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 18, 1:26 am
Poster: Ivan Vuletich

On Oct 18, 1:26 am, Ivan Vuletich 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.
You are right, the power end of the system is not relavent at this time. But I think the management experience in getting an experimental power generator actually up and running is.

Perhaps I can explain myself better.

*IF* we decide that these Big Fusion projects are required, then the Manhattan bomb project is an example of the sort of people I had in mind.

The guy the U.S army put in charge of the project (can't remeber his name at the moment) was not a physicist, he was an Army Engineer. He had a clear idea of what the end result should be, enough technical background to be able to follow what was going on and the experience in running a big project with lots of people, and keeping them focussed and on track. He probably would have made a good cat herder as well :-).

The project not only succeeded, it also came up with a couple of alternative working models.

At this stage we are roughly at the same qualatative level of understanding of fusion, as they were about a working A-bomb before the war. They understood the theory, had the practical experimental experience to back it up, and a rough idea of how the system should work.

If the projects stated aim is to produce power, as ITERs is, and not just to research the fusion process, then people with technical management experience in the development end of the power industry are relavent to the project.

Perhaps one of this guys first decisions would be to can the big reactor and break up the project into a number of focussed mini-projects along the line of the experimental reactors you have mentioned.

My 0.5c worth (inflation & the exchange rate!)