Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Tritium production and measurement
Date: Jul 20, 12:14 pm
Poster: Jim Lux

On Jul 20, 12:14 pm, Jim Lux wrote:

>As a final note to a message that is already too long, it seems to me that a commercial reactor would be ignited with D-D, then brought to a 50-50 mix and bleed in D-D as the chamber converts to T and He. I think this simply because Deuterium is cheap, and Tritium is not.

While T is expensive compared to some things in an amateur reactor, I think that the cost of the T in a running power production reactor would be quite low compared to other costs (rad waste disposal, staff salaries, debt retirement, Lithium for first wall, Vanadium to build the thing with, etc.). After all, you don't actually USE much T (most is unreacted and comes out in the tail products that you have to purify and process anyway).

I don't have it in front of me, but several curies of T is less than $100. T is about 9600 Curies/g, so figure something like $100,000/g.

Doing a quick calculation on the economics of fusion power is instructive... 1000 MWh is 2.25E31 eV, dividing by 14 MeV/T, you'll need about 2.65mol, or 8 grams, probably a cool half million in that quantity. 1000 MWh of electricity sells for around $100,000....(at $0.10/kWh)... Hmmmmmm doesn't look too profitable, does it..