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[Reuters] Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project - Page 11

post #101 of 110
If they're working on a minuscule version, I honestly wouldn't be all that surprised if they already had a larger one working to some degree. Who knows why they wouldn't go public with it, but the government sometimes gets tech more 20+ years before society ever hears about it.
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post #102 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcal View Post

If they're working on a minuscule version, I honestly wouldn't be all that surprised if they already had a larger one working to some degree. Who knows why they wouldn't go public with it, but the government sometimes gets tech more 20+ years before society ever hears about it.

Read this: http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-compact-fusion-reactor-details

They don't have any working fusion reactor yet. They just have a design for a prototype fusion reactor. The reason they're going small is because they believe their fusion reactor is capable of much higher densities than tokamak fusion reactors, which in turn would lead to lower energy inputs and potentially net energy gains. In addition, smaller prototypes are much easier to build (they estimate 1 year between prototype revisions).
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post #103 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen00 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmodian View Post

I don't want my neighbor having a cheap thorium breeder reactor, especially as they would be a great starting point for a very dirty bomb.

Your ignorance is showing with that statement. There's no material used in a nuclear reactor that could be used to make a nuclear weapon, and dirty bombs are not really a threat, there have been studies done on their effectiveness which show that any dirty bomb would blow the dirty material so thoroughly over the area that there will be little more than background radiation from it.

Ignorance? I never mentioned a nuclear weapon. As for a dirty bomb, I wonder what the price of real estate would be in Manhattan after a dirty bomb went of there? Just because it isn't actually a significant hazard does does not mean it would not have a huge impact. You cannot give civilians nuclear reactors, even thorium breeders, it just isn't a good idea.

Even I probably wouldn't move to somewhere that had a dirty bomb attack and I think of myself as rational and informed about these things. Sure it wouldn't actually be a big risk and I could probably get a nice place for cheap but still... I probably wouldn't do it. If I had children I definitely would not. Humans are difficult that way, it is hard to be rational about some things. redface.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen00 View Post

Yeah, light years ahead of the Gen I/II 60's reactors, but they're not really much compared to a modern Gen VI 2010's reactor. The main use of thorium is as a alternate, more plentiful fuel source for the reaction.

Right, those are what I am talking about, Gen IV thorium breeder reactors. What kind of reactor did you think I was talking about? I guess "Throium Reactor" is unspecific but I was using it to mean Gen IV thorium breeder reactors, are there any thorium light water reactors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsumi View Post

Also, light-years measure distance, not time. Saying light-years is illogical.

It is a figure of speech meaning "very far ahead". It is using the extreme distance of a light year to exaggerate the distance between the two concepts. "Decades ahead" would have a similar meaning in this context and might have been a better choice, certainly more accurate. I still find it amazing that there really are people who don't know a light year is a measure of distance, they didn't get enough science fiction as kids, I guess.

Pie in the Sky is illogical too, figures of speech don't have to make sense. wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by the9quad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmodian View Post

Thorium reactors are quite interesting, and light years ahead of our current 60's era uranium plants.

Not really.

Care to elaborate? Do you mean a light water thorium reactor isn't that far ahead or that the various gen IV thorium breeder reactors are not much better than a classic light water reactor? Some of the downsides of a LFTR sound pretty significant. Politically this downside sounds like a road block:

"Many Thorium-cycle MSRs have to capture Pa as it is produced, removing it from the system while it decays to U-233 and then reinserting it into the reactor. They have to do this because otherwise the Pa-233 absorbs too many neutrons to maintain a breeding cycle. The problem here is that that ex-core U-233 is basically pure weapons-grade U-233 which could be used to make a bomb." Source

As you can probably tell I am interested in this topic so any incites would be appreciated. smile.gif

Or is this simply a comment on my choice of phrase? tongue.gif
Edited by Asmodian - 10/19/14 at 5:47pm
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post #104 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by crust_cheese View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

Guess your country should have stepped up to the plate and beat them to it thumb.gif

Frankly, I don't care whether this was invented in the US, in Switzerland or Albania or whatever.
However, Lockheed Martin is a defense contractor with strong ties to the US government and I'm sure this will influence both what its used for and who is granted access to the technology.

Like with all breakthroughs, even if Lockeed Martin produces a fusion reactor, it won't be more than a few years before the Russians Germans and Chinese come up with their own working models. Faster now than what took them with fission for sure.
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post #105 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsumi View Post

Also, light-years measure distance, not time. Saying light-years is illogical.

not really. People often refer to something being miles ahead of the competition.
post #106 of 110
Kudos to Tsumi for linking the AviationWeek article. That's the article where I first read the news and prefer to read it from.

To begin with it's not the same as the ITER project. So to reiterate, they are not building a tokamak. They came across a design that is possibly more efficient than the tokamak by an order of magnitude, and thus could be built even smaller. The smaller size would allow for easier prototyping and possibly less costs involved. What I do like about this article is that it doesn't sugarcoat the progress that Skunk Works is making. They said it clearly that they will need to have at least five more iterations of designing, building and testing before going to a workable prototype, and then a similar length of time for a production version.

The portability is what makes this important for space travel. VASIMR has been touted as being the breakthrough needed for rapid travel in the solar system, but size-power ratio would be a problem. The VASIMR that is will be tested on the ISS produces less than 200 Kw. But you would need a 500 megawatt reactor to produce the thrust needed on deep space manned spacecraft to achieve the short voyage times. That is basically putting a full nuclear plant reactor on a spaceship, so it cannot yet be done practically.
post #107 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmodian View Post


Care to elaborate? Do you mean a light water thorium reactor isn't that far ahead or that the various gen IV thorium breeder reactors are not much better than a classic light water reactor? Some of the downsides of a LFTR sound pretty significant. Politically this downside sounds like a road block:

"Many Thorium-cycle MSRs have to capture Pa as it is produced, removing it from the system while it decays to U-233 and then reinserting it into the reactor. They have to do this because otherwise the Pa-233 absorbs too many neutrons to maintain a breeding cycle. The problem here is that that ex-core U-233 is basically pure weapons-grade U-233 which could be used to make a bomb." Source

As you can probably tell I am interested in this topic so any incites would be appreciated. smile.gif

Or is this simply a comment on my choice of phrase? tongue.gif

I am saying Thorium reactors are not light years ahead of the 99 BWR and PWR's we have running today. If and when they get a design finalized and approved, then we will see. And even then expect to see cap factors that are crap for 5-10 years or so while the operators figure them out.
post #108 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by the9quad View Post

I am saying Thorium reactors are not light years ahead of the 99 BWR and PWR's we have running today. If and when they get a design finalized and approved, then we will see. And even then expect to see cap factors that are crap for 5-10 years or so while the operators figure them out.

Actually it isn't the thorium that is important to me, it is the Gen IV non-exploding designs that I like. China seems to be investing in the development of thorium MSRs, any design that does not melt down and then explode when the power is shut-off is light years ahead of any BWR/PWR. But I can see why you would say unfinished designs that are not yet ready to actually produce electricity are not. biggrin.gif

You are talking about how well they actually operate in the real world. Obviously there is a lot of work left to have real energy production from a thorium MSR but still, not blowing up when you turn off the power is a pretty major design improvement.

Ah well, I will stop with the off-topic. redface.gif
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post #109 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmodian View Post

Actually it isn't the thorium that is important to me, it is the Gen IV non-exploding designs that I like. China seems to be investing in the development of thorium MSRs, any design that does not melt down and then explode when the power is shut-off is light years ahead of any BWR/PWR. But I can see why you would say unfinished designs that are not yet ready to actually produce electricity are not. biggrin.gif

You are talking about how well they actually operate in the real world. Obviously there is a lot of work left to have real energy production from a thorium MSR but still, not blowing up when you turn off the power is a pretty major design improvement.

Ah well, I will stop with the off-topic. redface.gif

lol over state things much. Fukushima took a frickin tsunami to the face dude. Containment held on ( for the most part, it did beyond design), and the RB's took a H2 explosion due to venting, the reactor didn't blow up..... Yes, Gen III+ are safer with longer coping times, and there are upgrades in place for older ones for longer coping times. Still remains to be seen how safe anything else is because there aren't any.
post #110 of 110
Fusion smusion...

Bla bla, When are Lockheed gonna make a consumer Blackbird?biggrin.gif
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