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Is My Idea Valid? Nuclear Fusion Power

  1. Apr 9, 2015 #1
    So as we all know (or at least I assume) Global Warming is real and happening, I am a teen, 17, and not trying to get answers for homework or anything like that.

    I just want to know, is it possible to create fusion using the temperature found at active Geo-thermal sites to reach the temp needed for nuclear fusion, combined with proton-proton fusion process(or Similar) to create a viable fusion reactor?

    I know the temp needed for fusion is 400 degrees Celsius, such a temp is found at actives sites from what I've read, and I've read that the Tokamak Nuclear Test Reactor has achieved both the density and temp need for fusion but is unable to do both at the same time, would this fix this problem? And is this too wordy? Is this a dumb idea?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2015 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Apr 9, 2015 #3
    you are correct let me check back to revise my figures
     
  5. Apr 9, 2015 #4
    You know the first time I saw the figures it seemed to make sense, seriously it did, and now I feel kind of silly, I must have miscalculated somewhere and added a zero or something similar...darn...
     
  6. Apr 9, 2015 #5
    if its not possible to reach the temp needed for fusion, then perhaps I can figure a way to reach the pressure needed
     
  7. Apr 9, 2015 #6

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think that's what happened. I was looking at some charts on Wikipedia and they implied the same thing until I read the legend and its said measurement in millions of degrees.

    Its always good to keep track of where you gather your info for times like this.

    Don't feel foolish either, you need to make mistakes and do dumb things to appreciate the true experience of being right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  8. Apr 9, 2015 #7
    Okay, where mind I find resources to help me with this stuff, it would be pretty cool to solve energy problems and eliminate need for fossil fuels use
     
  9. Apr 9, 2015 #8
    where might I find*
     
  10. Apr 9, 2015 #9
    "Its always good to keep track of where you gather your info for times like this.

    Don't feel foolish either, you need to make mistakes and do dumb things to appreciate the true experience of being right."

    Thanks, I got most of my info here:
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/fusion.html#c1
    I believe this is reputable?
     
  11. Apr 9, 2015 #10

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

  12. Apr 9, 2015 #11

    Drakkith

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    There are plenty of places online, such as wikipedia, hyperphysics, etc. Just watch out for those sites that claim to have invented some device to generate power that's cheaper, easier, or safer than current technology, but that its being repressed or covered up by mainstream science/government/whoever. Also, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true. There is a LOT of misinformation out there.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2015 #12
    You won't be able to achieve fusion with typical stuff found in hardware stores and assembled in your garage.
    You'd need to build an apparatus capable of producing temperatures and pressures similar to those in the core of the Sun,
    (and having a way to contain it)
    Working fusion reactor designs do exist, but they require more energy to get them started than the energy they produce.
    The latest attempt to produce a fusion reactor which could be economically feasible is this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

    That is an international collaboration currently estimated to amount to a cost of €16billion, and it won't be ready even for trial testing until at least 2019.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  14. Apr 9, 2015 #13

    mfb

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    Reaching 400°C is very easy, by the way. Every wood fire achieves that, steel production routinely uses temperatures above 1000°C. There is no need to use geothermal energy for those low temperatures.

    Actually, reaching the necessary temperature is not the main issue for fusion. It has been achieved - getting fusion reactions can be done with existing machines. Keeping the plasma confined well and long enough to get more energy out than you put in is the hard part.
     
  15. Apr 10, 2015 #14
    I accidentally misquoted the degrees needed, its not 400 degrees Celsius, its 15-40 million degrees, I am aware of the sites that are test reactors, as well as various ways to contain the energy, magnetic, etc... I was pointing out how one test reactor, mentioned above, managed to get very close to Lawson criterion, I thought if the temp problem was solved with no artificial help, then focus could shift to solving density problem, instead of trying to do both, I did not get the figures right. I apologize.
     
  16. Apr 10, 2015 #15
    Would heavy water, which contains tritium, be a viable substitute for breeding tritium from lithium? And could a laser combined with magnetic containment-using heavy water be better than lithium, I can't find which one slows neutrons more, heavy water or lithium, I would think heavy water would be better, as it could serve a similar function as if it were in a fission reaction. Or am I completely off track?
     
  17. Apr 10, 2015 #16
    What makes a d-t reaction better than a d-d reaction cycle? I would be most appreciative if anyone could suggest a resource with these figures and arguments....
     
  18. Apr 10, 2015 #17
    D-T has the lowest break-even temperature of any of the fusion reaction. It is the easiest fuel to ignite.

    Some of the other fuels have advantageous features, and they are worth considering for 2nd or later generation reactors. But the first generation reactors will likely use D-T simply because it is the easiest.

    Normal heavy water contains deuterium not tritium. Deuterium has a relatively low neutron capture cross-section, and it isn't efficient at producing tritium. Li is chosen as breeder material because is has a relatively high probability of absorbing neutrons and producing tritium.
     
  19. Apr 11, 2015 #18

    mfb

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    There are a few tritium atoms in water (and heavy water can be extracted by isotope separation of hydrogen from regular water), but the amount is way too small to be useful.

    Fission reactors use water as moderator - atoms that slow down neutrons without absorbing them. For fusion, you want that absorption to produce tritium, so you have completely different goals.
    Tritium breeding has nothing to do with the magnetic confinement or lasers.

    A factor ~100 higher reaction rate.

    You can find answers to most of your questions at Wikipedia.
     
  20. Apr 13, 2015 #19
    Alright, so d-t reaction it is. Lasers or Ion beams kick start the reaction and magnets confine it, but wouldn't you still need a moderator to stop the reaction in an emergency? So the heavy water could serve a double purpose, neutrons from the reaction would create more fuel(tritium) albeit slowly, thus should the need arise you could stop the reaction with said water, correct? Do I make more sense now? No need for lithium breeder reactors....

    Stronger magnets means more push to fuse right? And the lasers/Ion beams can create the heat aspect needed correct? I hope I make more sense now
     
  21. Apr 13, 2015 #20
    Wait just thought of something...do you need equal parts tritium and deuterium or do you need more deuterium than tritium?
     
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