One step closer to nuclear fusion Watch

Captain Jack
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"MIT nuclear fusion record marks latest step towards unlimited clean energyScientists create the highest plasma pressure ever recorded with the Alcator C-Mod reactor in a breakthrough for clean energy technology"

https://www.theguardian.com/environm...e_iOSApp_Other
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Alexion
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now THIS is news I want to hear

I'm so excited about the prospect of fusion energy ngl, it's a way away but it will be the solution to our energy problems (if it gets a little cheaper that is xD) :3
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The_Internet
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I saw this and lots of countries are putting a lot of money in to French labs (even Russia is) in order to try and crack fusion. I mean the waste has a half life of what... 10 years - it's not even worth thinking about really. Supposedly with nuclear fission you need a chicken egg sized amount for the average person's energy needs for their entire lifetime! That's also a lot more inefficient than fusion is which is also a hell of a lot safer and can't be used for nuclear proliferation - so if say Iran genuinely wants to power their country on nuclear fusion and fusion has been cracked, then well...they could and the world would have no issues.
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the bear
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:jive:

go fusion !!
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Mistletoe
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The_Internet
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According to people who seem way more intelligent than me meltdowns are basically a non issue

https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/...eactor_if_the/

Also, let's say there was a meltdown. Sure it's pretty bad you lived close to the nuclear fusion power station and sure it's bad that lots of people died but that land becomes hospitable again in... 10 years which is not that long really (Correct me if I'm.wrong physicists. I'm going off what I've read or maybe I read it wrong)
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MasterJack
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Nice to hear, I still think fusion is more than 10 years away. We've been having news like this every few years (about the frequency of the average length of a research grant)- we're going to be in this for the long haul but we do have to remember that this is a MAMMOTH task where the result would lead us to the best energy source we've ever had.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by The_Internet)
According to people who seem way more intelligent than me meltdowns are basically a non issue

https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/...eactor_if_the/

Also, let's say there was a meltdown. Sure it's pretty bad you lived close to the nuclear fusion power station and sure it's bad that lots of people died but that land becomes hospitable again in... 10 years which is not that long really (Correct me if I'm.wrong physicists. I'm going off what I've read or maybe I read it wrong)
Well they seem to be talking about a tritium leak... probably the amount of tritium inside the reactor at any time is going to be quite low, afaik they're hoping to feed it in continuously while the reactor is running rather than loading it all in before startup (which is what they have to do with the nuclear fuel in fission reactors)

FWIW you can buy tritium containing nightlights and tritium keyrings on ebay... BT's early pushbutton phones contained tritium light sources. I don't think it's that much of an environmental hazard really & just burning a normal fossil fuel like coal releases more radiation into the environment than a current fission reactor.
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The_Internet
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Well they seem to be talking about a tritium leak... probably the amount of tritium inside the reactor at any time is going to be quite low, afaik they're hoping to feed it in continuously while the reactor is running rather than loading it all in before startup (which is what they have to do with the nuclear fuel in fission reactors)

FWIW you can buy tritium containing nightlights and tritium keyrings on ebay... BT's early pushbutton phones contained tritium light sources. I don't think it's that much of an environmental hazard really & just burning a normal fossil fuel like coal releases more radiation into the environment than a current fission reactor.
I think I understood that. What's the environmental impact of fusion then? I know that of course the sun produces fusion energy and you'd basically need to recreate that on Earth however as it's... On Earth what's the damage environmentally?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by The_Internet)
I think I understood that. What's the environmental impact of fusion then? I know that of course the sun produces fusion energy and you'd basically need to recreate that on Earth however as it's... On Earth what's the damage environmentally?
Magnetic shielding prevents any real issue.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by The_Internet)
I think I understood that. What's the environmental impact of fusion then? I know that of course the sun produces fusion energy and you'd basically need to recreate that on Earth however as it's... On Earth what's the damage environmentally?
Well afaik the reaction vessel becomes radioactive from neutron bombardment so we'll need to deal with that at the end of the plant's life. also you'll have some waste heat to dump into the environment during operation (but this is common to other types of power station e.g. coal, gas, nuclear fission.) Heat might not sound particularly dangerous but you need to deal with it somehow and it does have environmental consequences.
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Plagioclase
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Not to sound too cynical but not many people working on future energy policy get very particularly excited by fusion because in spite of these announcements (which happen often), commercial fusion is always decades away and has been for a very long time. These people would be very happy to be proven wrong because if proven feasible, fusion could be a complete game-changer - but I will believe it when it's actually successfully implemented in an industrial scale reactor. For now, we absolutely cannot take it for granted that fusion is going to become commercially possible in the near future.
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The_Internet
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Well afaik the reaction vessel becomes radioactive from neutron bombardment so we'll need to deal with that at the end of the plant's life. also you'll have some waste heat to dump into the environment during operation (but this is common to other types of power station e.g. coal, gas, nuclear fission.) Heat might not sound particularly dangerous but you need to deal with it somehow and it does have environmental consequences.
Oh no. Heat sounds very dangerousto me. I mat not know much about nuclear but I do know something about IT and heat is a danger there too - not as big as nuclear but in large data centres it arguably could be if it meant you couldn't access vital systems because your data centre over heated which causes knock on (and dangerous) effects.I understand the heat issue
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the bear
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the sun is a fusion machine.... so all of our fossil fuel energies are derived from fusion
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Retired_Messiah
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hot
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Maker
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(Original post by the bear)
the sun is a fusion machine.... so all of our fossil fuel energies are derived from fusion
And wind energy and of course solar.
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ManiaMuse
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Scientists have been working on this for decades yet it never seems to get any closer. They still haven't managed to create a net gain in energy yet.

The one being built in France is costing tens of billions of euros and is 10-15 years away from switching on (before inevitable project overruns). And even that is only a proof of concept intended only to create energy for 'several seconds at a time'.

I'd give it at least a century before you can expect to see your toaster powered by nuclear fusion.
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