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: Crunch time for Big Fusion?
Date: Oct 17, 9:54 am
Poster: Richard Hull

On Oct 17, 9:54 am, Richard Hull wrote:

>I must admit to airing my predjudices here, I'm from an engineering background.
>The type people I had in mind would be engineering managers with real power station station experience. In my view the ideal person would be someone with experience in the design, construction & comissioning of an experimental or pilot power station (might be a bit hard to find tho). One of this persons jobs would be specifically, to kill off the bloat.


I am a working Electronics engineer myself and work every day with practical working systems and their design and problems, so I am painfully aware of the engineering needs. However engineers are not physicists. Until the physicists get a COP of 1.10 or better, hardnosed engineers with experience in practical power delivery systems are just not relevant! The secret is in the physical process of obtaining viable fusion of a magnitude that is presentable, replicable and stable over thousands of hours!!! Not thousands of microseconds.

COP mesaurements have never been announced by any fusion laboratory that has claimed breakeven for even the millisecond time frame. If it was figured honestly, (it never is), they would not be at breakeven! They normally figure only the input energy to the plasma alone compared to the thermalized and normalized output. There is much more energy required for their process than plasma run energy. Needless to say, such pronouncements are to bolster the faithful and give the appearance of putting "teeth" in the age old Mantra "real soon now".

However, for the most part, the fusion elite now long chant this mantra, and now turn to the reduced and limited funding as the sole reason for reduced performance and are even pushing the REAL FUSION date ever farther into the future with each funding reduction. RH


>>Bob Hirsch noted to me that if net power producing fusion can be done by man at all, and if it is comeercially feasible, it can be done on a desktop with smaller and reduced infrastructure methods and materials. This is well spoken and thought out.


Hirsch had performance goals (milestones) set for the first time in Fusion history for all labs and programs in the early seventies. Most labs fell behind. He closed two major labs fusion programs down forever!! Others woke up, smelled the coffee and set reduced goals which could often be met by creative data manipulation coupled with minor positive results. They survive to this day. RH

>>A 2 megawatt fission reactor minus shielding and power takeoff assemblies can be made the size of a large desk. Fusion systems should follow this model.
>I like it!. What do you think would be the minimum size (in terms of power out) of this type of system?.

As I have no insight into the winning fusion system design or process, it would be silly as an engineer to predict the ultimate power out of a system that size once perfected.

I would imagine the first winner systems of that size will not produce more than a COP of 1.1 (worthless as power machines), but with a maturing technology around those first prototypes, a par with fission might be expected. If not then we need to go to fission reactors right now and big time, too!!!!

We don't have the time to fart around with fusion while Rome is set to burn.

I have said it before on this list.... We don't need to build 1000 fission plants in 2025 in haste by new engineers with no fission plant "CONSTRUCTION" experience to relieve a global power outage. We need to do this now in a slow and methodical manner with good old engineers training new ones in the mature fission technology. We can always decommision them if the fusion nirvanna comes to fruition. Otherwise we will make a bad situation worse when the lights start going out all over the world.

Richard Hull