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If we one day harnass nuclear fusion as an energy source

  1. We should naturally provide for Helium balloon production in every reactor

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  2. We should only bottle and contain the helium for later use in balloon production

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  3. We shouldn't use the Helium for any balloon production

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  4. Undecided

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  1. May 20, 2005 #1
    Would common sense dictate that along with providing energy, that each fusion reactor would double as a Helium balloon factory, or would I have to take it upon myself to lobby for the creation of such a facility when the time comes?

    I would assume that any scientist worth his weight in salt would instantly see the incredible potential that nuclear fusion has to create an unlimited supply of Helium balloons for the whole world, and that any design plan for a fusion reactor would inherently include a balloon factory somewhere therein. However, you really can never tell; the most common sense things are often completely overlooked by the people who are presumably the smartest...
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2005
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  3. May 21, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Balloons would be a very dangerous by-product to fusion energy. With the unchecked proliferaiton of balloons, we would live in a world where kids were happy. This must not happen and the UN must take further steps to make sure the unchecked proliferation of balloons is supressed and all kids must live unhappy childhoods due to their history of radical annoyance.
     
  4. May 21, 2005 #3
    There's a major problem to be considered in all this. These helium generators will have to be spread out more or less evenly over the globe to prevent the pull of all this new helium from pulling the earth out of its orbit.
     
  5. May 21, 2005 #4
    Certainly if there were a larger number of fusion reactors in one part of the world, the helium would work towards pulling the earth out of orbit from that point, but all the helium there would just displace the pre-existing heavier atmospheric elements towards the other side of the world, providing an effective counterweight.
     
  6. May 21, 2005 #5

    Danger

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    I had to go with the bottling and storing option. Obviously, such a valuable and rare resource must not be wasted. Unfortunately, you would have to store premade balloons as liquid helium balloons (aka very bloody cold water balloons). Even the proper helium-resistant balloon material allows the stuff to outgas at an unacceptable rate. Long term storage isn't practical. Not to mention the transportation problems. Clearly, a truck full of helium balloons won't have enough weight on the road for proper traction. They would have to be shipped by air, but the plane would have trouble landing because they won't want to come down.
     
  7. May 21, 2005 #6
    Yeah, I didn't think of that - the weight displacing to the other side. Thanks O2!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2005
  8. May 21, 2005 #7
    Whoops! I just thought of another major problem, this one having to do with health and safety: what if the helium handler's voices get stuck up there, 2 octaves above normal?
     
  9. May 21, 2005 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was thinking the same thing. How do you think the NRC would react to a frantic phone call from Alvin the Chipmunk, who is claiming that a core meltdown is in progress?
     
  10. May 21, 2005 #9
    Helium is an inherently amusing gas. Hydrogen: now that's a hard gas to laugh at. Strangely, though, hydrogen is more uplifting. It has more lift than helium. It rises so much faster that compared to hydrogen, helium is inert. I'd say it's stuck in second place. Still, it's funnier. Quite a funny gas, helium.
     
  11. May 21, 2005 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Perhaps nuclear power plants could be kept aloft with giant blimps filled with Helium. Then we could float all of these blimps over Canada by using long extension cords, just in case something goes terribly wrong.
     
  12. May 21, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

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    Well, I had to vote for bottling the helium since I like both mylar and latex balloons and am worried the factory at the reactor might only specialize in one or the other, thus depriving children of whichever was not produced there.

    Though, an option not listed is that I envision a helium tap in every household. Truly, we should strive to have a balloon for every child in every household. I know it sounds like a bit of a socialistic ideal, but since it's an important cause and for children, how could we not all support it? :biggrin:

    (Ooh, when I go to Disney with Zz, I want to get a Mickey Mouse balloon too!)
     
  13. May 21, 2005 #12

    Moonbear

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    I guess you've changed your mind about moving to Canada? :rofl:
     
  14. May 21, 2005 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Actually, no. But for now the realities of life won't allow it.

    Besides, unless they announce it at a hockey game the Canadians will never notice! :biggrin:
     
  15. May 21, 2005 #14

    Danger

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    We would notice, and be grateful, because then all of our lightning would be running down the cords and hitting you guys instead of us. :tongue:
     
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