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Nuclear fusion advancements Options
 
MAGMA17
#1 Posted : 12/14/2022 8:23:20 AM

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I don't know if you've read or seen it, but there has recently been a turning point in physics. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has for the first time achieved a net gain in energy using nuclear fusion (which is how the sun produces energy). With a net energy gain (which means that more energy is produced than what is spent to produce it) in theory one could have an infinite production of energy starting from a very low initial consumption material. A very small amount of hydrogen fuel would be enough to power a house for hundreds of years, for example. This is what we are talking about...
Obviously, there are those who say that it will take decades to bring this to society, but it would be the technology that would allow this absurd use of fossil fuels to be abandoned (in theory). Furthermore, it would also not produce nuclear waste for disposal, which is one of the main problems of nuclear stations.

I'm interested in knowing your opinion on this. What I'm wondering about are the consequences on our society that this would bring (if used ideally). Extremely low pollution is the first thing that comes to mind. But there are also the economic consequences of this: it would lead to a per capita consumption in economic terms equal to zero, given that in fact there would be no material consumption, and one would probably only pay to contribute to the management and control of the infrastructures. But... are we ready to dismantle an entire energy industry? Would the multinationals, the oil sheikhs, the gas tycoons be willing to give up their earnings and privileges? (It's a rhetorical question).
 

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Justsomedude
#2 Posted : 12/14/2022 8:49:17 AM
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The cynic in me is resolved in assuming that greed will find a way to turn "free energy" into expensive energy.

On the other hand, I do sincerely hope this makes strides fast and soon, and we see people become more free.
 
Tomtegubbe
#3 Posted : 12/14/2022 9:33:05 AM

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Fission energy is like the messiah of consumerism. It has been just around the corner ever since the research began. Every few years there is some tiny bit of hope for some progression that gets the press because of the high hopes and the pressure for researchers to come up with something to get funding for the research.

More energy will lead to more production, more mining, more consumption, more weapons and more pollution. No technology will save us if we can't change our consumerist way of living.
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MAGMA17
#4 Posted : 12/14/2022 9:46:14 AM

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Justsomedude wrote:
The cynic in me is resolved in assuming that greed will find a way to turn "free energy" into expensive energy.

Very probably!

Tomtegubbe wrote:
More energy will lead to more production, more mining, more consumption, more weapons and more pollution. No technology will save us if we can't change our consumerist way of living.

Definitely a precious point of view.
The problem is that even the prediction of resource scarcity for the near future is not leading to a limit on production. It is increasing, and I don't know if this consumerist machine can be stopped. I don't think so.

I agree that this leads to more pollution through other activities in an indirect way (by increasing consumption) but at that point the resources for research also increase and perhaps similar solutions can be found for the rest as well...
For me, and it is a very personal opinion, we cannot save ourselves, while the planet we can, or in any case, even if we do not believe in environmental disasters, we can respect it more.

I don't know...I will think about your perspective Smile
 
Justsomedude
#5 Posted : 12/14/2022 9:47:09 AM
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Tomtegubbe wrote:
Fission energy is like the messiah of consumerism. It has been just around the corner ever since the research began. Every few years there is some tiny bit of hope for some progression that gets the press because of the high hopes and the pressure for researchers to come up with something to get funding for the research.

More energy will lead to more production, more mining, more consumption, more weapons and more pollution. No technology will save us if we can't change our consumerist way of living.


I wholly agree with all of this. The lens of consumerism turns everything on its head.
We have medicines that might as well have been magic to our ancestors, and instead of allowing for all to be healed, it is gated behind profit.

 
murklan
#6 Posted : 12/14/2022 11:16:42 AM

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Tomtegubbe wrote:
Fission energy is like the messiah of consumerism.....

....More energy will lead to more production, more mining, more consumption, more weapons and more pollution. No technology will save us if we can't change our consumerist way of living.



Yes exactly. Within this current system(s) it will run (more) havoc on the planet. This can also become an example of extremely concentrated power. Further strengthening the hierarchies.

But in a some SF way, In distant futures it might be possible to make matter (that takes a lot of energy) instead of using 'resources' of the planet.
 
Tomtegubbe
#7 Posted : 12/14/2022 6:14:16 PM

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murklan wrote:
But in a some SF way, In distant futures it might be possible to make matter (that takes a lot of energy) instead of using 'resources' of the planet.

Someday we might have a gigantic fusion power plant in the sky and self preserving machinery producing all kinds of nutrition for wide variety of constantly evolving life forms. 😏
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Homo Trypens
#8 Posted : 12/14/2022 7:51:37 PM

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MAGMA17 wrote:
... With a net energy gain (which means that more energy is produced than what is spent to produce it) in theory one could have an infinite production of energy starting from a very low initial consumption material. A very small amount of hydrogen fuel would be enough to power a house for hundreds of years, for example. This is what we are talking about...


I don't think this is quite correct. Yes more energy may have come out than the energy we put in (sensational, idk if any other fusion research reactors have achieved that before), but there is of course continued consumption of material - that's where the extra energy comes from. Smaller nuclei fuse together to form heavier elements, thereby releasing a lot of energy. It just needs to be insanely hot first.

The fact that test reactors have so far used more energy than they produced, even while fusion was actually happening, goes to show just how much energy is required to create and maintain a contained environment where fusion occurs. I think another thing that's not easy is to keep the fusion running for prolonged time.

If i'm not mistaken, hydrogen or deuterium is used as the "fuel", which is abundant and cheap. Not sure what the "waste" is, i guess some mix of the next few elements in the periodic table. The heavier elements produced in the fusion probably have to be removed from the reactor periodically, and more of the fuel has to be inserted. I assume that for this, the reactor has to be stopped, and will need a ton of external energy again to be restarted.

If humanity ever gets all its energy from fusion reactors, we better hope they're never all going down simultaneously Very happy
 
downwardsfromzero
#9 Posted : 12/15/2022 3:58:22 PM

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Deuterium/tritium fusion produces helium-4 and a neutron along with a bunch of photons. The positive energy balance in the experiment was only in comparison to the lasers used for the ignition. There still remains the problem of how to capture the radiative energy and and apply it to some practical process, presumably energy generation. It just seems hilarious to me that using such a culmination of technological advances to produce steam and drive a turbine for electricity generation is going to be the most likely outcome.

MAGMA17 wrote:
A very small amount of hydrogen fuel would be enough to power a house for hundreds of years, for example
I don't envisage having a fusion reactor in my basement within my lifetime... This is big, hard tech (as in Amory B. Lovins' 'Soft Energy Paths') for big, hard corporations and it isn't going to be used to liberate anyone - maybe to 'liberate' a few more unwilling locals who happen to be in the way of 'progress' (a.k.a. mineral resources) given the current paradigm.

And all this without raising the question of how one half of the fuel has to be obtained. Tritium is an unstable isotope of hydrogen and has to be produced in a fission reactor, usually using the exceedingly scarce lithium-6 isotope. |9 (I also can't believe that over 32 grams of valuable tritium is dumped annually into the English channel...)

Add to that how the NIF pellets are also currently encapsulated in gold, just to help cost-effectivity, and not at all an excuse for scientists to get their hands on a bunch of gold which will mysteriously 'vaporise'... so we can all begin to experience a feeling of deep joy about the whole process.

Tomtegubbe wrote:
Someday we might have a gigantic fusion power plant in the sky and self preserving machinery producing all kinds of nutrition for wide variety of constantly evolving life forms. 😏
If we all pay our taxes and pray to the corporate god, this may yet happen...




“There is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call 'a field of force'. The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work."
― Jacques Bergier, quoting Fulcanelli
 
murklan
#10 Posted : 12/16/2022 12:05:38 AM

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downwardsfromzero wrote:

Tomtegubbe wrote:
Someday we might have a gigantic fusion power plant in the sky and self preserving machinery producing all kinds of nutrition for wide variety of constantly evolving life forms. 😏
If we all pay our taxes and pray to the corporate god, this may yet happen...



Ha ha ha! But the but question is, how will we ever level up on the up the Kardashev scale for civilizations? Seems like we're not going for Type I even. Let' the AI and machines take over and show the way I'd say Pleased
... But then, when AI gets complex enough it probable get it's own neurosis and delusions.
 
downwardsfromzero
#11 Posted : 12/17/2022 12:31:16 AM

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Breakthrough? "not really"...

Particularly relevant timestamp: https://youtu.be/1g_A5tEApa0?t=584
"the actual total energy [i.e. not just that inputted from the lasers into the fuel pellet] being used by the facility at time of ignition was 300MJ" which compares rather unfavourably with the just over 3MJ released by the fusion reaction.




“There is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call 'a field of force'. The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work."
― Jacques Bergier, quoting Fulcanelli
 
MAGMA17
#12 Posted : 12/17/2022 10:23:31 AM

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Without making a specific comment on all that has been said, I would like to thank you for your contributions, as they certainly made me think differently on the matter. I had a naive and superficial approach to all of this, and I got caught up in easy enthusiasm. Instead, you who are more experienced than me, have calibrated me on a more balanced point of view.

Thumbs up
 
MAGMA17
#13 Posted : 1/4/2023 1:55:06 PM

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OrangeEnergy wrote:

Cynical, moi? I prefer to call it realistic.

Everyone said pretty much the same things
 
compulsimple
#14 Posted : 3/19/2023 6:29:04 AM
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I remember hearing about it.

Democracy Now! headline Dec 14 2022 wrote:

Scientists and U.S. officials have hailed a major milestone in nuclear fusion technology, igniting hopes the breakthrough could help lead to a clean energy future. Researchers at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory last week successfully achieved net energy gain through fusion ignition, generating more power than is used to create the reaction. Unlike fission, which is currently used by nuclear power plants, fusion does not produce long-lasting nuclear waste or carbon emissions.

However, scientists say it will likely be decades before the technology is perfected enough to begin producing energy at scale. The experiment is likely to more immediately benefit the U.S. military and its nuclear weapons arsenal.


We need to disarm all nuclear weapons.



 
Pandora
#15 Posted : 3/19/2023 1:06:59 PM

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I'd look to history as my guide.

Sometime in the range of about 80 years ago give or take nuclear fission for power plants at the consumer level was being marketed literally as, "Energy too cheap to meter!" And of course now that some history has passed and we can look back we can see how naive and laughable that statement was.

Also it seems like fusion power is right up there with nanotechnology, strong AI, flying cars and human cities on Mars. For more than my entire life we have just been 10 to 40 years away from all of those things.

I honestly believe the past can give us guidance on the future. Based on that I approach announcements of breakthroughs in fusion with cautious pessimism.
"But even if nothing lasts and everything is lost, there is still the intrinsic value of the moment. The present moment, ultimately, is more than enough, a gift of grace and unfathomable value, which our friend and lover death paints in stark relief."
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compulsimple
#16 Posted : 3/19/2023 8:27:04 PM
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I want to also point out that typically the route to lowering and absorbing emissions is more conventional than innovating a breakthrough because we can safeguard and protect our carbon sinks like the rainforest and the oceans

We may also look to preventing major emissions described as "carbon bombs".
We can stop oil drilling in the arctic
We can end war which would greatly reduce emissions because there's extensive cost in both human life, green house gas emission and pollution, and bulky financial combustion

We don't need to have to have net zero carbon emissions. We need to set a deadline and time horizon for reducing the emissions we create to a point that doesn't result in what is termed as a "tipping point" (I'll describe that in a moment). We do have to protect carbon sinks that help regulate the rampant abuse on our environment. We have to preserve bio-diversity in a time of Holocene anthropogenic mass extinction. We have to do conventional actions and not a super-human breakthrough in science.

(for anyone who doesn't have a lot of education surrounding climate change and climate science) So 1) What is a green house gas? 2) What is a carbon sink? 3) what is a tipping point?

1) I recommend going to youtube and looking up the PBS funded channel Hotmess. If you just look up
"Hot Mess" the algorithm will bring you to unrelated content about people being a hot mess so to cut to the chase just look up "understanding the atmosphere essentials of environmental science"

Essentially though, a "Greenhouse gas" traps heat from the sun in the atmosphere which warms the planet. That includes carbon dioxide and methane.

2) What is a carbon sink? A carbon sink is something that absorbs carbon dioxide. This can be many things. Soil acts as a carbon sink. Insects act as a part of the soil carbon sink system because insects eat plants that trap carbon through photosynthesis and essentially when insects eventually die they take the carbon with them in their exoskeleton and eventually move that carbon into soil rather than in the atmosphere. This applies to Fungi breaking down dead logs and woodchips and decaying leaves and grass. It also includes insects feasting off of dead animals and laying eggs into their carcass. There are gigantic carbon sinks like the amazon rainforest before the deforestation of the rainforest (it is no longer a carbon sink and currently produces more carbon than it sequesters because of widespread deforestation due to the increase in agriculture in Brazil). Or like the Ocean, which thankfully we do have a win in a legally binding win for Ocean conservation. 30% of international oceans will be preserved in a legally binding agreement.

3) A tipping point is when the balance of physics, chemistry, and biology become completely unbalanced to the extent that the consequences are permanent or destroys the ability for the Earth to have resolve and resiliency to the drastic changes in the climate on the only livable Earth in the universe that we know of (so far "there's no planet B"). So for example a tipping point can be when too many forests are destroyed in the Amazon rainforest in south america and it causes a mass die off of the rainforest resulting in a Savanna-like biome. Another is that the volume of carbon dioxide hitting a tipping point. So lets say that there's enough carbon that it's rapidly warming the planet which is rapidly melting Glacier icesheets and raising the sea level because of the added Water to the sea. So not only does sea levels rise but the hotter atmosphere expands the molecules in the water which makes the water expand creating more sea level rise. Another example is how wildefires create deforestation and unlike the example of insects moving carbon into the soil instead of in the atmosphere wild fires rapidly burn and emit carbon dioxide and remove the carbon stored in those plants and trees. A tipping point is basically a feedback loop.

Things that can be done are simply to preserve the bio-diversity of the environment, preserve the carbon sinks we have, reforest the environment, and not rely on propane, methane, oil, or coal and transition into renewable energy like wind energy and solar. The economic impact also comes with major benefits to securing jobs in a wide range of fields that tend to last much longer than fossil fuel led jobs. Such as in engineering, construction, and retrofitting.

There's a lot of marketing and greenwashing of fossil fuels too. One random thing: natural gas companies create ads attacking the idea of banning natural gas and their focus is largely on Gas stoves. This is because they can attack gas stove bans through using emotion rather than facts. People tend to respond to emotional reasons all thanks to our human brains having a developed sense of emotion and self awareness and the neuro-marketing exploits this by making an emotional ploy to the consumer. Gas stove accounts for 2% of natural gas use but by focusing on Gas stoves the neuro-marketing ploys are more successful which helps to rely on the use of methane gas as a source of fuel which translates to keeping the pipeline stream constant which is profitable.

The topic of climate change, pollution, environment, and how it intersects with the Earth's beings is immense.

If you want some good books go read "Otherlands" by Thomas Holiday, "All we can Save" by a lot of collaborative authors, and "An Immense World" by Ed Yong just to learn more about the complexities of our fellow beings past and present.
 
Mitakuye Oyasin
#17 Posted : 3/20/2023 9:03:15 PM

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Personally I think our future energy sources will come from Tesla technology and research. Magnetics and pulling/harvesting energy directly from the aether.
Let us declare nature to be legitimate. All plants should be declared legal, and all animals for that matter. The notion of illegal plants and animals is obnoxious and ridiculous.
— Terence McKenna


All my posts are hypothetical and for educational/entertainment purposes, and are not an endorsement of said activities. SWIM (a fictional character based on other people) either obtained a license for said activity, did said activity where it is legal to do so, or as in most cases the activity is completely fictional.
 
Homo Trypens
#18 Posted : 3/21/2023 5:49:51 AM

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Here's a video that summarises the current state of fusion energy startups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23W0t5-LlV0 . Some interesting approaches there - i like the idea of creating the electricity inductively, directly from the magnetic field produced by the plasma. Finally something that's not a steam engine Smile

Of course they all have a problem in common - they're at least an order of magnitude away from breaking even in energy, all things considered. So yeah, it's not gonna be as quick as some make it sound.

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Any links posted anywhere on the nexus are automatically prepended with https://www.anoniem.org/? to break referrer tracking. If you click it, youtube won't know that you came from dmt-nexus.me because anoniem.org redirects such that no referrer header is sent. ( check: https://www.whatismybrow...s-is-my-browser-sending ). It's almost like you typed the link into your address bar manually - only difference for me is the value "cross-site" instead of "none" for the SEC-FETCH-SITE header, using Firefox. Note that if you visit that page more than once, there will be a COOKIE header in the second and later requests. This is true for most sites and can make you identifiable for someone observing all your connections, if you visit sites that already know you ("you" being the device and browser you're using here) who are willing, or forced by law, to disclose your identity to the observer.

I'm not sure if a similar mechanism is in place for embedded videos. I think youtube-nocookie is used, which should prevent third party cookies at least.
 
fink
#19 Posted : 3/22/2023 12:28:44 AM

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I dont think we will ever get to use this essentially free energy. What will happen is that at some point a technology will be used to control the population and they will finally have had enough. The fight will start as it must have many times before.

Like a child the system will ensure it brings itself and everything else down rather than be replaced. In doing so it will be necessary to destroy all technology rather than hand it over to a new system of control.

Our greatest challenge is to make all the technologies we have survive the collapse. To avoid the next dark age of amnesic reset.
I don't know much, but I do know this. With a golden heart comes a rebel fist.
 
compulsimple
#20 Posted : 3/22/2023 5:56:19 AM
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Thanks for the correction Homo Tryptens, I'm actually still learning a lot about internet privacy. I'm trying to actively make time to read off of eff.org and I find the podcasts fascinating. I probably sound really dumb and ironic now that I reread things lol

I find it interesting that we have a lot of people here who have such an in-depth knowledge over energy physics. I think there's an urgency we face to the existential threat that climate change and nuclear proliferation poses and I strongly believe that we have to reduce emissions and transition into renewable energy as well as disarm our nuclear arsenal. I'm particularly worried about mass extinction and/or nuclear war. It would be very easy for any given country to make an honest mistake, miscalculated judgement, or for tensions to boil over into nuclear war. I really believe what we can do is more conventional and performable by tools that we have today like divesting money out of a bank that finances new developments into oil and gas and transitioning into solar and wind power in places like the United States where we have a lot of mass consumption. And once again I strongly feel that ending war can greatly reduce emissions along with hosting the benefits of having a less violent world

https://www.democracynow...te_finance_fossil_fuels
https://www.democracynow.../21/climate_ipcc_report

I'm sharing two links from DN; one on divesting money out of fossil fuel finance and the other the UN calling for immediate and drastic cuts to green house gases both were from yesterday's show
 
 
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