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Generating electricity from fusion

  1. Jan 9, 2010 #1
    How is the energy released from nuclear fusion used to generate electricity? From my understanding heat is generated during nuclear fission and this heat is used to heat a fluid and drive a turbine. So how does it work with nuclear fusion?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2010 #2
    The proposed design is to have the cooling fluid for the walls of the reactor be the working fluid. I'm not sure of what the radiological and chemical implications are, but things should look similar to other power plants on the secondary side.

    I believe there has also been discussion of "direct conversion" because you end up with a charged particle with more energy. I haven't read enough on how it works to give a confident answer though.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2010 #3
    The first thing I thought of was to just use the energy to heat a fluid but I was wondering if this is really feasible. In order for fusion to occur the temperature is so high I assume that it could not be used to heat a fluid because the material holding the fluid couldn't handle it.
     
  5. Jan 11, 2010 #4
    I think I remember reading somewhere that one idea is to surround the reactor with a lithium blanket. The lithium would not only absorb the neutron from the fusion reaction (producing more tritium fuel), but also act as the coolant where heated lithium would be sent through a heat exchanger/steam generator producing steam for the turbine etc etc.
     
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