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: Crunch time for Big Fusion?
Date: Oct 15, 11:03 pm
Poster: Ivan Vuletich

On Oct 15, 11:03 pm, Ivan Vuletich wrote:

Hi Folks,

The link below


is an interesting article about the proposed ITER tokamak. Apparently they want 2.2 billion euros (down from 7 billion) to construct this reactor, and are predicting a dismal future for practical fusion research if they don't get it.

A quote from the article -

"Umberto Finzi, the European Commission's coordinator for energy and the environment, warns that if governments fail to back the new design, practical fusion energy research will fade away."

Its nice to think about what could be done in "practical fusion research" on 0.01% of their budget!!.

A couple of questions occured to me after reading this article.

1. Is part of the part of the problem with Big Fusion projects that they seem to be run by people from a physics rather than enginering (preferably power generation) background?.

After all their stated aim is to produce power, not to study the nuclear fusion process per se. I remember reading articles 15 years ago that said that tokomaks weren't particularly well suited to producing base load electrical power.

2. If projects like this we shot dead, and their researchers "cast into the wilderness", would innovative directions in fusion come forth, or would main stream fusion research use the lack of funding as an excuse for failure?.