Skip to comments.Nuclear fusion milestone passed at US lab
Posted on 10/08/2013 6:23:05 AM PDT by Red Badger
Researchers at a US lab have passed a crucial milestone on the way to their ultimate goal of achieving self-sustaining nuclear fusion.
Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.
But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.
Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.
NIF, based at Livermore in California, uses 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser to heat and compress a small pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place.
The BBC understands that during an experiment in late September, the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel - the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.
This is a step short of the lab's stated goal of "ignition", where nuclear fusion generates as much energy as the lasers supply. This is because known "inefficiencies" in different parts of the system mean not all the energy supplied through the laser is delivered to the fuel.
But the latest achievement has been described as the single most meaningful step for fusion in recent years, and demonstrates NIF is well on its way towards the coveted target of ignition and self-sustaining fusion.
For half a century, researchers have strived for controlled nuclear fusion and been disappointed. It was hoped that NIF would provide the breakthrough fusion research needed.
In 2009, NIF officials announced an aim to demonstrate nuclear fusion producing net energy by 30 September 2012. But unexpected technical problems ensured the deadline came and went;
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
192 laser beams are focused through holes in a target container called a hohlraum Inside the hohlraum is a tiny pellet containing an extremely cold, solid mixture of hydrogen isotopes Lasers strike the hohlraum's walls, which in turn radiate X-rays X-rays strip material from the outer shell of the fuel pellet, heating it up to millions of degrees If the compression of the fuel is high enough and uniform enough, nuclear fusion can result
Any day now millions of home cold fusion reactors will be rolling off secret factory lines. Within the next five to ten years for certain after the first five to ten years a possible design will perhaps be found to Change The WORLD!
(insert evil laugh at this point)
This looks different.
That is the ‘Tokamak’ process, and it is very different than this method..................
Thus solving the energy crisis and leading us directly into the thermal crisis. If we really have nearly unlimited and relatively cheap energy we will start to heat up the planet. Time to get serious about getting off this rock. Oh, wait, that's right. NASA's primary focus is Muslim outreach or some such. Guess we're all going to fry while praying to Mecca...
Well, if you have ‘unlimited energy’ ON the rock, then you also have ‘unlimited energy’ OFF the rock as well.................
If anyone is successful in accomplishing fusion energy, how long will it take for the Left to outlaw it? Probably about as long as it takes to measure the first fusion reaction.
I thought that was the “tomahawk” process where a hatchet is used to beat the nuclears into fusion.
The outer shell of the target explodes outward (and inward) under the impact of the lasers. The inward compression wave increases the temperature and pressure to above the fusion threshold. Fusion happens, and the innards of the small pellet now explode outwards, yielding excess energy.
NOT a practical route to routine energy production.
As I suspected. I hope this approach makes progress faster than the snail pace of the Tokamak.
That would be Splitting atoms, like in fission................
Much more likely to happen than this gizmo to become a practical power plant. LENR reached (and passed) "breakeven" years ago.
This is all propaganda.
This was already achieved in 1972 but taken over by the US. Air Force Black Curtain Project for military purposes, using common single-beamed split laser targeted mineral-based pellets with +++ n-results,
tested in battle with aircraft-platform delivered n-bombs in Serbia during Bosnian War to knock out tanks, keeping tanks intact undamaged but killing the crews.
And orders have been taken and working units delivered..Yes, I’ve heard that too but somehow the who, how and where remains a secret. Right.
Hope is not a good strategy....even if it is spoken at budget time.
NOT a practical route to routine energy production.
Too bad. I’d hoped for better.
Keep in mind that, like fission, fusion isn’t something that produces electricity and you can stick an electrical plug into.
Fusion would be used to create the heat to boil the water that would be used to turn steam turbine/generator rigs used to produce electricity.
There wouldn’t be the radioactive byproducts created by fission, but it would require a lot of water snd there would be a heck of a lot of waste heat ejected into the atmosphere or into water (like the rivers/lakes/reservoirs the plants would gave to be located on)
THAT would form the basis for the enviros getting it banned.