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US fusion programs in danger

by Khashishi
Tags: danger, fusion, programs
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Khashishi
#1
Mar15-12, 07:38 PM
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The Presidentís 2013 budget proposal has called for reduced funding of fusion energy programs. At the same time, an increasing portion of the fusion budget is allocated toward ITER, which is a large reactor being built in France, a collaborative effort between many countries. Funds for remaining programs are severely cut. One of the main tokamak experiments, Alcator C-mod at MIT, is slated to be shut down. Alcator C-mod has the highest magnetic field of current tokamaks and a large number of operating modes.

The domestic programs provide essential support for ITER (whose design is being updated based on researching coming out of these smaller devices). If we cut them, we are really slowing progress toward fusion power generation.

A few sites have popped up to raise some awareness and try to lobby Congress to allocate more funding for fusion research.
http://www.fusionfuture.org/
https://sites.google.com/site/plasmaphysicsletter2013/
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Drakkith
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Mar15-12, 09:16 PM
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That's disheartening...I'll have to look into those websites as soon as I get home.
AlephZero
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Mar15-12, 09:37 PM
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Quote Quote by Khashishi View Post
If we cut them, we are really slowing progress toward fusion power generation.
I can remember when I was a kid in school and we had a science talk about a wonderful new invention the UK had made that would generate electricity so cheaply that people could use as much as they wanted for free.

That was the AERE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA_(fusion_reactor) project, back in 1957.

Unless progress can go backwards from zero, it's kinda hard to see how it can go forwards any slower than the current rate.

Drakkith
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Mar15-12, 09:48 PM
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US fusion programs in danger

Quote Quote by AlephZero View Post
I can remember when I was a kid in school and we had a science talk about a wonderful new invention the UK had made that would generate electricity so cheaply that people could use as much as they wanted for free.

That was the AERE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA_(fusion_reactor) project, back in 1957.

Unless progress can go backwards from zero, it's kinda hard to see how it can go forwards any slower than the current rate.
Yes, it is unfortunate that Fusion was popularized well before it was feasible as "just around the corner". However, while progress is apparently slow, we have made significant progress over the years.


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