Current State of Nuclear Fusion Power

  • Thread starter hotvette
  • Start date
  • #27
phyzguy
Science Advisor
4,651
1,587
Electricity from nuclear fusion is widely available now at about $1 / watt from a 174 petawatt reactor that has been operating for decades.
You're about a factor of a billion short on both the power output and the time of operation.
 
  • #28
BWV
703
649
You're about a factor of a billion short on both the power output and the time of operation.
Well, decades is not incorrect as I did not specify a quantity. I think the power output is correct (meaning I think I googled it correctly ;) ) measured as what is delivered to the planet annually
 
  • #30
  • #32
phyzguy
Science Advisor
4,651
1,587
That's so far the most developed (excess) power generating fusion reactor, I guess.
How did you conclude that? Where is a report that it is generating power at all? All the report says is what it could do if it works.
 
  • Like
Likes Astronuc and russ_watters
  • #34
62
4
If you are further interested in the Lockheed Martin compact fusion reactor, you have to research on your own.

<< Post edited by a Mentor >>
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #35
phyzguy
Science Advisor
4,651
1,587
If you are further interested in the Lockheed Martin compact fusion reactor, you have to research on your own.

<< Post edited by a Mentor >>
I have researched it, and I've concluded that it is "vaporware". There is no evidence that the concept works at all. The claim that they can run at a beta ratio of 1 is particularly suspect. If instead of looking at the "projections" of what the concept could do, you look at what they have actually achieved, you quickly conclude that they are nowhere close to any kind of viable fusion reactor.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Likes russ_watters and berkeman
  • #36
62
4
If (...) you look at what they have actually achieved, you quickly conclude that they are nowhere close to any kind of viable fusion reactor.
I can neither confirm nor deny this, as currently the necessary amount of proof in favour or against is missing. We simply do not know.
 
  • #37
BWV
703
649
I can neither confirm nor deny this, as currently the necessary amount of proof in favour or against is missing. We simply do not know.
The burden of proof is on the claim, not on disproving it. If there is not the necessary amount of proof in favor then they have nothing until they can demonstrate otherwise
 
  • Like
Likes russ_watters, phyzguy, Dale and 1 other person
  • #38
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,924
2,236
The World Nuclear Association has a good summary of program, both past and current.
Nuclear Fusion Power

From the Wikipedia article on JET
The main source of heating in JET is provided by two systems, neutral beam injection and ion cyclotron resonance heating. The former uses small particle accelerators to shoot fuel atoms into the plasma, where collisions cause the atoms to ionize and become trapped with the rest of the fuel. These collisions deposit the kinetic energy of the accelerators into the plasma. Ion cyclotron resonance heating is essentially the plasma equivalent of a microwave oven, using radio waves to pump energy into the ions directly by matching their cyclotron frequency. JET was designed so it would initially be built with a few megawatts of both sources, and then later be expanded to as much of 25 MW of neutral beams and 15 MW of cyclotron heating.[36]

JET's power requirements during the plasma pulse are around 500 MW[37] with peak in excess of 1000 MW.[38] Because power draw from the main grid is limited to 575 MW, two large flywheel generators were constructed to provide this necessary power.[38] Each 775-ton flywheel can spin up to 225 rpm and store 3.75 GJ.[39] Each flywheel uses 8.8 MW to spin up and can generate 400 MW (briefly).
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_European_Torus

A practical fusion system must have a self-sustaining fusion-based plasma, and a net electrical energy production, not just breakeven. We're not there yet.

A rather negative and pessimistic assessment from a Forbes contributor.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/...ssible-its-been-done-repeatedly/#40bcaef84cfd
 
  • Like
Likes berkeman
  • #39
phyzguy
Science Advisor
4,651
1,587
The burden of proof is on the claim, not on disproving it. If there is not the necessary amount of proof in favor then they have nothing until they can demonstrate otherwise
Exactly. if I claim that I have a working warp drive, and take weekend trips to Alpha Centauri, do you believe me because there is no proof that I'm wrong?
 
  • Like
Likes russ_watters
  • #40
berkeman
Mentor
58,381
8,451
Thread is closed temporarily for Moderation and cleanup...
 
Last edited:
  • #41
berkeman
Mentor
58,381
8,451
After some cleanup, thread is re-opened.
 
  • #42
62
4
The burden of proof is on the claim, not on disproving it. If there is not the necessary amount of proof in favor then they have nothing until they can demonstrate otherwise
You are absolutely right - from the scientific point of view. Especially, as it would be magnitudes too much work to disprove any claimed theory.

However, the case of the Lockheed Martin compact fusion reactor is difficult. These guys are most probably working under militarily classified conditions. I guess, they would like to prove their fusion theory, but they might not be allowed to do so.

Thus, I cannot take the Lockheed Martin compact fusion reactor as a proven theory. However, I do not like to badmouth it either. Especially for the reason, that usually any scientific project turns out to be more difficult during its realization and I do not want to deprive those half-military researchers their follow-up funding options (by guessing from a bad information basis).
 
Last edited:
  • #43
russ_watters
Mentor
19,938
6,410
However, the case of the Lockheed Martin compact fusion reactor is difficult. These guys are most probably working under militarily classified conditions.
I doubt that. If it were part of a classified project, they wouldn't be making public announcements about it. Most such projects you only hear about after they are over.
 

Related Threads on Current State of Nuclear Fusion Power

Replies
40
Views
4K
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
985
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
78
Views
35K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
11K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
17K
Top