Is fusion sh.t?

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shpalman
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by shpalman » Sat Mar 04, 2023 12:58 am

Can someone explain why we're suddenly talking about plutonium in a fusion thread?
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by monkey » Sat Mar 04, 2023 1:37 am

shpalman wrote:
Sat Mar 04, 2023 12:58 am
Can someone explain why we're suddenly talking about plutonium in a fusion thread?
It's 1/3 your fault, I reckon :)

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by dyqik » Sat Mar 04, 2023 12:55 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat Mar 04, 2023 12:58 am
Can someone explain why we're suddenly talking about plutonium in a fusion thread?
Nuclear proliferation is still a risk with a neutron source like a fusion reactor being used to produce plutonium from inert U238. But neutron sources are also potentially useful for therapeutic isotope production.

However, I don't know if the energy of the neutrons from a working power fusion reactor is appropriate for either use.

There, that's tied it back to fusion...

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by shpalman » Sat Mar 04, 2023 1:19 pm

But what happened that we suddenly started talking about it? It certainly wasn't because we had a working fusion reactor.
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by dyqik » Sat Mar 04, 2023 1:39 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat Mar 04, 2023 1:19 pm
But what happened that we suddenly started talking about it? It certainly wasn't because we had a working fusion reactor.
Because someone asked if there was potential for proliferation. Which is perfectly reasonable question to ask in a thread called "is fusion sh.t?", as it's one of the ways fusion could be sh.t.

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by shpalman » Sat Mar 04, 2023 2:18 pm

sideshowjim wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2023 7:19 pm
Could someone explain how there's the potential for production of Plutonium 239?
But who actually suggested that there would be potential for production of Pu-239 in the first place? That seems to be a reaction to someone saying there was potential and sideshowjim is (legitimately) asking how.
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by shpalman » Sun Mar 05, 2023 11:05 am

proton-boron fusion wouldn't produce neutrons but needs even higher temperatures and produces less energy

I thought at least that the neutrons escaping from the confinement are a way of getting energy out, as well as damaging everything.
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by sideshowjim » Tue Mar 07, 2023 6:43 pm

shpalman wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2023 7:41 pm
sideshowjim wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2023 7:19 pm
Could someone explain how there's the potential for production of Plutonium 239? Is it purely smooshing* the neutrons released into some handy Uranium?

It still requires a whole bunch of very specialist centrifuges etc to actually refine Pu to any big explodey use, and there's not the inherent "We need this Uranium to generate power and not for anything explodey, nope, not us guvnah" issues with ensuring purely power generation use, unless I'm mistaken.

So it seems a Better way of nuclear power generation if non-proliferation is your goal, but I can't speak to any of the resr.

*I believe this is the correct technical term
Can Pu be separated from U chemically?
Yrah, but then isn't it the isotope seperation (seperating gaseous isotopes of Pu) that requires big fancy centrifuges?

If i knew more about this, I'd probably have a more important job...

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by Grumble » Tue Mar 07, 2023 7:06 pm

sideshowjim wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2023 6:43 pm
shpalman wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2023 7:41 pm
sideshowjim wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2023 7:19 pm
Could someone explain how there's the potential for production of Plutonium 239? Is it purely smooshing* the neutrons released into some handy Uranium?

It still requires a whole bunch of very specialist centrifuges etc to actually refine Pu to any big explodey use, and there's not the inherent "We need this Uranium to generate power and not for anything explodey, nope, not us guvnah" issues with ensuring purely power generation use, unless I'm mistaken.

So it seems a Better way of nuclear power generation if non-proliferation is your goal, but I can't speak to any of the resr.

*I believe this is the correct technical term
Can Pu be separated from U chemically?
Yrah, but then isn't it the isotope seperation (seperating gaseous isotopes of Pu) that requires big fancy centrifuges?

If i knew more about this, I'd probably have a more important job...
Yes, it’s turned into a gas first, like UF6, then spun through multiple stages.
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by dyqik » Tue Mar 07, 2023 8:32 pm

But the number of stages is critically dependent on the amount of the desired isotope in the mix. Natural uranium ore is very low in U235, and needs large numbers of stages, which is why it's a pain to build Uranium bombs.

For transmutated Pu239 made from U238, the ratio of Pu239 to other Pu isotopes is high after chemical separation (if the neutron energy is right), so it doesn't need that much refinement.

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by Al Capone Junior » Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:38 pm

Interesting article about fusion startups and certain projects they have going

https://knowablemagazine.org/content/ar ... sion-power

I think the main point is that fusion is only 30 years away :shock:

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by IvanV » Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:44 am

Al Capone Junior wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:38 pm
Interesting article about fusion startups and certain projects they have going

https://knowablemagazine.org/content/ar ... sion-power

I think the main point is that fusion is only 30 years away :shock:
I would have a suspicion that some, or even many, of these are investment scams. The fact that they are promoting a possible implementation of a thermodynamically feasible energy technology just makes it an even better spiel for the scammers than all those other energy investment scams promoting implausible or impossible thermodynamically infeasible schemes, typically to make energy with no fuel.

The usual modus operandi of the scam is that they raise money from investors, pay themselves fancy salaries, and then it collapses when nothing happens. And it isn't even illegal, provided they worded their fund-raising documents carefully. In legal terms, it's just like lots of bona fide start-ups that get investors and fail. Or like investing in a film, say, where most of them never make money. The difference is the likelihood it might be a success.

Though there are other ways of operating the scam. Some of them were asking for down-payments on machines that are never delivered. You see pictures of their prototypes, often substantially covered with shiny insulation foil and a few "controls" sticking out. And sometimes, they even deliver a machine, that for some unfathomable reason no longer works after being transported. I remember reading news of a case around 10 years ago where such a company was paid to construct some steam-punk-like machine on native reservation in the US, paid for by the reservation. I have a feeling it was not one of rich reservations with lots of casinos. There were these massive metal connecting rods linked up to various crank-shafts and pistons and the like, like in some 19th century steam-age factory. Presumably they company that built it had worked out their exit strategy to take their money and keep it when the thing never worked. It all went very quiet, presumably when the customers realised how gullible they had been to be scammed, and didn't wish for the spotlight to be turned on them.

Ten years ago or something we had a bunch of scam companies promoting free energy generation by harvesting zero point energy. In fact it hasn't even gone away, my failed googling trying to identify some Irish company that had a lot of hype about it at the time turned up some very recent incorporations of zero point energy companies in Ireland and South Africa. As the Wikipedia page on zero point energy points out, on-going experimentation on zero point energy doesn't totally rule out the possibility of tapping into it, though there are questions about those experiments. So you can't just say to them, thermodynamically infeasible, they can point to some hope in the theory.

So for the kind of people who do that, the fact that there are seemingly bona fide - but very high risk - fusion start-ups gives them the opportunity to be fusion start-ups and even higher risk than the bona fide ones who think they might have something in 30 years if they are lucky.

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by shpalman » Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:14 am

IvanV wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:44 am
... Ten years ago or something we had a bunch of scam companies promoting free energy generation by harvesting zero point energy. In fact it hasn't even gone away, my failed googling trying to identify some Irish company that had a lot of hype about it at the time...
I remember Steorn. Well, I didn't completely remember, but I managed to fine-tune my google search until it came up.
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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by IvanV » Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:15 am

shpalman wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:14 am
IvanV wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:44 am
... Ten years ago or something we had a bunch of scam companies promoting free energy generation by harvesting zero point energy. In fact it hasn't even gone away, my failed googling trying to identify some Irish company that had a lot of hype about it at the time...
I remember Steorn. Well, I didn't completely remember, but I managed to fine-tune my google search until it came up.
That was the one. Actually their fake tech was some gobbledygook about harvesting energy from magnetic fields, which is probably why my googling failed. There was some other guy around at the same time with his fake zero point energy machine covered in insulation foil, that was always on the edge of being available for delivery, until it wasn't.

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Re: Is fusion sh.t?

Post by shpalman » Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:21 am

IvanV wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:15 am
shpalman wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:14 am
IvanV wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:44 am
... Ten years ago or something we had a bunch of scam companies promoting free energy generation by harvesting zero point energy. In fact it hasn't even gone away, my failed googling trying to identify some Irish company that had a lot of hype about it at the time...
I remember Steorn. Well, I didn't completely remember, but I managed to fine-tune my google search until it came up.
That was the one. Actually their fake tech was some gobbledygook about harvesting energy from magnetic fields, which is probably why my googling failed. There was some other guy around at the same time with his fake zero point energy machine covered in insulation foil, that was always on the edge of being available for delivery, until it wasn't.
It was some misunderstand to do with the magnetic scalar potential being non-conservative in a loop around a current.
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