Fine progress for ITER.

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
Hector
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Hector » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:58 pm

Like I said Carl time will tell which one of us is correct.

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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Hector » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:23 pm

A couple of problems with doing breakthrough work inside government funded circles is that for example, DoE alternative fusion research is strictly Academic, that's their mandate by Congress. Nothing in the DoE research budget for fusion involves any attempt at achieving a power producing machine.

If that were to happen it would be by accident not a goal. All alternative fusion project funding from the DoE is strictly for accepted magnetic confinement concepts and some very minor funding for some other non-magnetic concepts, that's a fact. Call the director of the program at the DoE and ask him yourself like I did.

Power production is not the goal of any DoE funded fusion effort. It's simply curiosity that might bare some fruit towards achieving a power generating device.

If a breakthrough comes it will have to come from a non government funded source.

Someone is going to have to do the initial funding out of their pockets and ignore all the doomsayers and critics. It's that simple.

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Carl Willis
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:40 pm

You mean time will tell if YOUR prognostications are correct. I haven't made any.

You're obviously adamant about your views, but consider this: If and when the fusion energy nut is cracked, do you think anyone is going to look back on your pronouncements here--right or wrong--with a moment's interest? I know I won't. There's nothing to distinguish your opinion on the fusion future from a spring tide of similarly-unsupported editorial flotsam on the Intertubes.

You said you're working on a new IEC direction. Why don't you do something useful for a change and go open a thread to explain that?

-Carl
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Hector » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:40 pm

Sorry Carl I have no need for your kind of input on my concept.

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Carl Willis
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:50 pm

I only asked because you brought it up in your earlier reply to me. I take it you want to un-bring it up now?
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Hector
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Hector » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:05 pm

No just don't have a need to get your input at this moment.

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Carl Willis
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:20 pm

OK, I understand. You can certainly become a contributor whenever you feel like it, but don't be surprised if, every time we get mired down in a throwaway discourse like this one, I keep pestering you with little tiny requests for the juicy details of the project you mentioned. I think that kind of discussion would garner a lot more respect than a rough-shod slurfest against scientists, academics, and ITER. Onward and upward!

-Carl
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Hector » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:50 pm

Carl I can respect that. My work is still in the preliminary stage so there is no working prototype, however the fundamental concept behind it is sound according to the people that I consulted with at UI, Purdue and at the University of Wisconsin.

I will talk about it in detail one of these days, but right now my research is in an area outside of fusion and is eating up all my spare time and resources. I can tell you that for aerospace applications Tokamaks are simply impractical and since the focus of my work is in the vehicular application field devices like an IEC or Polywell are about the only hope for a long term solution.

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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by David Geer » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:43 am

That sadly points out how badly corrupted the government and it's projects are these days. The funding should be for viable equipment and not simply academic experiments. If they were to work towards the goal and create a solution, then the funding for academics would be unlimited. But again, too many doomsayers and average minded folks are in charge of too much of this stuff for any real good to come of it all.

A few of the Veteran amateurs from here leading a team like ITER would more than likely produce a working net gain machine and more than likely, in a couple variations.

-David
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Chris Bradley
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Re: Fine progress for ITER.

Post by Chris Bradley » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:51 am

David Geer wrote:
> A few of the Veteran amateurs from here leading a team like ITER would more than likely produce a working net gain machine and more than likely, in a couple variations.


I wholeheartedly doubt that.

However, what I think an amateur could do [and I can't help that this will sound pejorative] is 'play the Court jester'!

This was not just the role of a comic, but one who would jest with the 'elephant in the room'.

ITER is a victim of its own nature - it is on too long a time scale, too great a political mission with too many administrations all feeding into it. But it is unlikely that it could be any other way. Both Russia and US have run down this route and it was too big a hurdle for them alone. A big multi-national project will never run smooth.

But in turn this gives such missions ambiguous aims and objectives. Attempting to observe this 'independently', I'd observe it seems impossible for groups of humans, exceeding certain size criteria, to fix and pursue clear objectives when they all have other and their own motivations and ideas on how to do it.

Back to the Court jester - this is a role which might, at the right moment, make just the right comment to get people to stop and question themselves over the objectivity of their own actions. A simplistic approach to a big project, posing questions for some of the project-wide matters without getting caught in the detail, is useful because very often it is hopeless trying to talk to individuals who have already chiseled out their own niche activity within the whole and have picked up so much 'momentum' that they are no longer capable of objectively taking stock of the project.

Many jesters were executed for raising matters too close to the truth!

I'd like to clarify that in my first post I did not at all seek to sleight or bemoan ITER. I support ITER as an engineering build, though I find it difficult to support its mission because that looks confused to me. I do so because even if a new invention enters public awareness that actually does fusion, it doesn't mean researching other ways of doing fusion should stop. Fusion has a very low specific power, so if you make a device small you make a device with low power. You'd have to parallel up lots of small devices to get useful power, so you should also want to investigate bigger ones, even if someone beats ITER to Q>10.

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