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Author Topic:   Fusion Power on the way - at last ?
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 91 of 130 (741359)
11-11-2014 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Jon
11-10-2014 3:24 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
And you highlight some good reasons why putting fusion generators in cars is a stupid idea. There are plenty of other reasons too. Quite simply, though, it's likely to be uneconomical. The energy provided by a single generator would be far more than any car would need; taken against the cost of making the generators, putting them directly in cars doesn't make sense. They might be useful in trains, though, if they can truly be made as small as the OP's link suggests. Of course, if they replace fossil fuels, I don't know what the trains are going to be hauling past my house by the millions of gallons and thousands of tons a day, but I'm sure they'll think of something.

This.

Fusion power as a replacement for fossil fuel has typically only been interpreted to mean fusion generators built into actual automobiles in scifi like Back to the Future.

We have extremely good electric motors, and electric vehicles are taking more and more of the market. Any potential fusion power system, regardless of size, is going to convert its energy output into electrical power to be used to drive the power train.

There's simply no reason to build all of this complexity into an automobile (even assuming that the generators can be made sufficiently small, safe, efficient, etc) when we can use already-existing electric vehicles and an already-existing power grid and just generate the electricity using fusion at scale with a power plant.

Also, just because I feel like discussing it:

High temperatures aren't necessarily an issue in terms of safety, in much the same way that temperatures near absolute-zero aren't terribly dangerous in most real-world situations. You can carry a container of liquid nitrogen with minimal protection. "Hot" fusion (tokomaks or laser-ignition systems being the most commonly discussed) functions in such a way that the reaction is impossible to maintain without active power input - it's not self-sustaining if containment fails. This means you'd have a relatively small amount of hydrogen isotopes at extremely high temperatures, but they'll immediately be cooled by their surroundings and, in the worst case, start to dissipate into the air. We're not talking about an explosion (a breach in containment would involve an already-superheated material; if anything you'd get an implosion if the material cools quickly enough).

To bring it into perspective, lightning superheats the air to temperatures approaching those found at the surface of the Sun...and yet, unless you're directly struck, it's not terribly dangerous despite temperatures int he millions of degrees.

The determining factors in whether superheated plasma is actually a danger in a containment-loss scenario are the mass of the plasma and the mass/specific heat of the materials around it. I haven't done the math, but it doesn't sound terribly concerning to me. I'm betting you'd wind up with a hot containment vessel that might be somewhat damaged be the loss of the electromagnetic containment, but that's all.

Of course it's a moot point, because it would still be economically silly to stick a fusion generator into a car when we have perfectly good batteries and electric motors. Leave the generation at the power plant.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Jon, posted 11-10-2014 3:24 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15429
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 92 of 130 (741430)
11-12-2014 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Percy
11-10-2014 1:44 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Percy writes:

In my rudimentary understanding of fusion, it is the deuterium and tritium isotopes of hydrogen that is the fuel. The big problem isn't fuel, I wouldn't think, but ignition.


I would have thought going down to the Shell station to fill up on deuterium and tritium was a bit of a problem.

But I thought Jon might be thinking of using fusion indirectly to fuel cars with hydrogen that was produced by gigantic fusion power plants.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Percy, posted 11-10-2014 1:44 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by Rahvin, posted 11-12-2014 1:34 PM ringo has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 93 of 130 (741465)
11-12-2014 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by ringo
11-12-2014 10:50 AM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
But I thought Jon might be thinking of using fusion indirectly to fuel cars with hydrogen that was produced by gigantic fusion power plants.

You know, I used to be all on-board for hydrogen.

But the continued improvement of electric vehicles has called that support into question.

Both hydrogen and electric batteries are energy storage media.

Hydrogen is not a power source - it has to be generated by cracking water...with extremely large amounts of heat, or with electricity. So we need the high-capacity power plants either way (nuclear to generate the extreme heat for that method, or just any significant power output for the electrolysis method).

Hydrogen requires entirely new infrastructure to be built. You cannot store hydrogen in the same container that works for gasoline. Hydrogen is the smallest atom; H2 is the smallest molecule. "Airtight" is not "hydrogen-tight." My understanding is that all possible storage and transmission methods involve a slow, steady leakage of hydrogen. While this isn't particularly dangerous, it's a massive inefficiency. You'll be losing fuel from your car even if it just sits parked for a week. Hydrogen stations will lose a percentage of their stock before it's sold. Substantial amounts will be lost in transit (via pipelines or via tanker trucks), and in storage at the generating plant.

I don't know the precise numbers. It would be nice to be able to compare the lost potential energy from leaking hydrogen along with the inefficiency of the hydrogen generation methods (you don;t get the same amount of energy from burning hydrogen as you spend to separate it from water, basic thermodynamics) against the energy lost through transmission for electrical power (generation is irrelevant here because both cases start with electricity - hydrogen just adds steps, which are more opportunities for energy loss).

Electric vehicles are making leaps and bounds in their range and energy density. Battery technology has not remained stagnant.

The infrastructure for electric vehicles is largely already present (yes, the national power grid does need maintenance/replacement badly; this is not a problem unique to electric vehicles), and relatively inexpensive. Electric charging stations are already more prevalent than hydrogen fueling stations.

The infrastructure exception are the rapid-"charging" stations that Tesla is constructing, but these aren;t strictly speaking necessary. You can charge an EV at home from a power socket. The Tesla option of on-site battery replacement in moments for a reasonable fee is necessary only to extend the already-reasonable range of EVs, since "normal" charging would take a few hours and travelers want to be on their way.

Electric cars are already in mass production.

At this point I would predict that EVs are the way of the future, and that hydrogen will be beaten in the marketplace.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by ringo, posted 11-12-2014 10:50 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Jon, posted 11-12-2014 3:16 PM Rahvin has responded
 Message 96 by ringo, posted 11-13-2014 11:17 AM Rahvin has responded
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2014 2:53 PM Rahvin has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 94 of 130 (741473)
11-12-2014 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Rahvin
11-12-2014 1:34 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Hydrogen is not a power source - it has to be generated by cracking water...with extremely large amounts of heat, or with electricity. So we need the high-capacity power plants either way (nuclear to generate the extreme heat for that method, or just any significant power output for the electrolysis method).

I wonder what the difference is between the amount of energy used to create hydrogen both vs. the amount of energy the hydrogen provides and vs. the energy the electricity would provide were it put directly into a car.

Personally, I want nothing to do with hydrogen. I have no interest in driving around in a Hindenburg; and if it comes to that, I'll walk a lot more often.

The infrastructure exception are the rapid-"charging" stations that Tesla is constructing, but these aren;t strictly speaking necessary. You can charge an EV at home from a power socket. The Tesla option of on-site battery replacement in moments for a reasonable fee is necessary only to extend the already-reasonable range of EVs, since "normal" charging would take a few hours and travelers want to be on their way.

If we get fusion, and if it lives up to its promises, I would imagine a rapid development in quick-charge technologies, and probably even development of technologies for storing energy without a traditional battery.

The energy capture increases of the Industrial Revolution completely changed the world. I would imagine the energy capture increases of successful fusion technology to be equally (if not more) revolutionary.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Rahvin, posted 11-12-2014 1:34 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 11-12-2014 4:37 PM Jon has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 95 of 130 (741482)
11-12-2014 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Jon
11-12-2014 3:16 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
I wonder what the difference is between the amount of energy used to create hydrogen both vs. the amount of energy the hydrogen provides and vs. the energy the electricity would provide were it put directly into a car.

A quick search gives some numbers for hydrogen combustion, but this isn't likely to be used in hydrogen-powered vehicles (which would more likely use fuel cells for increased efficiency).

Electrolysis numbers are little harder to determine; I've seen numbers for the "minimum theoretical energy required for dissociation," but we're looking for real numbers, not theoreticals assuming impossible 100% efficiency.

Personally, I want nothing to do with hydrogen. I have no interest in driving around in a Hindenburg; and if it comes to that, I'll walk a lot more often.

Not actually an issue, surprisingly enough. Gasoline is far more explosive than hydrogen. Cars using compressed gas are not the same as an uncompressed hydrogen/air mixture used to provide lighter-than-air lift. The Hindenburg was a fuel-air bomb waiting for a match; while we have massive fuel-air explosives that use jet fuel (MOAB), your car does not immediately detonate.

Similarly to gasoline, a ruptures tank is more likely to burn until the fuel is exhausted rather than simply explode. I cannot recall the source, but I read an article about a hydrogen study some years back where the conclusion was that a hydrogen tank would basically just burn a single, small jet of combusting hydrogen from the point of rupture until the fuel is exhausted.

You are at least as safe driving a gasoline car as you would be driving a hydrogen car.

If we get fusion, and if it lives up to its promises, I would imagine a rapid development in quick-charge technologies, and probably even development of technologies for storing energy without a traditional battery.

The energy capture increases of the Industrial Revolution completely changed the world. I would imagine the energy capture increases of successful fusion technology to be equally (if not more) revolutionary.

I share your hopes but am more pessimistic in my actual expectations.

Nuclear power could, today, provide much of the benefit we would receive from fusion. It remains by far the cleanest and safest source of power per unit generated. It's been around for a long time. Yet it didn't drive the sort of innovation and economic improvement that you predict (the same sorts of predictions that were made about nuclear power).


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Jon, posted 11-12-2014 3:16 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Jon, posted 11-13-2014 11:25 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15429
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 96 of 130 (741581)
11-13-2014 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by Rahvin
11-12-2014 1:34 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Rahvin writes:

Hydrogen is not a power source - it has to be generated by cracking water...with extremely large amounts of heat, or with electricity. So we need the high-capacity power plants either way (nuclear to generate the extreme heat for that method, or just any significant power output for the electrolysis method).


That's what I was thinking - which is why I don't take Jon's claim about fusion-powered cars seriously. Surely deuterium/tritium fuel would entail the same problems as hydrogen, or worse.

Rahvin writes:

Electric vehicles are making leaps and bounds in their range and energy density. Battery technology has not remained stagnant.


My main concern about electric cars is the Canadian winter. What happens to your battery when it's parked outside overnight?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Rahvin, posted 11-12-2014 1:34 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by Rahvin, posted 11-13-2014 3:24 PM ringo has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 97 of 130 (741583)
11-13-2014 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Rahvin
11-12-2014 4:37 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Nuclear power could, today, provide much of the benefit we would receive from fusion. It remains by far the cleanest and safest source of power per unit generated. It's been around for a long time. Yet it didn't drive the sort of innovation and economic improvement that you predict (the same sorts of predictions that were made about nuclear power).

Fission has a stigma, and I think people have good reason to be concerned about the disposal of the wastes.

The time it takes for the waste to become non-problematic means we are essentially setting ourselves up for future disasters.

The half-life of fusion waste, and the fact that there is much less of it, means it can effectively be managed within a couple generations, which is, in my opinion, a more reasonable time period for company, political, etc. organizations.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 11-12-2014 4:37 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Tempe 12ft Chicken, posted 11-13-2014 1:56 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 107 by Modulous, posted 11-13-2014 7:02 PM Jon has responded

  
Tempe 12ft Chicken
Member (Idle past 35 days)
Posts: 436
From: Tempe, Az.
Joined: 10-25-2012


(1)
Message 98 of 130 (741635)
11-13-2014 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by Jon
11-13-2014 11:25 AM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Jon writes:

Fission has a stigma, and I think people have good reason to be concerned about the disposal of the wastes.

Yes, Fission has a stigma and the best way to fix that is to educate the public on the actually safety record of nuclear fission. Stop teaching nuclear technology only using images of atom bombs and start educating people on the actual science behind the technology. You then continue to talk about disposal of wastes as a primary concern, but you have yet to deal with all of the proposed solutions that would provide safe storage or disposal of these wastes. I believe I gave you the link in Message 15

This shows the several different options that exist when it comes to disposal of nuclear waste, so what is wrong with these ideas? Yes, some of them would require new international agreements, but so would any other massive overhaul of our power infrastructure. How about burial in Yucca Mountain? This area is tectonically inactive and provides for a great storage solution for radioactive materials. I prefer dropping them into subduction zones because it actually allows the radioactive material we already mined from the Earth to be returned to where they came from.

You are promoting an idea that has zero applicability at this time, zero because it still has not been shown to even be possible. Yet you are not willing to work toward a solution with a technology we know works, that science has safe means of disposing of waste and that can already work with the current electrical grid. How is this the most logical solution, to just hope that someday Fusion will prove fruitful and we can finally remove fossil fuels, instead of going to fission now and removing the need of fossil fuels immediately? Then, the lower cost that solar has worked toward can help developing countries that cannot afford to build expensive reactors initially. If fusion ever shows the abilities it has been claimed to have, then we can switch and we have scientifically safe methods of disposal for the waste from nuclear reactors as we decommission the reactors to switch to fusion.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying let's just continue to use fossil fuels and "hope" that at some point fusion can save us from ourselves. I'd prefer to start having action done to stop the release of carbon as quickly as we can and fission is a great middle step.

So, please deal with the waste disposal methods, why do you find all of them unfeasible? What is wrong with Yucca Mountain, or subduction zones, salt domes, or boreholes, or rock-melting, or any of the several other options that scientists have already analyzed for safety and efficacy?


The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity. - Richard Dawkins

Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night. - Issac Asimov

If you removed all the arteries, veins, & capillaries from a persons body, and tied them end-to-endthe person will die. - Neil Degrasse Tyson

What would Buddha do? Nothing! What does the Buddhist terrorist do? Goes into the middle of the street, takes the gas, *pfft*, Self-Barbecue. The Christian and the Muslim on either side are yelling, "What the Fuck are you doing?" The Buddhist says, "Making you deal with your shit. - Robin Williams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Jon, posted 11-13-2014 11:25 AM Jon has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Rahvin, posted 11-13-2014 3:17 PM Tempe 12ft Chicken has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 99 of 130 (741641)
11-13-2014 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Rahvin
11-12-2014 1:34 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Hydrogen is not a power source - it has to be generated by cracking water...with extremely large amounts of heat, or with electricity. So we need the high-capacity power plants either way (nuclear to generate the extreme heat for that method, or just any significant power output for the electrolysis method).

Just to be clear (and I'm not saying that you erred), hydrogen is the power source for fusion. The question involved is whether the power required for isolating the correct isotopes, generating and maintaining ignition temps/pressures plus conversion losses are less than the rate at which can be energy obtained from fusion of whatever amount of hydrogen we can fuse at a time (on average).

Unless of course we uncover some cheap source of ready to burn or nearly ready to burn hydrogen.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Rahvin, posted 11-12-2014 1:34 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Rahvin, posted 11-13-2014 3:06 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 100 of 130 (741646)
11-13-2014 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by NoNukes
11-13-2014 2:53 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
ust to be clear (and I'm not saying that you erred), hydrogen is the power source for fusion. The question involved is whether the power required for isolating the correct isotopes, generating and maintaining ignition temps/pressures plus conversion losses are less than the rate at which can be energy obtained from fusion of whatever amount of hydrogen we can fuse at a time (on average).

Unless of course we uncover some cheap source of ready to burn or nearly ready to burn hydrogen.

No.

The comment was about using fusion power stations to crack hydrogen through electrolysis to be used in either hydrogen combustion or (more likely) fuel cell technology.

My comment had nothing whatsoever to do with separating hydrogen isotopes for fusion.

Yes, hydrogen is the proposed source of power for fusion. But hydrogen is only an energy storage medium when it's going to be used for combustion or a fuel cell.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2014 2:53 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2014 4:28 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 101 of 130 (741649)
11-13-2014 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Tempe 12ft Chicken
11-13-2014 1:56 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
So, please deal with the waste disposal methods, why do you find all of them unfeasible? What is wrong with Yucca Mountain, or subduction zones, salt domes, or boreholes, or rock-melting, or any of the several other options that scientists have already analyzed for safety and efficacy?

The only thing wrong with those is that they're by far not the best ways to deal with the issue of waste.

Reprocessing spent fuel is superior in every way. France has been doing it for years; despite generating ~80% of their country's power from nuclear, they've produced a tiny fraction of the waste produced by US plants.

Reprocessing means you can get even more energy out of the same fuel and reduce the total waste and change the final waste into a product that has a reduced half-life.

Yet reprocessing is even more politically untouchable in the US due to fears that the material could be stolen and used in terror plots. Which has never happened in countries that [i]actually do this.[i/]

I'm not even talking about the even more promising possibility of Thorium as fissile material, as the Thorium fuel cycle is also superior to the Uranium cycle. And is more readily available.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by Tempe 12ft Chicken, posted 11-13-2014 1:56 PM Tempe 12ft Chicken has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by xongsmith, posted 11-13-2014 4:30 PM Rahvin has responded
 Message 111 by RAZD, posted 11-14-2014 2:17 AM Rahvin has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 102 of 130 (741651)
11-13-2014 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by ringo
11-13-2014 11:17 AM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
That's what I was thinking - which is why I don't take Jon's claim about fusion-powered cars seriously. Surely deuterium/tritium fuel would entail the same problems as hydrogen, or worse.

Not really. The energy density of hydrogen as a fusion reactant is...I don't even know how many orders of magnitude greater than hydrogen as a combustible. A lot.

Storage and transport would be easier because of the small volume needed.

The issues are the reactors. Tokomak or laser-pumped fuel pellets, either way those aren't exactly trivial to miniaturize. It would need to fit into the volume of an EV battery and be able to produce electricity as its output, not just raw heat. And of course it would need to be able to generate ignition conditions on-demand every time the driver tries to start the car...or just keep a perpetual fusion reaction going even when the car's not needed.

But Jon wasn't claiming we'd see Mr Fusion from Back to the Future. He was saying we could use fusion power stations to produce hydrogen as a fuel source for hydrogen-combustion or fuel-cell vehicles. That's a perfectly realistic position, I just don;t think it's likely because EVs are already here.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by ringo, posted 11-13-2014 11:17 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Jon, posted 11-13-2014 6:00 PM Rahvin has not yet responded
 Message 113 by ringo, posted 11-14-2014 10:55 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 103 of 130 (741664)
11-13-2014 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Rahvin
11-13-2014 3:06 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
My comment had nothing whatsoever to do with separating hydrogen isotopes for fusion.

Yes. That's why I acknowledged that you had not made an error. However your statement was sufficiently general that I think a comment was useful. Someone else might make the error. And it also provided a point to discuss fusion in general.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Rahvin, posted 11-13-2014 3:06 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1856
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 104 of 130 (741665)
11-13-2014 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Rahvin
11-13-2014 3:17 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
Rahvin writes:

Reprocessing spent fuel is superior in every way.

But isn't there right now already a lot of dirty waste that cannot be reprocessed? That's where the subduction zones come in as a solution. I may be wrong about this....

The existing nuclear plants should all be upgraded to Thorium or at least modern technology.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Rahvin, posted 11-13-2014 3:17 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Rahvin, posted 11-13-2014 5:05 PM xongsmith has not yet responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 105 of 130 (741671)
11-13-2014 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by xongsmith
11-13-2014 4:30 PM


Re: All Good Things Suck — At First
But isn't there right now already a lot of dirty waste that cannot be reprocessed? That's where the subduction zones come in as a solution. I may be wrong about this....

The existing nuclear plants should all be upgraded to Thorium or at least modern technology.

My understanding is that the spent fuel rods could absolutely be reprocessed in a breeder reactor. The only real barrier to doing this is political; specifically a ban on breeder reactors and fuel reprocessing from the Kennedy era.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by xongsmith, posted 11-13-2014 4:30 PM xongsmith has not yet responded

  
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