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  • #979
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster
    #8584
    Avataremmetb
    Member

    NIF is primarily about stockpile stewardship, not energy. That’s not to say there can’t be useful overflow between the two. But, frankly, i find it worrying that a big-shot (no pun intended) guy like Ed Moses feels inclined to paint such a rosy picture to the audience. He should be fair about the risks and uncertainty of the investment he is asking the American people to make, once again. Especially considering the fact that the costs would, once again, dwarf the costs of a more diversified approach to fusion research.

    #8585
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Thanks for pointing this out!

    Moses makes a great case for fusion energy.

    I would just add to this piece the need for diversification of fusion research approaches and funding (don’t put all the eggs in a laser basket), and a bit about aneutronic fusion, the ultimate fusion goal.

    Actually, it might be there, I didn’t watch through to the end. Must work! Will come back to this.

    As to the winning tone, perhaps he’s convinced, or perhaps it’s a strategy for ensuring funding consistency which is necessary to find out one way or another. Success of ignition itself could spark more fusion funding all around, even if ultimately LIFE doesn’t turn out to be as efficient as other fusion ideas which follow.

    Bonus yield here: the “Long Now Foundation” sounds like people who can relate to our goals. Allies perhaps?

    #8586
    AvatarIvy Matt
    Participant

    Oh, June 16th. I was wondering what Ed was doing in San Francisco when he’s supposed to be at the IAEA conference in Korea.

    #8617
    Avatarnemmart
    Member

    Breakable wrote: http://fora.tv/2010/06/16/Ed_Moses_Clean_Fusion_Power_This_Decade

    This was a nice talk. Thanks for posting it.

    There are a couple of question that I wish had been asked…

    I had seen a talk on the web a few years about about ITER — here’s the link: http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/VMS_Site_03/Lectures/Colloquium/050428Smith/index.htm

    In the talk, Chris Smith discusses the very difficult engineering challenges:
    1) Designing the lithium blankets and the processing to replace the tritium burned
    2) The heavy neutron bombardment weakens the containment structure

    He said the engineering challenges would take years to solve and test and would require
    a dedicated IFMIF facility.

    Clearly the same problems would exist for NIF. I wish someone had asked Mr. Moses
    if these engineering challenges had been solved and shown to work? and if not, how can
    he be so confident about timeframes and costs, etc.

    #8623
    Avataremmetb
    Member

    nemmart wrote:
    Clearly the same problems would exist for NIF. I wish someone had asked Mr. Moses
    if these engineering challenges had been solved and shown to work? and if not, how can
    he be so confident about timeframes and costs, etc.

    Exactly! All these risks/chances should be taken into account and then multiplied by the respective costs/benefits. That’s how rational decisions are made! Of course DPF fusion also has many unknowns and it is still open whether it is feasible. Yet the costs of running the experiments are much lower and the potential benefits both in terms of basic science (LPP is planning to go into physical domains that have so far not been investigated) and economy of scale are much greater.

    #8627
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Yes, and the 360° sphere of molten salt enclosure trapping the neutrons? There’s a challenge to daunt the gods; the degradation of piping etc. would be fierce. Also exposed to the heavy flux would be the air pellet gun (!) firing the replacement beads into place (10X a second!) Servicing that gear once it got heavily radiated/radioactive would be a beotsch.

    He’s a good speaker, but in the end there are some major hand-wavings I’m reel dubious about.

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