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  • #612
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    It seems we have entrenched competition in the form of the Idaho National Lab, who is apparently already funded to build a Next Generation Nuclear Plant, (High Temperature Gas Cooled), even though its all theory at this point. Their premise is that by using helium cooling (sound familiar?) they can run the reactor around 750 to 900 degrees C, recovering the waste heat as industrial process heat, and boosting overall energy efficiency by 20 to 40%.

    The interactive site is at http://www.nextgenerationnuclearplant.com/facility/index.shtml . Even though this is an INL site, the project has its own URL and site with slick interactive graphics. They’ve covered all of our energy, environmental, and economic bases, except they use nuclear fission rather than nuclear fusion to do it. We should look this good and read so well.

    https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1269&mode=2&featurestory=DA_329615 is the INL page showing the co-generative turbine.

    I’ve spent the last few days going through the 2009 budget, House Committees, Senate Committees, Cabinet officers, and the President’s own scientific advisors, and I’m getting mixed signals- the budget says its looking for innovative energy solutions and provides for anticipation and deployment funding of these projects, while the DOE site plainly explains that they aren’t in any hurry to make electricity using fusion reactions. Maybe the red herring designed to test how determined a DPF approach is to find its demo/grid integration funding.

    #4174
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: It seems we have entrenched competition in the form of the Idaho National Lab, who is apparently already funded to build a Next Generation Nuclear Plant, (High Temperature Gas Cooled), even though its all theory at this point. Their premise is that by using helium cooling (sound familiar?) they can run the reactor around 750 to 900 degrees C, recovering the waste heat as industrial process heat, and boosting overall energy efficiency by 20 to 40%.

    The interactive site is at http://www.nextgenerationnuclearplant.com/facility/index.shtml . Even though this is an INL site, the project has its own URL and site with slick interactive graphics. They’ve covered all of our energy, environmental, and economic bases, except they use nuclear fission rather than nuclear fusion to do it. We should look this good and read so well.

    https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1269&mode=2&featurestory=DA_329615 is the INL page showing the co-generative turbine.

    I’ve spent the last few days going through the 2009 budget, House Committees, Senate Committees, Cabinet officers, and the President’s own scientific advisors, and I’m getting mixed signals- the budget says its looking for innovative energy solutions and provides for anticipation and deployment funding of these projects, while the DOE site plainly explains that they aren’t in any hurry to make electricity using fusion reactions. Maybe the red herring designed to test how determined a DPF approach is to find its demo/grid integration funding.

    Why worry about what the DOE does or doesn’t signal or support?

    “It’s the economics, stupid!” When/if an FF generator with a price tag 1/10 or less of equivalent sources is available, it won’t matter a damn what the DOE, much less the president’s scientific advisors etc., think. What do you think they will say in that situation? I find it hard to imagine them not getting on board.

    #4176
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    My goodness. :wow: The INL site shows a breathtaking level of short term thinking. Their prime market is the fossil fuel industry. Who needs it?

    #4178
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    Phil’s Dad wrote: My goodness. :wow: The INL site shows a breathtaking level of short term thinking. Their prime market is the fossil fuel industry. Who needs it?

    I see a pattern forming. What the government (DOE in particular) places in fairly plain sight is career paths that support international policy agreements such as ITER. This also justifies budgets by hiring people with big eds to operate big budget machines.

    Meanwhile, back at the (Nevada) ranch, lurks a 2004 pdf showing that DOE already has their own Dense Plasma Focus fusion reactor. They use it for generating neutrons and are developing it to support NIF, DHS, etc. This could be interesting, now that the patent’s been issued.

    Here’s the link: http://www.nv.doe.gov/library/publications/sitelines/sl103.pdf

    Page 4 even has a decent photo of their rig. There’s also a list of acronyms that gives an idea how many organizations that facility interacts with. Its a LOT of people and sites.

    So, Brian, as the Doors song L.A. Woman said, “Took a look around, see which way the wind blows…”

    #4179
    AvatarAaronB
    Member

    Very interesting article. I wonder what sort of optimization techniques they came up with to increase neutron production. We could use that insight as our project progresses. Is there a way to get that info?

    #4180
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    AaronB wrote: Very interesting article. I wonder what sort of optimization techniques they came up with to increase neutron production. We could use that insight as our project progresses. Is there a way to get that info?

    Not sure at the moment, but here’s what I found by googling Bechtel Nevada. The wind blows wherever Bechtel wants it too. This article has 26 footnotes citing sources, and at the very bottom links out to similar profiles on Boeing, Mistubishi, etc.

    Here’s the link: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/corporate/dd/bechtel2.html

    The way I found the the previous link is asking every search engine/window I encounter for “DPF”. Maybe their “rarified gas” is D-T?

    #4181
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    Haven’t been able to find any detail on their machine, Aaron, but I did find some policy docs and acronyms to search:

    FEAC: Fusion Energy Advisory Committee
    OFES: Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
    PCAST: President’s Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology

    http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/377516-KT9ZdT/webviewable/ is the Strategic Plan for the Restructured US Fusion Energy Sciences Program. The first few pages repeat the Executuve Summary while they admit that when times get tough enough, they might look at nearly-commercialized FF as a viable platform to launch the US Fusion Program. So maybe Brian’s right and FF’s intrinsic cubic goodness is all we need to have the world beat a path to FF.

    http://other.nrl.navy.mil/EnergyOptions/PFP_Dean/PFP_Dean.pdf Is the NRL’s fusion development blueprint. Note the General Atomics logo at the top.

    http://www-ferp.ucsd.edu/najmabadi/TALK/95-99/9606-ANS.pdf is the Project Aries assessment of Tokamak gains over the decades.

    http://www.bechtel.com/quick-change_artists.html is a brag page about how well Bechtel swaps out steam generators in a large nuc plant. It gives specifics about the entire project and has some killer pix. Projects like this make FF look like small potatoes, except in the context of repowering coal-fired utilities. The nav bar on top shows how many pies they have their fingers in, btw.

    #4184
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Aero, I piled on with a supporting comment at Eco-Geeks after seeing Patrick Davis’ Feb/08 and your June1/09 comments.

    Solutions
    written by Brian H, July 01, 2009
    Yes, Focus Fusion has enormous advantages, starting with being aneutronic and culminating with size and cost. It’s around 1/10 the capital and output expense of even the best alternatives mentioned here. And deployment beginning in 5 yrs. is possible. 7 at the outside if the p-B experiments are successful with a lab prototype by 2010.
    It will solve at a stroke the Global Warming/Carbon problem, which does not exist, and the cheap energy and waste disposal problems, which do.

    Couldn’t resist a Geek-tweak about AGW, as you notice. :cheese:

    #4185
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: Haven’t been able to find any detail on their machine, Aaron, but I did find some policy docs and acronyms to search:

    FEAC: Fusion Energy Advisory Committee
    OFES: Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
    PCAST: President’s Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology

    http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/377516-KT9ZdT/webviewable/ is the Strategic Plan for the Restructured US Fusion Energy Sciences Program. The first few pages repeat the Executuve Summary while they admit that when times get tough enough, they might look at nearly-commercialized FF as a viable platform to launch the US Fusion Program. So maybe Brian’s right and FF’s intrinsic cubic goodness is all we need to have the world beat a path to FF.

    http://other.nrl.navy.mil/EnergyOptions/PFP_Dean/PFP_Dean.pdf Is the NRL’s fusion development blueprint. Note the General Atomics logo at the top.

    http://www-ferp.ucsd.edu/najmabadi/TALK/95-99/9606-ANS.pdf is the Project Aries assessment of Tokamak gains over the decades.

    http://www.bechtel.com/quick-change_artists.html is a brag page about how well Bechtel swaps out steam generators in a large nuc plant. It gives specifics about the entire project and has some killer pix. Projects like this make FF look like small potatoes, except in the context of repowering coal-fired utilities. The nav bar on top shows how many pies they have their fingers in, btw.

    Those documents are 4-12 years old! It would be interesting to follow up on some of them, but it’s hard to locate anything very current.

    The Strategic Plan is just an image scan; it’s not searchable. Where did you see any direct or indirect reference to FF in it?

    #4186
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    Sorry about the age and image quality, Brian. These are strategic spending plans that form a mosaic with my posts from today and yesterday. As strategic documents that seem to be holding true, I didn’t see a need do a more exhaustive search. For current docs, may I recommend the new Budget?

    FF and pB11 is conspicuous by its abscense.

    #4194
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    Brian H wrote: Aero, I piled on with a supporting comment at Eco-Geeks after seeing Patrick Davis’ Feb/08 and your June1/09 comments.

    Solutions
    written by Brian H, July 01, 2009
    Yes, Focus Fusion has enormous advantages, starting with being aneutronic and culminating with size and cost. It’s around 1/10 the capital and output expense of even the best alternatives mentioned here. And deployment beginning in 5 yrs. is possible. 7 at the outside if the p-B experiments are successful with a lab prototype by 2010.
    It will solve at a stroke the Global Warming/Carbon problem, which does not exist, and the cheap energy and waste disposal problems, which do.

    Couldn’t resist a Geek-tweak about AGW, as you notice. :cheese:

    Thanx for reminding me of that post, Brian. I’d forgotten all about it. Now its been turned into a full-blown advertorial at http://subatomicprecision.com . Still got some fine points like linking and about pages, but the copy looks good enough (this took me three days so far) to start calling people who think they want to run for Governor and Congress in 2010.

    After that comes a $50 stumble-upon campaign that will bring 1,000 visitors- enough to take it viral if I’ve done it right. After all, the six bullet points address how FF can solve the 6 thorniest problems the world says it needs to solve post-haste. :coolsmile:

    #4196
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote:

    Aero, I piled on with a supporting comment at Eco-Geeks after seeing Patrick Davis’ Feb/08 and your June1/09 comments.

    Solutions
    written by Brian H, July 01, 2009
    Yes, Focus Fusion has enormous advantages, starting with being aneutronic and culminating with size and cost. It’s around 1/10 the capital and output expense of even the best alternatives mentioned here. And deployment beginning in 5 yrs. is possible. 7 at the outside if the p-B experiments are successful with a lab prototype by 2010.
    It will solve at a stroke the Global Warming/Carbon problem, which does not exist, and the cheap energy and waste disposal problems, which do.

    Couldn’t resist a Geek-tweak about AGW, as you notice. :cheese:

    Thanx for reminding me of that post, Brian. I’d forgotten all about it. Now its been turned into a full-blown advertorial at http://subatomicprecision.com . Still got some fine points like linking and about pages, but the copy looks good enough (this took me three days so far) to start calling people who think they want to run for Governor and Congress in 2010.

    After that comes a $50 stumble-upon campaign that will bring 1,000 visitors- enough to take it viral if I’ve done it right. After all, the six bullet points address how FF can solve the 6 thorniest problems the world says it needs to solve post-haste. :coolsmile:

    You’re pretty much trying to cover all bases there! As you know, I have reservations and disagreements about 3 areas you’re keen to emphasize, though.
    1) Timing of break-even experiments. AFAIK, Eric has not stated or confirmed that 2009 will see the first pB runs, much less break-even proof.
    2) Heat capture; any equipment set up to do that would cost more than simply adding more FF generators to produce the same amount of heat with direct induction coils. Who would throw money away like that to capture low-level thermal waste?
    3) Selling politicians and others in advance has marginal value at best, and severe possible downsides. The very last thing FF needs is for existing (political and economic) power brokers to highjack and gain influence and control. Their record of enlightened selfishness is very poor, at best.

    #4198
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    Brian H wrote:

    Aero, I piled on with a supporting comment at Eco-Geeks after seeing Patrick Davis’ Feb/08 and your June1/09 comments.

    Solutions
    written by Brian H, July 01, 2009
    Yes, Focus Fusion has enormous advantages, starting with being aneutronic and culminating with size and cost. It’s around 1/10 the capital and output expense of even the best alternatives mentioned here. And deployment beginning in 5 yrs. is possible. 7 at the outside if the p-B experiments are successful with a lab prototype by 2010.
    It will solve at a stroke the Global Warming/Carbon problem, which does not exist, and the cheap energy and waste disposal problems, which do.

    Couldn’t resist a Geek-tweak about AGW, as you notice. :cheese:

    Thanx for reminding me of that post, Brian. I’d forgotten all about it. Now its been turned into a full-blown advertorial at http://subatomicprecision.com . Still got some fine points like linking and about pages, but the copy looks good enough (this took me three days so far) to start calling people who think they want to run for Governor and Congress in 2010.

    After that comes a $50 stumble-upon campaign that will bring 1,000 visitors- enough to take it viral if I’ve done it right. After all, the six bullet points address how FF can solve the 6 thorniest problems the world says it needs to solve post-haste. :coolsmile:

    You’re pretty much trying to cover all bases there! As you know, I have reservations and disagreements about 3 areas you’re keen to emphasize, though.
    1) Timing of break-even experiments. AFAIK, Eric has not stated or confirmed that 2009 will see the first pB runs, much less break-even proof.
    2) Heat capture; any equipment set up to do that would cost more than simply adding more FF generators to produce the same amount of heat with direct induction coils. Who would throw money away like that to capture low-level thermal waste?
    3) Selling politicians and others in advance has marginal value at best, and severe possible downsides. The very last thing FF needs is for existing (political and economic) power brokers to highjack and gain influence and control. Their record of enlightened selfishness is very poor, at best.

    Thanx for the quick response, Brian. Yes, I am trying to cover as many bases as I can. Here’s my reasoning thus far:
    1) Jimmy T mentioned “Baby’s not due until Labor Day” in the naming contest, and I haven’t seen anybody else say otherwise. Granted, that sounds like physically completing the machine rather than beginning testing, but if all of your dreams were about to come true, wouldn’t you do at least one test shot that week? The important dates for my copy are the Primaries in August, 2010 and the elections in November, 2010. All my copy needs is the credible chance that FF could deliver a confirmation or two by election day.
    2) Heat capture makes FF the only fusion reactor with practical uses (sorry- gotta add x-ray generator to the list) before reaching break-even. The Cap-And-Trade bill, HR-1759, is currently in a House committee, but when it resumes moving, greener boilers will look even better.
    3) Phil’s Dad can help us with this point. I hate the word surprise, and I’ll bet all politicians do, too. If nothing else, I think of the phone campaign as a professional courtesy that can make sure FF is an open secret in Washington, with each candidate living in fear of being caught by the Media without a plan- or the commanding lead he’d held the day before. Right now we know nothing other than that we will need Very strong, determined Congressional support to get the NRC moving in our direction. Publicly surprising US Senators is a recipe for disaster.
    3a) I’m going to follow the phone campaign with a Stumble-upon.com campaign to see if it goes viral. Who can say if it will until I present it? Bottom line is we need friends at all levels of society, and we can’t make them friends until they know what’s in it for them. A foreseeable time frame is great way to start, imho.
    3b) If $50 is all it takes to make FF a household name in the sense of solving at least one problem in each household, I’d call that the deal of the century. 😉

    #4200
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote:

    Aero, I piled on with a supporting comment at Eco-Geeks after seeing Patrick Davis’ Feb/08 and your June1/09 comments.

    Solutions
    written by Brian H, July 01, 2009
    Yes, Focus Fusion has enormous advantages, starting with being aneutronic and culminating with size and cost. It’s around 1/10 the capital and output expense of even the best alternatives mentioned here. And deployment beginning in 5 yrs. is possible. 7 at the outside if the p-B experiments are successful with a lab prototype by 2010.
    It will solve at a stroke the Global Warming/Carbon problem, which does not exist, and the cheap energy and waste disposal problems, which do.

    Couldn’t resist a Geek-tweak about AGW, as you notice. :cheese:

    Thanx for reminding me of that post, Brian. I’d forgotten all about it. Now its been turned into a full-blown advertorial at http://subatomicprecision.com . Still got some fine points like linking and about pages, but the copy looks good enough (this took me three days so far) to start calling people who think they want to run for Governor and Congress in 2010.

    After that comes a $50 stumble-upon campaign that will bring 1,000 visitors- enough to take it viral if I’ve done it right. After all, the six bullet points address how FF can solve the 6 thorniest problems the world says it needs to solve post-haste. :coolsmile:

    You’re pretty much trying to cover all bases there! As you know, I have reservations and disagreements about 3 areas you’re keen to emphasize, though.
    1) Timing of break-even experiments. AFAIK, Eric has not stated or confirmed that 2009 will see the first pB runs, much less break-even proof.
    2) Heat capture; any equipment set up to do that would cost more than simply adding more FF generators to produce the same amount of heat with direct induction coils. Who would throw money away like that to capture low-level thermal waste?
    3) Selling politicians and others in advance has marginal value at best, and severe possible downsides. The very last thing FF needs is for existing (political and economic) power brokers to highjack and gain influence and control. Their record of enlightened selfishness is very poor, at best.

    Thanx for the quick response, Brian. Yes, I am trying to cover as many bases as I can. Here’s my reasoning thus far:
    1) Jimmy T mentioned “Baby’s not due until Labor Day” in the naming contest, and I haven’t seen anybody else say otherwise. Granted, that sounds like physically completing the machine rather than beginning testing, but if all of your dreams were about to come true, wouldn’t you do at least one test shot that week? The important dates for my copy are the Primaries in August, 2010 and the elections in November, 2010. All my copy needs is the credible chance that FF could deliver a confirmation or two by election day.
    2) Heat capture makes FF the only fusion reactor with practical uses (sorry- gotta add x-ray generator to the list) before reaching break-even. The Cap-And-Trade bill, HR-1759, is currently in a House committee, but when it resumes moving, greener boilers will look even better.
    3) Phil’s Dad can help us with this point. I hate the word surprise, and I’ll bet all politicians do, too. If nothing else, I think of the phone campaign as a professional courtesy that can make sure FF is an open secret in Washington, with each candidate living in fear of being caught by the Media without a plan- or the commanding lead he’d held the day before. Right now we know nothing other than that we will need Very strong, determined Congressional support to get the NRC moving in our direction. Publicly surprising US Senators is a recipe for disaster.
    3a) I’m going to follow the phone campaign with a Stumble-upon.com campaign to see if it goes viral. Who can say if it will until I present it? Bottom line is we need friends at all levels of society, and we can’t make them friends until they know what’s in it for them. A foreseeable time frame is great way to start, imho.
    3b) If $50 is all it takes to make FF a household name in the sense of solving at least one problem in each household, I’d call that the deal of the century. 😉

    Firing up Baby is a far cry from achieving break-even; that’s (AFAIK) the desired result several steps and tweaks down the road. IAC, the first runs will all be D-T; pB isn’t planned until the ability to generate adequate control and high enough temps is in hand.
    As far as being a household name: aside from possibly shielding from a covert take-out or back-door regulatory squelching, etc., what is the benefit? Remember, there will be “experts” with vested interests in the status quo coming out of the woodwork to sneer and cavil. It would hardly be a productive use of Eric’s time to have to fend off a firehose of uniniformed criticism.

    If there were a looming problem of funding for the engineering phase of the R’n’D, publicity would help, of course, but there is every indication that Eric’s expectation that demonstration of a working break-even rig would bring plenty of support is valid.

    Public attention. Be careful what you ask for. You may get it!

    #4201
    AvatarLerner
    Participant

    We DO want publicity–all the time and any time! We especially want some after the machine starts to operate.

    Brian is right that there are many steps between starting the machine and demonstrating scientific feasibility. But we will be running initially with only deuterium, not with DT, which we don’t intend to use.

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