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  1. #1
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    Nuclear Fusion is Not As Far Away as we Might Think

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelk...iness%3Aenergy


    According to Dr. Ed Moses, Principle Associate Director of the National Ignition Facilitym nuclear fusion is not as far away as we may think.

    NIF, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is close to demonstrating a controlled, sustained fusion reaction with an array of high-powered lasers. The NIF has achieved “burn”, i.e. fusion, but not yet succeeded in transforming that into a chain reaction.

    Just as important, other countries are heading down the same path, increasing the research and scientific understanding.

  2. #2
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    After seeing the Laser research at Sandia Labs (near where I live), the question is no longer "can they build powerful enough lasers?" but it becomes "Containment" after fusion triggers. Much research has yet to be done on the Magnetic Bottles required.

  3. #3
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    I have all my fingers and toes crossed that fusion is achieved in the next 5 years, and commercially applied within 10. I know it is just a dream, but I think the changes that it could make to the entire planet, in terms of limitless energy; new, more powerful technologies; new types of transport; etc. It just seems as thought it will be very exciting.

  4. #4
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    The word was always that fusion wouldn't be ready for 50 years or so. If it is true that it really isn't that far away, then why isn't this bigger news?

    Why are we worrying with solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, etc., when fusion is supposedly just around the corner. Why not focus efforts on fusion?

  5. #5
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    One word, Polywell.

  6. #6
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    The Polywell is certainly a strong runner in the race for nuclear fusion, but it is not the only one. Nor is it necessarily the most likely to succeed.

  7. #7
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    I guess that could depend on your definition of "succeed". ITER is perhaps most likely to produce Q>1, but from every indicator, it is unlikely to ever be economically viable. Polywell, on the other hand, will almost certainly be economical, if it ever reaches Q>1.

  8. #8
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    The race is on then.

    What I like about nuclear fusion is the completely different approaches that the different labs are taking. Of course all follow the same set of principles, but they do so in different ways. To me, that improves the chances that one of those ways will be fruitful.