Washington is comfortable that this technology provides no opportunities “for nuclear proliferation or advancement of other country’s weapons capability,” said Dunne. The development of commercial fusion, he says, has no defense applications.
Well, aside from the fact that I have very few readers and sit in the middle of nowhere USA – and the facts that a multitude of people world over are working on various things they want published and another multitude of companies along with individuals are working to get the world to recognize them and their work –
I’ve thought about it (as per my last post) –
And, my obscurity is rather assured.
Since that is no longer a consideration, and in honor of CNN’s nice little story about fusion linked above –
I might as well add my two cents worth.
Here is my two cents worth . . .
First, by way of my rights to know anything about it, I just want to say that I had nothing better to do and it was important to me.
Second, by way of knowing anything about it, I’ve been researching fusion energy concepts for awhile, like most of my life.
And, third – by way of accepting responsibility for what I am about to do – let me say, that the only thing in it for me is likely a trip to a mental hospital and some chemical lobotomy forced upon me, losing everything I own out into the street and more poverty *isn’t that a shame. However, that being what I expect and knowing that it in all likelihood will never yield anything else to me – I’ll tell you what I know. At least my children will know I was actually working on it.
So , that said –
Let me get my notes.
About nuclear fusion –
When electricity is “created” in a power system – there is no actual conversion of that power from nothing. It is literally a change from one source of power or energy into another. In hydro-electric systems, the power of the moving water is transformed into electricity. In nuclear power, the use of plutonium and uranium rods is for the heat generated to make steam, thereby turning the turbines for that conversion.
In nature, that conversion does not happen in those ways. In nature that conversion in energy is more direct and amplified. It is done in a number of different ways, and within a vast majority of natural systems those conversions have a greater stability and recurring cycle without the conversion losses our human made systems endure.
It is actually the conversion that we want; the transfer of one type of work energy into the form of electricity, heat, power, light, energy, locomotion, speed and velocity generally, along with control of it that our systems are designed to do. The idea that a system to be viable must produce more energy than is consumed is a misleading concept at best. There is no greater energy in a hydro-electric system coming out than going in. There is, in fact, less energy converted into electrical power than the consummate energy of the water’s motion would be calculated to produce directly. There is a loss by the conversion being used at every stage of the process.
These systems we have for producing electricity (and other forms of power, such as gasoline to power vehicles and machinery), are literally transferring one type of energy into another. That is true for every type of “energy source” we are currently using, (by utilizing them in the current manner we are doing it.)
With ITER and at Livermore, their energy conversions are requiring mega-power going in and after their “conceptual” processing, the amount of power coming out is about enough to light a few lightbulbs and run a few toasters, and does so at a cost of several hundred billion (with a “b”) dollars over the life of the experimental phases, the startup capital building requirements and through the life of the operating usefulness. It compares with the $10 billion dollar plus steam kettle systems that we’ve designed called “nuclear power” as well.
In nature, considering that we haven’t had to go to the sun and stir it even once to keep the fusion reactions occurring, at least not in any lifetimes found in science or mythical literature, there is something to be said for creating similar dynamic and robust systems which, in my opinion – are an asymmetrical equilibrium maintained which continuously feeds both the reactions and the physics-based attributes of the system making the reactions viable within the system. We don’t try to do that in our systems and process designs thus far.
As a result of our ways of approaching power “generation” which is simply to convert one potential or kinetic energy source into another (of electricity, for instance) with our fairly systemically symmetric, stable and forced system dynamics in a linear configuration, the power lost at each stage is tremendous. The actual system itself depletes some of those energy conversions rather than to help sustain the conversion by its basic design and concept.
(part one, introduction of ideas – cricketdiane, 06-27-11)
So, what if –
We design a dynamic fusion system based upon a mechanically asymmetric process.
That, the attempt is not made to convert through steam, fire, temperature changes or the kinetic energy of motion from water or air.
That, the conversion be made more directly – since, only the stripped electrons at the molecular and atomic level are actually desirable or needed from the system.
And, those harnessing mechanisms be controlled and safely contained with all their possible by-products from the reaction. It isn’t safe to have neutrinos running around loose. The by-products must be contained within the system and harnessed as a possibility for managing them safely while gaining what possible work can be derived from them.
(Note, the word “mechanically” is used in the sense of physics – not in the sense of physical mechanical substrates within the system.)
Known Quantities –
A.) The commercial realm, business arenas and government agency directives are targeted at the exact physical engineering applications of fusion intended for massive power generating stations on a commercial basis.
B.) Experimental, academic, research, quasi-commercial/governmental and international efforts have continued to be massively scaled and massively funded projects with 25 years from now expected returns of possible power generation on any scale.
C.) Wind, solar, nuclear, gas-fired, coal-fired, and hydro-powered plants are currently funded to take the lion’s share of projected funding and to provide both the current increasing requirements for, and the expected near future needs for electricity.
D.) A concurrent system to be placed alongside these systems in no way receives any adequate promise of funding. That is a fact.
However, there are a few other known facts to contribute to the above list including some of the drawbacks of each type of electricity / power generating scheme that is currently in use.
( as an aside, without proving that I’ve actually studied these drawbacks by listing them here – they can easily be found online in an infinite array of discussions, science, physics and engineering dialogues along with the studies to support them.)
And, before going any further –
Note – this is not a garage project to be done at home. It is not an appropriate hobby project in anything I might discuss here in this set of posts about fusion. What can be done, is to follow along with the links to references as I include them and start thinking about the theoretical implications of designing something useful that works (on paper.)
The list above, did not include geothermal power sources which are both actively engaged in generating power today and, it is safe to assume, will be used to generate electric power in the future. These sources are simply using a different initializing source for a temperature change to steam as a method of turning the turbines to generate electricity. In these systems, they are using the earth like a hot springs tap to engineer the steam desired. They are very effective, but not as well funded and pursued as other “energy sources.”
As I said, there are drawbacks to every one of the systems which is not included in this discussion. The idea that we need another option is fairly well grounded in reality and there are many good reasons for this.
When I first started looking at the options for fusion energy / electricity generation, I thought that the first line of options would include the radioactive decay from uranium and similar elements which, I discovered, had been tried with dismal results. There was no possible control mechanism that could be adequately safe for those decay particles to be harnessed to gain the electrical “work” available in them. They are dangerous, unstable, not user friendly to human beings and human life, along with being unpredictable inside a very slim margin of error. They were in use for some lighthouses and other similar direct energy products including some uses for satellites and space program interstellar research missions’ onboard power needs. These sources rely on a more direct approach to harnessing the energy from these sources but are so dangerous as to make them impractical on any massive scale. It has been tried.
Sodium reactors were a hoped for answer with its own inherent problems. Nuclear “catalytic bed” styled reactors are a new hoped for answer which promises more stability, but in each case – as with the sodium reactors and the traditional reactors like GE’s Fukushima, each one relies upon heating water, some other liquid or gas, to become high temperature, high pressure steam to turn turbines and generate electricity. The radioactive elements being used in them and their heat generating radioactive decay are simply being used to create that steam from a very expensive and consummately radioactive water bath.
Now, at Lawrence Livermore laboratory’s research facility, they intend to power up a multitude of lasers all targeted at a pea-sized encapsulated micron or smaller sample of an element which they believe will cause fusion to occur generating excess energy from the actual fusions of atoms in the material. Its well-funded, massive, an absolute energy hog and when it works, there will be a traditional targeted reaction occur within the confines of their facility’s well-built and well-controlled environment. They can measure it, study it and possibly even manipulate it when it does occur. The science is sound, the reasoning is optimal and the configurations for it have been all mapped based on known quantities and accepted theories. It could work eventually and it does still have some unknowns. My question of course, is that once the fusion of atoms starts, then what? Does it start and stop when the power to the lasers turns off? Are we within five years or twenty-five years of seeing some commercially viable electric generating station from this source of fusion?
And, then there are the other types of bombardment procedures for creating fusion which abound, including the ITER project. The atom smashers and colliders style research facilities which have yielded surprising and exceptional results in our understandings of the molecular interplay at the atomic level. These have given troves of information with some theoretical science proven while yielding some interesting surprises. They were exceptionally expensive to operate, and undeniably worth it, but did not yield the fusion dynamics that could actually work on an industrial scale.
(and to be honest, they probably weren’t even designed to do that either. But the information gleaned from those experiments and facilities could yet yield our next power “source”.)
Then, as the article suggests at the top of this post from CNN – there is the magnetic bombardment concept for generating fusion – and although it didn’t say it, there is a research study from India which indicates a fusion process for spent nuclear fuel rods to be robbed a little further of their radioactive heat and energy. All good projects and every one of them will work in some measure eventually. And, in the meantime, energy needs are being fulfilled by fairly traditional sources of steam or falling water turning turbines to make electricity, or coal-fired and petroleum fired power plants doing it nearly the same way with nothing more than a different starting point fuel making fire to make steam to turn the turbines – and nuclear rods in nuclear power plants doing basically the same thing.
Meanwhile, our sun keeps on making fusion reactions a multitude of times per second across its entire surface and dimensionally through its gaseous structure, maybe to several earth’s deep or more without one bit of help from us. When a lightning bolt strips through the air on our planet, it is neither in a high-pressure confined and contained environment nor in a high temperature and high pressure environment. Its entire system neither requires extreme conditions of pressure such as those used in our labs nor relies upon an intense high temperature environment to occur. Admittedly, lightning is a direct current system, however, it is fusing, altering, fissioning, and changing atoms as it goes along its path as well as impacting the surrounding air molecules in chain reactions as a result.
– ** –
So, on a scale of 1 to 10 – with 10 being the most efficient of the lot –
10 would have to go to the sun and other naturally occurring fusion and energy conversion systems.
and 1 or 2 would have to encompass where our designed systems are operating.
From the CNN article -(by Thom Patterson)
“Whatever the case, China and India’s huge populations will need more and more energy each year and climatologists fear the worst from continued reliance on fossil fuels.”
And, my note – that whatever the case, there are huge populations around the world in every country, including this one – which will be needing ever increasing amounts of electricity and fuels for greater numbers of cities, commercial centers, businesses, industries, homes and communities over each year progressively from this day forward. And, that is good. It is a good thing to include more of the world in prosperity and opportunity but with that comes an even greater need for energy resources to be available and massively generating power.
Therefore, we are all agreed that new ways of developing and harnessing energy resources are desirable and much needed. The idea that the concept of fusion promises viable solutions to these energy needs has been around for a long, long time. The first such candidate for inclusion in this article is Sergei –
I did a google search right quick rather than trying to find anything in my documents which takes forever –
using the search terms –
sergei 1827 engineering fusion
Very interesting results – but especially this one –
That is the google translation page to see it in English – it is a 2005 paper.
And this one – also from those search results –
A quote from the text linked above –
By early August Kapitza, at Rutherford’s suggestion, was studying how the energy of the alpha particle falls off at the end of its range. This project was brought to a successful conclusion with amazing rapidity. (etc.)
And this one –
He had to convince the authorities that his work lay primarily in pure rather than applied physics and that he could do nothing useful unless he had equipment and other facilities comparable with those he had enjoyed in Cambridge. Negotiations were begun to bring him what he required.
So Kapitza settled down to research again and within a year made his greatest discovery, the superﬂuidity of liquid helium. However, he lacked the freedom he had enjoyed in Cambridge. From the mid 1930s Soviet scientists found themselves increasingly cut off from their colleagues in other countries.
( . . . )
Although he was no longer head of the Institute of Physical Problems, Kapitza retained his position and salary as a full academician and went to live at his country house at Nikolina Gora, where he managed to carry on scientific work while virtually under house arrest. Most of his effort went into building up a laboratory in various outhouses where, aided by his sons, particularly Sergei, he could continue experimental work, albeit only on relatively unexciting projects. While atomic physics elsewhere was moving rapidly ahead using particle accelerators and other new equipment, he was unable to contribute to this. Even after he had been reinstated in 1954 and could return to Moscow,he was still without the facilities he needed for the kind of experimental work at which he excelled. Nevertheless, he began to think about the possibility of developing a defence against atomic bombs using extremely powerful microwave emissions. Later he transferred his attention to the problem of generating energy through nuclear fusion.
Also – this note from the article above – (about who Sergei is – one of two children born to Piotr and his wife, Anna) –
Two children were born in their Cambridge period: in 1928 Sergei, who became a distinguished physicist and successful popularizer of science for Soviet television, and three years later Andrei, who became a well-known Antarctic explorer and geographer.
From the other linked document –
(for which there is a google translated document link above the article about Piotr Kapitza,)
page 22 – along with some of the non-linear dynamic system materials
High Energy Plasma Physics
教授 伊藤 早苗，助教授 矢木 雅敏
Professor Sanae-I. Itoh, Associate Professor Masatoshi Yagi
Zonal flows in plasma –a review,
Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion Vol.47, No.5 (2005), R35-R161,
P. H. Diamond, S.-I. Itoh, K. Itoh and T. S. Hahm
Two decades of plasma physics – Turbulence and structure formation – (in
Parity Vol.20, No.11 (2005) 36-38
K. Itoh and S.-I. Itoh
Progress of the theory of zonal flow (in Japanese)
J. Plasma and Fusion Research Vol.81 No.12 (2005) 972-977
K. Itoh and S.-I. Itoh
And this –
(from the CERN materials found on this page link below it)
HEAVY ION PROGRAM AT BNL: AGS, RHIC*
AGS Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Associated Universities, Inc.
Upton, New York 11973
(from the CERN materials found on this page – despite it being an early document among them)
Which States – (interestingly enough)
Low Mass Heavy Ion Acceleration
The acceleration of oxygen ions in the AGS in
Oct. 1986 initiated the program of relativistic heavy
ion physics at BNL. This project encompassed the
installation of pulsed negative ion sources at the
two BNL Tandem machines, ( . . . )
(etc. – will come back to that part – )
And from this page -pg 25 of the document
Extreme-Circumstances StructuraI Materials
教授 吉田 直亮，助教授 渡邉 英雄，助手 岩切 宏友
Professor Naoaki Yoshida, Associate Professor Hideo Watanabe,
Research Associate Hirotomo lwakiri
Xu, Qiu, N. Yoshida, T. Yoshiie : Dynamic Simulation of Multiplier Effects of
Helium Plasma and Neutron Irradiation on Microstructural Evolution in
Tungsten, Materials Transactions, Vol. 46, No. 6, pp.1255-1260, 2005.
Nishijima, D., H. Iwakiri, K. Amano, M.Y. Ye, N. Ohno, K. Tokunaga, N. Yoshida,
S. Takamura : Suppression of blister formation and deuterium retention on
tungsten surface due to mechanical polishing and helium pre-exposure, Nuclear
Fusion 45, pp. 669-674, 2005.
To describe the contributions made by Piotr Kapitza in physics as it pertains to this discussion of fusion –
(from a biographical sketch about him online)
In 1934 he returned to Moscow where he organized the Institute for Physical Problems at which he continued his research on strong magnetic fields, low temperature physics and cryogenics.
In 1939 he developed a new method for liquefaction of air with a lowpressure cycle using a special high-efficiency expansion turbine. In low temperature physics, Kapitsa began a series of experiments to study the properties of liquid helium that led to discovery of the superfluidity of helium in 1937 and in a series of papers investigated this new state of matter.
During the World War II Kapitsa was engaged in applied research on the production and use of oxygen that was produced using his low pressure expansion turbines, and organized and headed the Department of Oxygen Industry attached to the USSR Council of Ministers. Late in the 1940’s Kapitsa turned his attention to a totally new range of physical problems.
He invented high power microwave generators – planotron and nigotron (1950- 1955) and discovered a new kind of continuous high pressure plasma discharge with electron temperatures over a million K. Kapitsa is director of the Institute for Physical Problems.
Since 1957 he is a member of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was one of the founders of the Moscow Physico-Technical Institute (MFTI), and is now head of the department of low temperature physics and cryogenics of MFTI and chairman of the Coordination Council of this teaching Institute. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics and member of the Soviet National Committee of the Pugwash movement of scientists for peace and disarmament.
And this discussion has some interesting information pertinent to this particular discussion about fusion –
And, I’ll add this one thing before heading off to try and get some sleep for an appointment that I have to keep tomorrow somehow –
page 4 has a very nice picture worth studying – and this note from the text –
In the second phase of the program, the AGS
booster  will accelerate partially stripped ions
to energies at which they can be fully stripped for
injection to the AGS. This will extend the accessible
physics to that of ions from the full periodic
table, with a top energy of about 11 GeV/nucleon
for gold. Collisions at this energy on fixed targets
are expected to produce rather low nuclear temperatures,
but baryon densities of approximately 5 to 10
times nuclear density. The dashed trajectory labeled
“Nuclear Fragmentation” in Fig. 1 illustrates a
possible probe of the quark-gluon plasma at high
baryon density in such collisions. These conditions
may be similar to those found in neutron stars.
And this part –
Stripping in a thin foil at the terminal produces
several positive charge states, of which the
0(7+) state is selected in the first stage of the
beam line to the AGS, whereupon it is stripped of its
I’m just saying – there are direct routes for stripping electrons from existing quantities of materials and gases using known physics applications and harnessing them. This includes plasma arc welding which contains in a small controlled space, the same temperatures as the surface of the sun. There have already been studies made including the theoretical work on them such as, the Confinement of a Hot Plasma in a Solid Dielectric Container – and containment has been managed within certain RF frequency fields, magnetic fields, electromagentic fields, neutron colliders, and on and on and on – at what point do we use this information and create something ingenious with it to produce electricity on the scale and with the level of control that we need it?
Also – there is obviously more, but I’m stopping for now to maybe sleep in preparation for tomorrow. I’ll add some more later, maybe even get out some of my documents to include references from them for this article.
(To be continued . . . )
Oh yes, and do be sure and read this –
which explains a lot of it – in about the most current understanding of it with very clear explanations that are easy to follow –
Later . . .