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Lockheed-Martin Figured Out the Whole Fusion Thing

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by ckparrothead, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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  2. unluckyluciano

    unluckyluciano For My Hero JetsSuck

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    last company on earth I'd want to have that kind of tech.
     
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  3. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    The "Forever Nuke" just shot way up on the Warlord Holiday pre-order catalog. Wonder how much funding, and how quickly something like that would get.

    Hope we keep it to just energy applications though.
     
  4. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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    Takes all types I guess.

    Lockheed-Martin looks at this and they're like hey we can put these things on aircraft carriers and subs!

    CNET looks at this and is like, you mean we can buy one of these truck-sized power packs, plug it into an existing coal plant, and have enough clean power to run a city? Whoa, awesome!

    You guys look at this and you're like, FUSION BOMBS DESTROYING THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!!!
     
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  5. 305

    305 Ryan F'n Tannehill Club Member

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    Go away.. 'batin.
    The technology is amazing but who the f is the writer haha

     
  6. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    This is the first "Fusion breakthrough" headline which I think has a chance. The Lockheed "skunk works" has been a technology leader for nearly 50 years. Kelly Johnson was one of the most talented and innovative engineers of the last century and given the advances, that says a lot.

    I don't fear Lockheed Martin. They have some of the problems of all the large military industrial complexes but their advances in aeronautical engineering have been spectacular. Also given their history of secrecy (they developed area 51), that they came out in public with all of this makes me curious as to why??
     
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  7. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    My theory: PR to pull more sources of funding. Investor confidence is everything.
     
  8. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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    I take it the big challenge is the deuterium-tritium thing.

    Sounds like deuterium might be in abundant enough supply but tritium needing to be found in lithium deposits doesn't sound promising. The whole thing about needing "10 million times" the amount of coal to get the same power production...I don't know if that means much considering how abundant coal generally is and how not so abundant and perhaps costly to extract deuterium and tritium are.

    Anyone know anything more about them?
     
  9. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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    Wikipedia says that deuterium is naturally occuring as 1 deuterium atom for every 6420 regular hydrogen atoms. That would suggest that about 0.03% of the ocean is made of deuterium. That seems like quite a bit. If it's true that deuterium requires only 1/10,000,000th of the amount of coal you would otherwise need that would mean that you would need over 3000 times the amount of ocean on the planet worth of coal in order to produce the same amount of power as the amount of deuterium in the ocean. No doubt it doesn't work like that but the general gist is...there's plenty of that sh-t.

    As for tritium, easily as rare as I feared. Perhaps even rarer. It's estimated that only 225 kg of tritium has been produced in the US since 1955, of which only 75 kg remains because it actively decays into helium-3.

    Tritium is however in commercial demand, as the radioactive decay of tritium can cause phosphors to glow perpetually so as to make self-powered lights called "betalights". These are used in firearm night sights, watches, road signs, map lights, knives, etc. The estimated commercial demand for tritium is about 400 grams per year and the cost is $30,000 per gram.

    If it's true that you only need 1/10,000,000th of the tritium that you would coal...well, that's not good because a normal 500 MW coal plant burns 3,337,000 kg of coal per day. That suggests it could cost about $10,000,000 to power one of those plants with tritium...per day.
     
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  10. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Deuterium is the so called "heavy water", which is needed in both fission and fusion reactions. I am not sure why tritium is necessary but I will trust that it is.

    If I understand the science, fusion involves bonding two hydrogen atoms into a helium atom. Since basic hydrogen has only one proton and one electron but Helium has two protons, two electrons AND two neutrons I would have thought you could fuse two deuterium atoms since they are isotopic hydrogen (they have a neutron in their nucleus, tritium has two neutrons and is highly unstable). I am sure there is something more to it than that.

    The biggest hurdle in the past, as I understand it, is producing more energy output than it takes to generate it. I am fascinated to discover how they overcame this hurdle.
     
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  11. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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    This is a great breakdown on not only the problems confronting the idea of a fusion reactor, but the reactions of some others in the field to what Lockheed-Martin announced.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29710811

    Just to recap, Lockheed-Martin's press release said they plan to have a prototype small nuclear fusion reactor in 5 years and a working model in 10 years, that it should be able to produce 100 MW of electricity running on 25 kg of fuel in a year.

    So the issue with fusion reactors is that the core of ionised plasma has to be 100 million degrees Centigrade, which is circulated through a donut shaped vessel. But the problem is if it touches the sides of the vessel, it would destroy it. The quote I like is it's literally like trying to keep "the sun in a box".

    Lockheed-Martin says they're doing the containment magnetically. There are lots of other ideas in the works to make this happen, including levitation, using liquid lead, lasers, etc...but nobody seems even close to producing more energy than it takes to fire up the machine.

    The experts seem really torn about this. Because it's private enterprise, they know that Lockheed-Martin absolutely cannot give away anything about how they've made this work. They'd be foolish to do so. At the same time, the experts have a hard time believing that they've really made any kind of breakthrough at all.

    Some experts say if it weren't for Lockheed-Martin's name being attached to the press release, it would be dismissed as the rambling of a bunch of crazies.

    I find that fascinating.
     
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  12. CrunchTime

    CrunchTime Administrator Retired Administrator

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    Its an exciting technology.Together with superconductivity it could resolve future energy generation needs and the means to deliver it efficiently to where its needed..:yes:

    Dr David.Goodstein -Cal Tech -Talks about Alternate Energy Sources [video=youtube;d7zZRT8gRT4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7zZRT8gRT4[/video]


    He goes through all of the possible alternate energy sources we could develop in the future and he mentions the fusion technology as one of the best solutions to future energy needs .Its worth going through the entire interview so you can get a perspective as to the alternates available to humanity..:yes:

    The interview was made during an oil crisis and before fracking came into vogue but a lot of his arguments are still valid.
     
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  13. CrunchTime

    CrunchTime Administrator Retired Administrator

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    BTW In the video he explains that one gallon of seawater has the equivalent of 300 gallons of petroleum in energy potential.:up:
     
  14. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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    This isn't a new article but I hadn't seen it when I originally posted this:

    http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-compact-fusion-reactor-details

    Fascinating stuff.
     
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  15. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

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    Also I had been curious about the deuterium-tritium fuel situation because even though deuterium is in heavy supply (pardon the pun), tritium seems like it's more rare. But evidently tritium is created from lithium all the time and that is not really a concern. The fact so little is needed is one of the reasons the reactor is considered so safe.

    [video=youtube;UlYClniDFkM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlYClniDFkM&feature=player_embedded[/video]
     
  16. Conuficus

    Conuficus Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Well away from here
    They have something better.

    When they showed the stealth fighter and bomber it was because they had something better: Auroroa, or better.
     
  17. Uncle Tom

    Uncle Tom New Member

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    I bet China had the plans as soon as we developed it.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     

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