More fusion hype?

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
User avatar
Richard Hull
Moderator
Posts: 11425
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

More fusion hype?

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:54 pm

http://www.rdmag.com/News/2012/04/Energ ... -Fusion%2f

Another followup.

The above article references a seemingly wondrful fusion breakthrough ending, of course, with how fusion energy can solve all our problems.......In case you didn't comprehend the article basic points.

These guys have seemingly codified the "islands" and "snakes" of instability in a mathematical fashion. Armed with this, they hope to rid the plasma of the density limits so common to every tokamak ever built, including MIT's latest iteration.

Now, by what machination of hardware will this be done? Give 'em a break! Real soon now, maybe. We are used to the wait, so take another whack at it guys.

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.

User avatar
Chris Bradley
Posts: 2931
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 11:05 am
Real name:

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Chris Bradley » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:02 pm

I'm not sure this is even news. I thought magnetic islands were one of the main-stay 'known issues'.

Anyhow, I do love literal decomposition on this kind of 'fluff talk'. Let's look at what it says;

>"If confirmed by experiment, the finding could help scientists eliminate a major impediment to the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for producing electric power."

OK, so what we really would like to read is "will accomplish fusion". We don't have this here, let's try;

" *could* accomplish fusion". We don't even have this much news here, let's try;

"could *help* accomplish fusion". We don't even have this much news here, let's try;

"could help eliminate *an* impediment to fusion". We don't even have this much news here, let's try;

" *If confirmed*, could help eliminate an impediment to fusion"....

.....blah blah don't even have this level of assurance in the comment!

No, we have;

" *If confirmed*, *could* *help eliminate* *an* *impediment* *to the development* of fusion"....

?!?!..

Are we to infer here that we are 6 layers of conditional statement away from tokamak fusion... after how many years and $?!!...

Dustin
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:40 am
Real name:

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Dustin » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:21 pm

LENR in the news again, apparently with some validation,

"Brillouin has had two significant independent validations of their scientific model and claims. One of those was by Los Alamos National Laboratories. The other was by Dr. Michael McKubre of Standford Research International (SRI), who subsequently joined their board of advisors. McKubre was especially impressed by the consistency of the results. This was the first time (in the LENR experimental arena) that he was able to repeat something every time, without exception."

This seems related to Rossi and Defkalion but with a new theory on the process.
Hard to tell if there is something to this or not, some of the numbers do not match up with claims and an 'independent validation from someone who joins the board no longer seems independent'. I could not find any other citations or confirmations of these claims.
Still...

http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/04/brillo ... d-sri.html

Results
http://www.brillouinenergy.com/

User avatar
Carl Willis
Posts: 2841
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 11:33 pm
Real name: Carl Willis
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Contact:

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Carl Willis » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:17 pm

The Rossi project and its related spinoffs / copycats show no discernible commitment to scientific understanding.

For administrative purposes on this forum, there is simply no procedure, materials, or methodology in the record by which someone can reproduce or experiment with the supposed phenomenon being touted. It is effectively a non-issue here--closed to speculation, news updates, offsite links, etc.--unless and until there is a scientific communication of some kind. Whether the impediment to disclosure is intellectual property the principals are trying to protect, or whether the whole thing is a scam (the chances of which I'd put arbitrarily close to 100%), the end result for us is the same: we can't do anything scientifically productive or personally edifying in relation to these schemes because no information is available.

I'm tired of swatting this crap down again and again and there is a limit to the number of times its proliferators will remain a going concern on the forums.

-Carl
Carl Willis
http://carlwillis.wordpress.com/
TEL: +1-505-412-3277

User avatar
Richard Hull
Moderator
Posts: 11425
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:18 pm

Lotsa' hype from all supposed fusion areas but no commercialization. The hot fusioneers just promise useful fusion, while the cold fusion folks promise impending commercialization.

End result........more future hype from everyone and no real action.

Cold fusion folks form companies based on limited to no scientific basis for their claims and seek to now commericalize a product that is claimed virtually ready for market and beg capital. All such ventures have died almost instantly.

Hot fusion folks are capitalized to varying degrees, admit to not having a marketable product nor to having one in the near to usable future and seem to never produce or die.

Their one saving grace and main attraction to the lower forms is that they both claim to be greener than green, non-polluting and offer an in-exhaustable supply of future energy. Keeps 'em comin' back for more hype whenever it is served up.

In the mean time, the good offices of tons of burning coal along with a smattering of good ole nuclear waste laden atom bomb fission suffice to keep my computer screen aglow before my blurry eyes and they work together to charge my cell phone, lap top battery and my ever so green chevy volt. What a glorious dichotomy.

Both hot and cold fusion continue to be pursued in spite of their paths being littered with no usable product. Nothing to see here folks....just move on please....move along...

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.

Brian_Gage
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:04 pm
Real name: Brian Gage
Location: Duncan, British Columbia

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Brian_Gage » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:26 am

Has anybody ever totaled up how many billions, or is it trillions have been spent world-wide on the "hot fusion" pipe-dream?
What would all those scientists do and say if some amateur fusor inovation produced a net energy gain?
Brian

User avatar
Richard Hull
Moderator
Posts: 11425
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:30 pm

I would say several tens of billions or maybe a hundred billion total, world wide, to date. This assumes you leave out H bomb work and pure fusion weapons refinement research. Since 1953, when the fusion program started, the total spent on fusion energy in the US, both Magnetic and Inertial is ~$22.4 Billion dollars. The other large nations might have spent similar amounts. No where even near a trillion totaled up from all nations in the fray.

A huge fraction of all the money spent went for salaries of the people involved in the myriad of little, medium and large sized projects. A continuing series of "make busy" project for erstwhile fusioneers, if you will.

It must be remembered that a lot of early work was done on a shoe string and the government never leaped into fusion energy in a big way until the 70's and, in many ways, are tapering off due to the economic crisis. JET, NIF and ITER have consumed a lot of the recent world-wide funding and pushed the total into the near hundred billion range. Still those tens of millions for the tiny projects do add up.

I am assuming the ultra long shot to virtual impossibility of amateur or even privately funded ignition and net gain controlled fusion would drop the jaws of the annointed, but waiting for that to happen is like waiting for the pros to do it. The effort has already consumed lifetimes of a few generations of fusion researchers.

Fusion is easy provided you don't plan to harvest any real fusion energy.

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.

User avatar
Carl Willis
Posts: 2841
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 11:33 pm
Real name: Carl Willis
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Contact:

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:43 pm

For some reason the myth of amateur-professional adversity persists.

If an innovation occurs in the amateur fusion world, and is properly documented, the professional science community will undoubtedly get involved with enthusiasm. To those guys, it would be a welcome new frontier, a new bone to chew on. And naturally, interest and funding for other programs will take a hit in proportion to how exciting the new stuff is and how many resources it sucks up.

The billions of dollars spent on fusion-related research produces many results that are both smaller and more immediately useful than the long-term goal of a commercial energy solution. A lot of broadly-applicable innovations in materials science come out of professional fusion research, for instance. I think it's hard to single out fusion research as being a particularly profligate enterprise--whether your point of comparison is other government research, public spending and priorities in general, or the energy economy.

We all know the roadmap for magnetic confinement fusion is a long-distance commitment. However, this is the most promising and well-understood path forward right now. It's symptomatic of wishful thinking, or at the very least of a hubris unwarranted by any evidence to date, that the amateur world is out-competing professional fusion research.

-Carl
Carl Willis
http://carlwillis.wordpress.com/
TEL: +1-505-412-3277

User avatar
Chris Bradley
Posts: 2931
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 11:05 am
Real name:

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Chris Bradley » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:43 pm

Carl Willis wrote:
> If an innovation occurs in the amateur fusion world, and is properly documented, the professional science community will undoubtedly get involved with enthusiasm.

There lies the rub...

Amateurs are rarely in the position to have available the quality of diagnostic kit that would satisfy a professional researcher as being 'properly documented'.

One can present visual results, backed up with a few electrical measurements, maybe a Langmuir probe or two, but the standard now is that they will only look at material published in a journal, and it won't get into a journal with only photos, theoretical arguments as to what the photos show, and a few Langmuir probe plots.

If it doesn't reach a published journal, they ain't interested.... the bar is now set too high for the two groups to meet. But I'd not put this down to any professional snobbery on their behalf, on the contrary. I would site all the 'cold fusion' type plethora of snake-oil folks who have likely caused them to focus only on their own tokamaks, as a consequence of all the quackery. It is too much effort for them to take a look at something not already passed peer-reviewed barriers in a journal.

User avatar
Richard Hull
Moderator
Posts: 11425
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: More fusion hype?

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:49 pm

I think if anyone had something real to show in fusion innovation all truly interested parties would sit up and take notice. There are still enough pro-mavericks out there who could leap on an amateur presented reality and hopefully run with it and give it the proper polish, extra research and publication it deserves. Hopefully they will fully credit the concept or nucleus idea to such an amateur.

Still, amateur breakthroughs are relegated to the lucky donkey class that I have long talked about. We need not hang our fusion hats on amateur researches.

The discovery of x-rays, radioactivity and fission were all lucky donkey moments. No one had an inkling of them or sought them out in a planned effort. They stumbled onto them while farting around on other stuff.

Ricahrd 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.

Post Reply