What is Fusion?
Fusion is the process that works within the sun to turn matter into energy. It is a different kind of fire that takes a little bit of fuel and turns it into a huge amount of energy. This is why the sun doesn’t just burn out after a few years. Fusion is unlimited energy for us all.
Will Fusion Bring Paradise To Earth?
No, fusion alone will not bring paradise to Earth, but of all of the technologies that are within our reach, fusion is the only one with the promise to take us a long way toward this goal. Are these the thoughts of some ranting lunatics? Not in the slightest; these are the considered thoughts of some of the brightest physicists of our time.
Let’s Work Together To Make A Fusion-Powered World A Reality
Only with the combined efforts of everyone who cares will we see the immense benefits of fusion power come to our world. See the web site and the business opportunity sections under USCL and “About” and consider this exciting project. Contact us if you have any ideas of your own for taking our planet to the next level with fusion. Thanks for your continued support.
Fusion is the only realistic solution
In 2013 the United States consumed 97.4 Quads of raw energy to produce 38.4 Quads of energy used by consumers and industry. The remaining 60% was lost as heat or thermal rejected energy. That is 1.028 X 1020 Joules or 9.74 X 1017 BTU of expended raw energy. To put that in perspective this equates to the amount of energy produced by 16.793 billion barrels of crude oil burned in one year. Today most of this energy consumed in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels. Read more…
Anne White accepts the fusion challenge
MIT News Peter Dunn | Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering | March 23, 2015
Photo: Susan Young
Engineering professor undertakes innovative research in reactor design while working toward the realization of nuclear fusion.
Anne White has always relished challenges. As an undergraduate, she was fascinated by fluid dynamics, and the prospect of nuclear fusion as a game-changing energy source. She followed those passions to her current position as the Cecil and Ida Green Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, where she spends much of her time studying plasma turbulence — which is a challenge unto itself.
“I like it because it’s really difficult,” she says. “You take fluid turbulence and add electrical and magnetic fields, which make it even harder to understand. Then you heat it to 100 million degrees and have to figure out ways to measure it and see what it’s doing. That’s why I’m at home here at MIT — everyone’s really excited about tough things.”
But plasma turbulence isn’t just an intellectual exercise for MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. It’s also a key obstacle in the worldwide effort to realize fusion’s potential as a clean, economical source of electricity, fueled by safe and readily available materials.
Achieving that potential requires the reliable creation and harnessing of “burning plasmas” — ongoing reactions in a charged, superheated gas that create more energy than they consume, the same process that powers stars.
Anne White is the Cecil and Ida Green Associate Professor in Nuclear Engineering at MIT.
“We’ve been able to achieve the plasma densities and temperatures we need, but haven’t been able to keep the plasma dense enough and hot enough for a long enough time to achieve a burning state,” notes White. The problem is turbulence, which saps heat from the plasma and stops the fusion of atomic nuclei.
White’s team, working at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) and in intensive collaboration with other groups worldwide, is an international leader in assessing and refining the mathematical models used in fusion reactor design. “We compare turbulence transport models with experimental data, validating them so there can be confidence in their predictive ability,” she says.
This work has led to a new perspective on the nature of plasma turbulence, a discovery that has changed the standard model used to understand conditions inside fusion reactors.
“We’ve always known that there’s big turbulence, on scale of an ion Larmor radius [the radius of the helical path of a charged particle in a magnetic field], and much smaller turbulence, on the scale of an electron Larmor radius, and that each can be dominant at different times,” explains White. “You’d expect electron turbulence to be dominant in more extreme plasma conditions. But all indications are that it’s dominant even in simple vanilla plasma processes, which was unexpected.”
That discovery (which involved doctoral student Choongki Sung, undergraduate Curran Oi, and collaborating scientists from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the University of California at San Diego, and General Atomics) is now backed up by new cutting-edge simulation results. The project is informing research across the fusion community, and represents the type of collaborative development that will be a model for the PSFC going forward.
Much international attention is currently focused on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), currently being built in France. The facility, one of the biggest scientific projects in history, will be a milestone, but White says subsequent generations of reactors must quicken the pace.
“There’s great confidence that when ITER is built, it will [achieve burning plasma], we know the development path,” says White. “The trouble is that the existing path is so big and expensive, and the time step between iterative experiments is so long, that advancement gets stifled.”
One promising avenue is smaller, more nimble projects, like MIT’s proposed Affordable, Robust, Compact reactor design, which is being explored at PSFC under newly appointed director Dennis Whyte. “This type of smaller, more modular reactor is a way of leaping ahead and evaluating advances in materials science, magnet technology, and other fields,” says White, who notes that the trend will make reliable plasma transport models even more important.
White, who recently received the School of Engineering’s Junior Bose Award for teaching as well as several national honors for her research, maintains an active class schedule — graduate plasma physics, an undergraduate electronics class and the popular 22.012 (Seminar in Fusion and Plasma Physics), which attracts undergrads from across the Institute and other local universities. “They’re really excited about fusion and energy,” says White, who hopes to bring more students (including undergraduates) into her group’s efforts.
While acknowledging that the path to practical fusion will be long and expensive, White takes heart from the fact that with ITER, “countries representing more than half the world’s population are working on a $20 billion science project. On balance, isn’t it amazing that all these countries are teaming up to do something for the good of the world? The science will be awesome, but science for peace is a really strong thing.”
SAN DIEGO, March 15 (UPI) — Scientists from General Atomics and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have made a breakthrough in understanding nuclear fusion.
They were attempting to figure out how to control potentially damaging heat bursts (ELMs) that regularly occur in a reactor. Researchers were able to use tiny magnetic fields to control the bursts and maintain a safe reaction. Using these magnetic fields, researchers were able to harness heat from the reactor in a controlled manner, rather than through dangerous bursts.
“The configuration changes suddenly when the plasma is tapped in a certain way,” PPPL scientist Raffi Nazikian said, “and it is this response that suppresses the ELMs.”
The results of the research will be published in two studies in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Introduction and update on ITER
The world’s most powerful countries are collaborating on the ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in France. The $20 billion facility will heat gas to 150 million degrees in an attempt to create a nuclear fusion reaction when it becomes fully operational in 2027.
Watch the lecture given by David Campbell, Director of Plasma Operations (ITER), for the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK on Jan. 22, 2015
Estimated to cost about £13 billion, this is a research and development project unlike any other.
It will take 10 years to construct the 39 scientific buildings, two of which measure 60m in height and house the 800m3 ITER Tokamak. It will combine the efforts of 7 nations (Europe being just 1 of them).
The studies will take a further 20 years to complete prior to decommissioning.
David took up the leadership of the Plasma Operation Directorate in 2011, which is responsible for managing the project’s physics research, the preparations for ITER plasma operation and for the overall management of the tritium breeding module programme. He explains the science, engineering and management of this diverse project.
Find out how fusion will be able to help mankind meet its energy needs and how engineers are turning the science into reality.
How viable is nuclear fusion as an energy source? – podcast
Are scientific and industrial ideas about commercial nuclear fusion reactors in the near future just wishful thinking?
At Iter in the south of France, seven international partners have pooled their financial and scientific resources to build the biggest fusion reactor in history. Their aim is to resolve critical scientific and technical issues, and take fusion to the point where industrial applications can be designed. In the Observer this week, Alok Jha writes from the Iter construction site.
But concerns have been voiced about the large number of unsolved technological problems relating to fusion, and the huge efforts necessary before a large commercial breeder prototype can be designed.
Joining Ian Sample are Nicola Davis, commissioning editor of Observer Tech Monthly, and Professor Steve Cowley, director of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, and down the line from Switzerland we have Dr Michael Dittmar, a researcher with the Institute of Particle Physics at ETH Zurich.
EnergyCite® interactive video games
Our first focus is on the development of a new series of interactive electronic games to run on standard game platforms, tablets, and smartphones.
These games will receive digital energy information from the homeowner’s smart meter and home automation devices including “smart appliances.”
They will also receive information from our “real time world energy fuel gauges.”
The purpose of the games is to subliminally teach people the basic concepts contained in this web site, as continually updated, about science and energy.
The games will cause people to realize that far too much money and time has been spent on the “global warming” issue when the MUCH MORE IMPORTANT issue of solving energy for our future generations has been overlooked in serious scientific circles.
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab to Complete $94M upgrade on its NSTX Tokamak in 2015
Fusion Energy National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX is undergoing a $94 million upgrade that will make it the most powerful experimental fusion facility in U.S.
Is Nuclear Fusion Finally Here?
Dr. Thomas Jarboe and assistant Derek Sunderland at the University of Washington discuss the advances they’ve made with the university’s Dynamak fusion reactor, in a Styrk Newscast interview.
Scott Hsu, Ph.D., of Los Alamos National Laboratory (P-24 Plasma Physics Group) has been encouraged by ARPA-E (under Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-00011841) to submit a proposal for funding to develop the spherically imploding plasma liners as a standoff-driver for Magnetic Inertial Fusion. The proposal will request approximately $8 million in funding from the government and requires a $2M cost share from private investors and/or industry. The $2M cost share may be comprised of a mix of in-kind hardware contributions and cash, with the exact amount of cash needed still to be determined. Final proposal documents must be submitted by January 26, 2015.
For information on how to participate please email email@example.com.
To learn more about the Department of Energy & its OFES past negative role in non-“mainline fusion” approaches please see this Letter to Congress from Irvin Lindemuth, Ph.D., the world’s most authoritative researcher in Magnetized Target Inertial Fusion.
Follow this link to obtain the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Funding Opportunity No. DE-FOA-0001184, CFDA No. 81.135, Accelerating Low-Cost Plasma Heating & Assembly (ALPHA)
Tom Tamarkin on HNR Morning Radio Show
Read and watch videos about Sir Isaac Newton. Did you know he was not only a scientist and mathematician whose discoveries paved the way for current research into fusion, but also a religious scholar?
Outline notes for the program. There is a great deal of material covered so these notes will allow the listener to review and obtain a wealth of background material at their convenience.
Fusion Power; what is it, why we don’t have it, and a practical approach to making fusion energy a reality
Fusion is the ultimate source of energy for human civilization in all sense of the word. Because fusion transforms mass directly to energy according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity (E=MC²,) a very small amount of fusion fuel creates a very large amount of energy. The cost of fusion fuel (Hydrogen-deuterium and Lithium) per mWh of energy is so close to zero that virtually all the cost of electricity generated from fusion arises from the capital cost of the power plant and its amortization of development, operating and maintenance costs. The profit potential of fusion power is immense. Fusion can be used to create synthetic liquid and gas fuels for the transportation industry, thereby replacing petroleum and natural gas, as well as virtually unlimited electricity.
Renewable energy ‘simply WON’T WORK': Top Google engineers
…Koningstein and Fork aren’t alone. Whenever somebody with a decent grasp of maths and physics looks into the idea of a fully renewables-powered civilised future for the human race with a reasonably open mind, they normally come to the conclusion that it simply isn’t feasible. Merely generating the relatively small proportion of our energy that we consume today in the form of electricity is already an insuperably difficult task for renewables: generating huge amounts more on top to carry out the tasks we do today using fossil-fuelled heat isn’t even vaguely plausible.