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Research on Tokamaks

  1. Apr 12, 2005 #1
    I am doing possible research on tokamaks but part of it is the study of how feasible is having a tokamak in my community. I am currently looking for information on the cost of an average tokamak (perhaps to power 50 units of flats?) and its electricity output for this cost. Also, what are the hazards of a tokamak? Are there any possible alternative techniques for fusion?

    thanks alot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2005 #2
    BTW, what are "Tokamaks"?
  4. Apr 12, 2005 #3
  5. Apr 12, 2005 #4


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    Fusion is not currently viable for energy production.
  6. Apr 12, 2005 #5
    I actually laughed when I read that first post. Fusion, even if it were avaliable to the public would not be a practical energy supplier. The ratio of the energy gained to the energy put into achieving ignition is very small.
  7. Apr 12, 2005 #6


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    Two comments - first, at present Tokamaks don't produce net power.

    The best the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory was able to get was to
    have the machine operate for a second or two before the plasma went
    unstable. They put more energy into creating the plasma, than they got
    out in fusion power.

    Secondly, fusion reactors are going to be BIG. As one of my professors
    stated; the Tokamak is going to need a thick skin - many feet thick -
    in order to capture the fusion neutrons which contain most of the energy
    released. "Any 'animal' with a skin a few feet thick is going to be a
    BIG animal".

    In order to provide the large magnetic fields required for fusion - one
    may have to use superconducting magnets in order to drive down the
    cost of running the magnets. This professor referred to a tokamak
    fusion power plant as a "Superconducting Cathedral".

    So you aren't going to have a fusion power plant for 50 homes.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
  8. Apr 12, 2005 #7


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    Commercial electrical power generation from fusion is still hypothetical. The cost of the complex technology most likely would require a 'large' plant, perhaps something on the order of 1000 MW or so.

    The economics will also depend on the fuel cycle - e.g. D-D vs D-T or other, and whether or not T-breeding with n,Li reactions is part of the system.

    Try this for a start - The Impact of Physics Assumptions on Fusion Economics
    http://www.iaea.org/programmes/ripc/physics/fec2000/html/node348.htm [Broken]

    and try to find

    Hender et al., "Key Issue for the Economic Viability of Magnetic Fusion Power," Fusion Technology, Vol. 30, December 1996
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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