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Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts


knocker

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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according to new research.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151002103306.htm

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

Hasn't it always been a "few decades" away?

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

Hasn't it always been a "few decades" away?

Yes it has. I read a Scientific American article, way back in 1983, that said the same thing. There are enough sources of renewable energy to supply all our needs, so why do we need nuclear fusion?  :cc_confused:

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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

Hasn't it always been a "few decades" away?

 

JET (here in the UK) actually produced fusion. ITER (being built in France) plans to produce fusion power for 5 years (other projects in Canada and South Korea).

 

We are definitely getting closer albeit even if ITER works perfectly the commercial versions won't be working until at least the 2040's.

 

At any rate, Germany is making great strides in being a renewable country. Once they get past a 75% annual production threshold, i'd suggest that the UK will follow.

Edited by summer blizzard
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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

JET (here in the UK) actually produced fusion. ITER (being built in France) plans to produce fusion power for 5 years (other projects in Canada and South Korea).

 

We are definitely getting closer albeit even if ITER works perfectly the commercial versions won't be working until at least the 2040's.

 

At any rate, Germany is making great strides in being a renewable country. Once they get past a 75% annual production threshold, i'd suggest that the UK will follow.

SB, they've promising all that, for as long as I can remember. But, what can fusion provide, that waves, wind and solar cannot - nothing? :)

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Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl

SB, they've promising all that, for as long as I can remember. But, what can fusion provide, that waves, wind and solar cannot - nothing? :)

 

Electricity -  when very cold anticyclonic conditions occur with fog during the day....

We would be stuffed.

MIA

:nonono::sorry::cc_confused::wallbash:

 

Oh sorry I forgot that cannot  happen ever again!

Edited by Midlands Ice Age
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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

Electricity -  when very cold anticyclonic conditions occur with fog during the day....

We would be stuffed.

MIA

:nonono::sorry::cc_confused::wallbash:

 

Oh sorry I forgot that cannot  happen ever again!

You almost got me, there, MIA: why not use sunlight, waves and wind (when they're there?) to pump water uphill? You can then use the potential gravitational energy to power turbines? It's called 'saving for a rainy day'? ;)  ;)  :D

potential star ship propulsion ??

Now, that's something-else. We can hardly use solar power for that?

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Sunny and blisteringly hot
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL

JET (here in the UK) actually produced fusion. ITER (being built in France) plans to produce fusion power for 5 years (other projects in Canada and South Korea).

 

We are definitely getting closer albeit even if ITER works perfectly the commercial versions won't be working until at least the 2040's.

 

At any rate, Germany is making great strides in being a renewable country. Once they get past a 75% annual production threshold, i'd suggest that the UK will follow.

I was given the whole glossy press pack in the early '80s which included a big sectional view (like those we saw in the Eagle comic) of the JET tokamak.  I'll see if I can find it.

 

The energy needed to "fire" the fusion reaction is greater than the total power on the Grid, so massive flywheel generators were "spun up" from the Grid and the energy stored after several hour's acceleration is discharged into the plasma in a fraction of a second.  I worked on power electronics but unfortunately nothing as hefty as that.

 

There is a Supergrid link to the Cullingham JET site straight from the banking yard of Didcot power station.

Edited by Wildswimmer Pete
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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

Eschersr's waterfall ??attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

There's a perpetual motion machine in there somewhere, Moki...a bit like re-usable vestas!

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Sunny and blisteringly hot
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL

SB, they've promising all that, for as long as I can remember. But, what can fusion provide, that waves, wind and solar cannot - nothing? :)

You still need baseload currently supplied by coal and nuclear.  The spinning reserve of turbo-alternator sets spun up to speed and synchronised to the Grid, which can respond to any rapidly fluctuating load ie all those kettles switched on during the advertising slots of major soaps.  I understand that back in the Sixties (ie the days of the CEGB) a generating set was connected to the Grid a just couple of degrees out of phase and the entire set promptly exited though the roof of the power station.  It takes several hours to spin up and synchronise a big turbo-alternator set.

 

Gas-fired stations can be spun up to speed and synchronised in less than an hour - combined-cycle sets are spun-up by the gas turbine alone before the hot turbine exhaust is available to raise steam for the associated steam turbine.

Edited by Wildswimmer Pete
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Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl

You almost got me, there, MIA: why not use sunlight, waves and wind (when they're there?) to pump water uphill? You can then use the potential gravitational energy to power turbines? It's called 'saving for a rainy day'? ;)  ;)  :D

Now, that's something-else. We can hardly use solar power for that?

 

Ah, I get it now....   But most of the ideal storage sites in England have already been used.  Scotland, Norway, etc wont help someone outside of the EEC. :nonono: :nonono: :nonono:

 

Seriously though have you any idea what the excess ongoing power would be needed to generate such an emergency pool. I suspect we would need tens  of mlllions of  windmills to achieve that sort of power coverage. Or have you invented a method by which we get a  gain in energy by dropping it after lifting it into the air in the first place. I think you might find its only about 20% efficient.

 

Why are you so against fusion? What is wrong with it?   Its looks to me to be sort the sort of thing we should be spending money on during a research and development stage.

 

By way of interest - what do you think Corbyn's position would be?. There is no currently forseen easy way it could be used for military use.

Or is he (and you?)  just anti-nuclear, in true greenist tradition.

 

MIA

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

You still need baseload currently supplied by coal and nuclear.  The spinning reserve of turbo-alternator sets spun up to speed and synchronised to the Grid, which can respond to any rapidly fluctuating load ie all those kettles switched on during the advertising slots of major soaps.  I understand that back in the Sixties (ie the days of the CEGB) a generating set was connected to the Grid a just couple of degrees out of phase and the entire set promptly exited though the roof of the power station.  It takes several hours to spin up and synchronise a big turbo-alternator set.

 

Gas-fired stations can be spun up to speed and synchronised in less than an hour - combined-cycle sets are spun-up by the gas turbine alone before the hot turbine exhaust is available to raise steam for the associated steam turbine.

Good points, Pete; but, couldn't tidal power (it's perpetual after all?) provide the baseload? I'm sure that I wouldn't die, if I had to rely on rooftop solar panels, wind-power and a battery?

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

Ah, I get it now....   But most of the ideal storage sites in England have already been used.  Scotland, Norway, etc wont help someone outside of the EEC. :nonono: :nonono: :nonono:

 

Seriously though have you any idea what the excess ongoing power would be needed to generate such an emergency pool. I suspect we would need tens  of mlllions of  windmills to achieve that sort of power coverage. Or have you invented a method by which we get a  gain in energy by dropping it after lifting it into the air in the first place. I think you might find its only about 20% efficient.

 

Why are you so against fusion? What is wrong with it?   Its looks to me to be sort the sort of thing we should be spending money on during a research and development stage.

 

By way of interest - what do you think Corbyn's position would be?. There is no currently forseen easy way it could be used for military use.

Or is he (and you?)  just anti-nuclear, in true greenist tradition.

 

MIA

Well, once fossil-fuels have run out (or are not sufficiently profitable to extract), what are we left with, alchemy? :D

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Sunny and blisteringly hot
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL

Good points, Pete; but, couldn't tidal power (it's perpetual after all?) provide the baseload? I'm sure that I wouldn't die, if I had to rely on rooftop solar panels, wind-power and a battery?

We already have hydro for baseload, but think of all the Nimbys kicking off should anyone attempt a new hydroelectric project.  The same would happen should someone propose tidal barrages.  It's already happened here over the proposed Mersey barrage.

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Sunny and blisteringly hot
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL

"I suspect we would need tens  of mlllions of  windmills to achieve that sort of power coverage - Midlands Ice Age"*

 

The typical output of a wind turbine is around 10MVA.  A typical coal/nuclear power station uses turbo-alternator sets rated at around 600MVA.  In my day typical CEGB stations had four such sets giving a capacity of around 2,400MVA - equivalent to 240 wind turbines.

 

Hardly millions.

 

*bloody duff javascript

Edited by Wildswimmer Pete
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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

Electricity -  when very cold anticyclonic conditions occur with fog during the day....

We would be stuffed.

MIA

:nonono::sorry::cc_confused::wallbash:

 

Oh sorry I forgot that cannot  happen ever again!

 

 

You still need baseload currently supplied by coal and nuclear.  The spinning reserve of turbo-alternator sets spun up to speed and synchronised to the Grid, which can respond to any rapidly fluctuating load ie all those kettles switched on during the advertising slots of major soaps.  I understand that back in the Sixties (ie the days of the CEGB) a generating set was connected to the Grid a just couple of degrees out of phase and the entire set promptly exited though the roof of the power station.  It takes several hours to spin up and synchronise a big turbo-alternator set.

 

Gas-fired stations can be spun up to speed and synchronised in less than an hour - combined-cycle sets are spun-up by the gas turbine alone before the hot turbine exhaust is available to raise steam for the associated steam turbine.

 

You both raised a good point however i think (if we're not already) the plan is to be part of a European energy grid. Assuming we get round to that in the next 20 years then we should have a range of sources flowing to and from when needed.

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

Isn't that the problem with nimbys, Pete - they stand in the way of everything?

 

When I first arrived in the Scottish Highlands, HE was cheaper than other source of power; until Tony Bleurgh made it more expensive. Why was that? I wonder. Nimbyism by the backdoor?

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Sunny and blisteringly hot
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL

You both raised a good point however i think (if we're not already) the plan is to be part of a European energy grid. Assuming we get round to that in the next 20 years then we should have a range of sources flowing to and from when needed.

We've already got it - the cross-Channel DC Interconnector?

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Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl

We've already got it - the cross-Channel DC Interconnector?

 

but surely guys...

 

If its cold in the UK. Its more than likely that it will be exremely cold in Europe. Still we all know the French will send us their energy. :friends::oops: 

 

MIA

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Sunny and blisteringly hot
  • Location: Runcorn New Town 60m ASL

but surely guys...

 

If its cold in the UK. Its more than likely that it will be exremely cold in Europe. Still we all know the French will send us their energy. :friends::oops:

 

MIA

Check out France's nuclear capacity - plenty of it and it's cheap.

 

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

but surely guys...

 

If its cold in the UK. Its more than likely that it will be exremely cold in Europe. Still we all know the French will send us their energy. :friends::oops:

 

MIA

But cold doesn't mean cloudy and windless?

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