For posts specifically relating to fusor design, construction, and operation.
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Aidan Kehoe
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Real name: Aidan Kehoe


Post by Aidan Kehoe » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:28 pm

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).

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Liam David
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Real name: Liam David
Location: Arizona

Re: Safety

Post by Liam David » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:10 am

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.

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Carl Willis
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Re: Safety

Post by Carl Willis » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:56 pm

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 Willis
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Richard Hull
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Re: Safety

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:14 pm

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
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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