South Korea Takes Nuclear Fusion by the Horns
South Korea has started to develop a preliminary concept design for a fusion power demonstration reactor in collaboration with the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey.
South Korea is already developing the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (K-STAR) project and contributing to ITER, the €15-billion (US$20-billion) experimental reactor being built in Cadarache, France.
“It is a very smart strategy to take advantage of the experience gained in constructing ITER and to immediately proceed to construct a fusion power plant like K-DEMO,” says Stephen Dean, president of Fusion Power Associates.
K-DEMO will serve as prototype for the development of commercial fusion reactors. According to the PPPL, it will generate “some 1 billion watts of power for several weeks on end”, a much greater output than ITER's goal of producing 500 million watts for 500 seconds by the late 2020s.
Can this be taken as a sign that Nuclear Fusion is not necessarily a million miles off from being achieved? Or is Korea getting a bit too excited?
ITER - nuclear fusion power plant prototype HD
Fusion Plasma Physics and ITER - An Introduction
the ITER project is very exciting, as success could truly revolutionise the way we live. I haven't heard anything about this Korean rector demonstration though. Maybe they have decided to focus more effort on ITER.
Given the size and power density of a tokomak reactor, it is not at all clear that such a reactor can ever be made economically viable. And since Liquid Fluoride Thorium reactors have already been proven, can already be expected to be less expensive than coal, can be designed to REDUCE the overall radioactivity of the world, and have a fuel supply that can provide 100% of the world's power for mega-annums, I fail to see why we are wasting something on the order of 18Billion dollars on it!
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