey", etc., is no aspersion cast at the researchers or their efforts, it is just that, like the carroted donkey, they move forward on dream power and not a reasonable foreseeable reality of getting the carrot plodding, as they do, on long established paths, "bull heading" at the carrot with ever greater lunges at it. It will be the lucky donkey that Becquerels onto the solution, snapping the carrot and victory from the jaws of long heralded defeat.

For me, fusion is politics in science played at a current iteration honed over many years of what one might wish to term progress into a full fledged, self-perpetuating hegemony over the "idea" of future energy abundances touted to be un-ending due to our seawater reserves of fusion fuel. It's a goin' concern, a gambit that plays well off so many aspects of itself and the hopes and dreams of everyone from joe public to the degreed scientist imersed within it.

Oh it will happen, sure, but for me, we are not even close to the end of the beginning of the effort, if not rolling down a complete blind alley...............Unless, as I have always contended, that "the lucky donkey", that meandering, well meaning, misguided, Becquerel already walks among us.

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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