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Safety

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:28 pm
by Aidan Kehoe
Hello All,
Besides lead shielding for viewing port in the vacuum chamber, what other safety appliances do you need to operate a real fusion reactor (not a demo)? Is there something in particular I should do to keep the deuterium gas safe (beside the basic guidelines outlined on the MSDS).
Thanks,
Aidan

Re: Safety

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:10 am
by Liam David
If you want to operate a fusor above 30 Kv, then you probably want to shield more than just the view port with lead. X-rays will start "shining" through the (stainless steel?) chamber walls at these voltages.
-Liam

Re: Safety

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:56 pm
by Carl Willis
Electrical safety is the most important safety issue with a fusor, and the only issue that presents a substantial and immediate threat to life. If you come into the fusion hobby having no prior high voltage background, be sure you work with guidance from an appropriately-experienced mentor. The best approach to safety is situational awareness: the ability, from experience, to identify potential hazards and to address them proactively rather than reactively.

Beginners often think about radiation safety. The best approach to this is, again, situational awareness: you have to get instrumentation that measures radiation dose, and only when you know what hazards you're potentially dealing with can you mitigate them appropriately. The hazard from radiation is most easily mitigated by keeping your distance and limiting the operating time. Shielding is very costly by comparison. A little lead sheet around a viewport is a reasonable control for x-rays, while a wall of lead bricks around the entire project is overkill. Neutron shielding is almost always unnecessary from a practical standpoint in hobby fusion projects.

Compressed gas and flammable gas hazards with deuterium do exist, but you're unlikely to ever have a problem. The amount sold in a lecture bottle is small. Use the appropriate CGA fittings. Use a regulator approved for hydrogen. Check for leaks by seeing if your lines and regulator remain pressurized after valving them off.

In summary, your first safety priority is your electrical installation. Make sure you know what you are doing there.

-Carl

Re: Safety

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:14 pm
by Richard Hull
There are FAQs on both safety and shielding in the radiation forum and in this one. Click on the FAQs in each forum. It is all here. READ!

Richard Hull