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[Techinsider] China just hit a nuclear fusion milestone - Page 5

post #41 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayford5 View Post

Well, when the people of this country and the government stop being so scared of nuclear meltdowns that happen only once in a great while we may actually make strides. Until then we will see nothing. On the other side though, have you ever seen where nuclear waste goes? In the ground some times. You know near our water sources and sometimes, as in the case of the St. Louis area landfill, near a landfill that catches on fire. Nuclear waste doesn't break down fast enough to justify the usage is also a concern for some. Where do we put spent uranium for disposal and how do we dispose of it? Lots of questions that need to be answered before we start using it everywhere. That is not exactly my view but the view of concerned individuals that don't want or like nuclear power.

Nuclear fusion is not nuclear fission. Fusion does not produce the same long term radioactive products that fission does.

Even in the case of nuclear fission, that long-lived waste can actually be turned into fuel. Spent uranium can be put into fast reactors, where they're broken down into elements with much shorter half lives (measured in decades and centuries instead of millenia or longer, with the bulk of the most radioactive material being almost completely decayed in the first hundred years). Fast reactors are able to produce up to 10 times more power from the same fuel as compared to traditional nuclear reactors.

Those that are concerned generally are also very ignorant when it comes to nuclear knowledge. Unfortunately, those same people also tend to stick their fingers in their ears at any attempt to educate them about nuclear power.
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppet847 View Post

Has the U.S. made any noteworthy developments in nuclear fusion in recent memory? Seems to just be Germany and China dominating the news.

I don't think there are any current active projects based in the US, but there are projects in Europe that do receive US funding.
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post #42 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkpriest667 View Post

Not to get political on you but China uses the exact same electoral system the U.S. does to elect their president. Yes they only have one party (technically they have 7), but guess what? So does the U.S. Dems and Repubs funded by the same corps bud. =) My Minor is in political science and one of my senior thesis was on China's electoral system. They literally elect presidents EXACTLY the same way we do, the electoral college. Electors vote them in. Is it a sham? Yeah, but so is the American electoral system.


Trust me bud, this is the Chinese Century.

China does not the same electoral system. They have practically no election system to speak of. At least in the US money can buy you a chance at being President, in China it can only get you support of party members in high places.

In US the electoral college performs totally different from the Chinese system, maybe on paper its similar but China doesn't function on rule of law or precedent, it only functions on the whims of the leadership at that given time.
post #43 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by IntoxicatedPuma View Post

/snip it only functions on the whims of the leadership at that given time.

hmm, remind me again how this is different?

on topic, this is very cool and actually gives me hope that this will happen in my life time still. Way too many news stories and break-through s only for them to disappear.
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post #44 of 85
The US leadership has power dispersed over a larger number of officials, by the time one can get enough support from other leaders he is already out of office or publically unpopular.

Point is, at least in the US people can chose to vote or not, in China you don't have a choice. Even two or three bad choices is better than none, and you also have the right to protest your poor choices in the US. Try that in China and see how it turns out
post #45 of 85
US is betting on solar and wind with future battery breakthroughs. If the battery tech does have a breakthrough, then solar and wind will probably be viable and cheaper than fusion reactor. But if fusion is a big success then US will be behind.
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post #46 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayford5 View Post

Well, when the people of this country and the government stop being so scared of nuclear meltdowns that happen only once in a great while we may actually make strides. Until then we will see nothing. On the other side though, have you ever seen where nuclear waste goes? In the ground some times. You know near our water sources and sometimes, as in the case of the St. Louis area landfill, near a landfill that catches on fire. Nuclear waste doesn't break down fast enough to justify the usage is also a concern for some. Where do we put spent uranium for disposal and how do we dispose of it? Lots of questions that need to be answered before we start using it everywhere. That is not exactly my view but the view of concerned individuals that don't want or like nuclear power.

What has any of this to do with fusion?
In fact germany has almost abandoned nuclear energy and yet it is doing research for fusion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayford5 View Post

That is not exactly my view but the view of concerned individuals that don't want or like nuclear power.
Maybe because it is really that bad? It is not only a view from concerned individuals. It is the truth.
The issue is that nuclear power is cheap and efficient but in the end it is dangeroues, needs just aswell ressources and produces waste.

However nuclear fusion could be our hope for clean and unlimted energy.
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post #47 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by awdrifter View Post

US is betting on solar and wind with future battery breakthroughs. If the battery tech does have a breakthrough, then solar and wind will probably be viable and cheaper than fusion reactor. But if fusion is a big success then US will be behind.

That is not a great idea - solar and wind do not have anywhere near the energy density required. Also, they may not actually be cheaper in terms of cost per MWh.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Put it this way - Morocco (where I happen to be at the moment) just opened Noor I, the world's largest solar power plant, in the Sahara desert. It covers 1,000 acres of desert and generates 160MW. It can generate power for 20 hours of the day, as it uses a molten salt bath to store heat into the night.

So that means it can generate 3,200MWh per day, or 1,168,000 MWh/year, assuming it can manage its peak production 20 hours of every day, with no downtime.

The USA consumed 4,686,400,000 MWh in 2013 according to the DoE. That means it would take 4,012 Noor I's to power the USA - assuming some form of battery technology could allow for peak demand and overnight demand (a big assumption).

4,012 Noor I's would take up 4,012,000 acres, or an area a little larger than Connecticut, to power the US. And that is assuming said area has the same amount of sun as the Sahara desert.

As for cost - Noor I cost about $9Bn. 4,012 of them will cost $36Tn... a sizable chunk of money.


Solar and wind plants are a good idea, and we should certainly pursue them where possible, but they currently can't provide all our energy needs.
Edited by GingerJohn - 2/10/16 at 4:38am
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post #48 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsumi View Post

Nuclear fusion is not nuclear fission. Fusion does not produce the same long term radioactive products that fission does.

Even in the case of nuclear fission, that long-lived waste can actually be turned into fuel. Spent uranium can be put into fast reactors, where they're broken down into elements with much shorter half lives (measured in decades and centuries instead of millenia or longer, with the bulk of the most radioactive material being almost completely decayed in the first hundred years). Fast reactors are able to produce up to 10 times more power from the same fuel as compared to traditional nuclear reactors.

Those that are concerned generally are also very ignorant when it comes to nuclear knowledge. Unfortunately, those same people also tend to stick their fingers in their ears at any attempt to educate them about nuclear power.
I don't think there are any current active projects based in the US, but there are projects in Europe that do receive US funding.

Exactly but people don't understand that. They still are thinking of the old 50s tech that created much waste. The congress and the people of the US can't seem to move their thinking into the 21st century. That is why we have zero projects because people are scared of the old tech that created Chernobyl. Even though that wasn't even a nuclear issue that was human error. The US is done for now in this aspect because of older politicians and a public who can't think passed what they know.

Again, those were not my views. Those views were from some much smarter than me but they still don't want to understand. Not only do they stick their fingers in their ears but they also are part of influential bodies that tend to persuade others to their cause. It has been far too long since the US has been a productive nation. We need to get back to the days of ingenuity. We have become a stagnant nation that just wants a hand out and feels that everything should be given and not earned. Until we remember this is not how it works everything from production to scientific research will suffer. Just my two cents.
post #49 of 85
The reason the USA can't perform in the nuclear arena is because of the whack job environmentalists who file lawsuits as soon as company x decides to build a new facility.
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post #50 of 85
China don't care about the patents, about huge corporations fighting each other like children.
When an academic institute wants to do something in china, or a technology advancement based on patented US tech is being developed there, they aren't asking for permission.
They are also decently loose in terms of what is allowed or not allowed to research.

This is the main reason why a lot of advancements are being done there.
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