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?
having that swing is a necessary but not sufficient condition for it meaning a thing
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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.
A bit churlish

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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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