Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
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Mark Rowley
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Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Mark Rowley » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:37 am

This video is a virtual treasure trove of early Soviet fusion efforts. Original footage.
Absolute must-see for the fusion enthusiast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-7ejXpg-bA

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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Dan Knapp » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:49 am

Very interesting video; thanks for posting. The video shows the Soviet tokamak 3. This brings to mind that its predecessor, TM-1, is still operating in Prague. It was first moved to the Czech Institute for Plasma Physics and renamed CASTOR. It was subsequently replaced there by a larger machine and moved downtown to the Czech Technical University and renamed GOLEM where it is used for teaching. It can be operated remotely by students around the world. GOLEM was also used for the first experiments with superconducting coils by the Tokamak Energy people. This Tokamak has to hold the record for the most use ever gotten from one fusion machine.

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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:25 pm

I find it amusing that one of the early thermal fusion machines is still being used as a teaching device. I am sure it really impresses all who are taught with it.

The fusor, while not as large, complex or impressive as another failed continuous fusion system that can do "some" fusion, nonetheless, teaches fusion just as well. Both systems tend to show that no matter how much you spend to "do fusion", fusion here on earth to produce usable energy, is either impossible or will far exceed the cost of a normal modern fission power system in any final analysis.

Fusion in a hot, thin ionized gas has proved itself incapable of net power on a continuous controlled basis. Electrostatic fusion is proven possible, but both rely on defeating a probablistic process of quantum tunneling ruled by a set of conditions set by the Lawson criteria. Fusion in the solid state (cold fusion) has been monkeyed with and abandoned. There is no innate stored energy in the low Z gasses.

The stored innate internal energy within U235, plutonium, and breeder produced U233 is easily released and controlled. We have at least secured the good, (nuclear power). We are now off looking for the better and are fumbling and bungling our way at obtaining the energy granted solely to the stars. The stars via super nova set up the free energy in the super Hi-Z elements allowing us to just pull the trigger. Is fusion net energy product on earth a bridge too far?

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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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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Frank Sanns » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:43 pm

Looking back at all of these huge machines and effort by Russia as well as the US and many other countries makes you wonder why nobody ever thought that these routes would not be the answer. For those of us running a Fusor, it seems obvious within a year or so that success would not be possible in such low performance machines. Something MUCH larger and more powerful is obvious to even the amateur. Why so much money and so many obviously projects? I know much was learned but a calculation on a napkin should have told them that these machines would be net losers by a very, very wide margin.

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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Dan Knapp » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:25 pm

Science is iterative. The first tokamaks were small, but they were a quantum leap in confinement at the time. GOLEM/CASTOR/TM-1 has a toroid not much more than a meter diameter. As more was learned about confinement, it was realized that larger and larger machines would be required. The Europeans in general don’t have a problem with the idea of a huge power reactor since their grid is more compact. Americans, on the other hand, have a leaning toward smaller, more dispersed power plants. Raising a question in Europe about the issues of building a huge reactor as a power plant immediately labels you as an American. This may change, however, with Tokamak Energy, pushing a compact spherical tokamak.

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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Justin Fozzard » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:59 am

Very interesting video, thanks for posting it, Mark. I’ve not seen the PR-2 device shown at the beginning of the film in any photos or videos before, and it was good to see the device I’ve only read about in papers of the era. I studied the early ion magnetron injection experiments, such as the Moscow and Berkeley ones, as part of my PhD research and would love to experiment with one now. Not sure where I can get a 50MW DC generator like those in the film to power one though, I’ll check eBay.

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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:32 pm

"Tokamak" -- Russian for "gigantic swirling donut"

--PS
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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Re: Video of early Soviet fusion efforts. Rare footage

Post by Artem Artemov » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:10 am

Great video. I live 20 minutes from this Institute)

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