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Hawking & Cox on Nuclear Fusion


GreenIsGood

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Apr 26, 2010
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Gods of science: Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox discuss mind over matter | Science | The Guardian

What problem do you hope scientists will have solved by the end of the century?

Stephen Hawking: Nuclear fusion. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy without pollution or global warming.

Brian Cox: I share that view, that the provision of clean energy is of overwhelming importance. What frustrates me is that we know how to do it as physicists, how it works. It is an engineering solution that is within our grasp. I don't understand why we don't seem to want it enough at the moment. As a society, do you think we invest enough in scientific education and research?

SH: I don't think we invest enough. They are why we are not still in the Middle Ages. Many badly needed goals, like fusion and cancer cure, would be achieved much sooner if we invested more.
Well said guys.

The Irish will waste more on wind turbines over the next decade than the entire global budget for magnetic confined plasma fusion research over the same time period. ITER - the way to new energy

That's what happens when greenie potheads, gombeen developers and former bike shop owners get to act out their "renewable" energy fantasies and scams. We must stop listening to ****wits like these,and start listening to adults like Hawking and Cox.
 


fishfoodie

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That's all very well; but where's my damn hover car !!!!

Bloody scientists; it's all; cheap abundant energy this, & cure for cancer that. :rolleyes:
 

energy

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Feb 24, 2010
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609
The Irish will waste more on wind turbines over the next decade than the entire global budget for magnetic confined plasma fusion research over the same time period. ITER - the way to new energy

That's what happens when greenie potheads, gombeen developers and former bike shop owners get to act out their "renewable" energy fantasies and scams. We must stop listening to ****wits like these,and start listening to adults like Hawking and Cox.
check out "Our economic recovery has to be green – nothing else will last" – Minister Ryan / Latest news / News / Home - Green Party / Comhaontas Glas

Green Party Minister Eamon Ryan spoke today at the MacGill Summer School on the topic of ‘A New Economic Vision to Create Employment And Build Sustainable Growth.”

Minister Ryan said, “The Celtic Tiger was always doomed to unravel because at its heart it was unsustainable. We should not weep its demise. We can take the best with us and discard the rest.

“Having worked out what went wrong over the last few years we need to start concentrating on what we can get right in the next few years.

“Our economic recovery has to be green – anything else would be unsustainable, it would not last.
also The Green Economy is here ? Minister Eamon Ryan - Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
“We are greening this economy, providing jobs, cutting costs and carbon at the same time. The semi-state sector, private industry and the people are all facing in one direction led by Government.
Who needs Hawking & Cox when we have the Greens.:cool:
 

Squire Allworthy

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Whoever cracks the problems of production at an affordable price will hold very real economic power. The economics of the world will change. The oil and gas producers will decline and I wonder what will happen to all that trading in CO2.
 

karldaly

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Going Nuclear - A Green Makes the Case

Dr. Patrick Moore -founder of Greenpeace, is chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. He and Christine Todd Whitman are co-chairs of a new industry-funded initiative, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, which supports increased use of nuclear energy.

In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of U.S. emissions -- or nearly 10 percent of global emissions -- of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce these emissions while continuing to satisfy a growing demand for power. And these days it can do so safely.

<Mod> Please do not post copyright-protected material to the site. A short extract and a link are generally sufficient. </Mod>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Akrasia

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The anti greens are masters of the false dichotomy and declaring that by investing in x means we won't be doing y. when it is highly unlikely that y would be done even if x was not being invested in.
Example 1. We shouldn't be spending money on cutting carbon, because so many people in the world don't have access to anti malaria drugs, as if the money currently spent on green initiatives was reserved for health initiatives in the developing world.

Now they are trying to declare that if we didn't build wind turbines, that we would spend all that money on theoretical physics research into nuclear fusion instead.

It's a ridiculous argument.

Especially when we consider that most of the money for theoretical physics research comes from state grants, and most of the people who are most voraciously declaring that more money should be invested in nuclear fusion are pathologically opposed to taxation and public spending and would rather see tax cuts for themselves than increases in any form of government spending.

Also, if the governments of the world did announce today that they were going to spend a trillion dollars on developing nuclear fusion as soon as possible for the good of mankind, half of people on this thread would declare that the money would really be spent on mind control rays, and the other half would be saying it's just a waste of their money on another corrupt and bloated government quango and that we should leave it to the 'more efficient' private sector (despite the fact that they currently are not devoting anywhere near enough resources into this line of research)
 

Akrasia

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Going Nuclear - A Green Makes the Case
You're new here so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but it's a requirement to provide a link to the source of your cut and pasted article, and also, it is not permitted to post up copyrighted material in its entirety, Fair use allows sections to be quoted but not the whole thing

thirdly, this thread is about nuclear fusion, you are talking about nuclear fission, they're two different forms of power generation. Fusion is not currently viable for commercial energy production, fission has its pros and its cons, and that's a different argument for a different thread,.
 

needle_too

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Aug 7, 2007
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Gods of science: Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox discuss mind over matter | Science | The Guardian



Well said guys.

The Irish will waste more on wind turbines over the next decade than the entire global budget for magnetic confined plasma fusion research over the same time period. ITER - the way to new energy

That's what happens when greenie potheads, gombeen developers and former bike shop owners get to act out their "renewable" energy fantasies and scams. We must stop listening to ****wits like these,and start listening to adults like Hawking and Cox.
Its all well and good but theres a catch here.

In the first instance both seem to imply that these issues are financial problems, not scientific ones. That is patently wrong.
Its an FF-style argument, we have the brains but they wont fund us.

Secondly the amount of funds needed to achieve either of these is astronomical. Its not like they are 20 million short of a cure for cancer in the next year. Its in the hundreds of billions and decades before any of this stuff arrives.

Looking at scientists like they are some secret sect holding knowledge that has been repressed is a load of boll0x. They are a component of society that lobbies for funding like everyone else.
They decry ignorance of their work and yet leverage that ignorance to generate funding. Its as cynical and manipulative as any other social group.

Good thread for politics.ie, though.
 

GreenIsGood

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Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
1,540
The anti greens are masters of the false dichotomy and declaring that by investing in x means we won't be doing y. when it is highly unlikely that y would be done even if x was not being invested in.
Example 1. We shouldn't be spending money on cutting carbon, because so many people in the world don't have access to anti malaria drugs, as if the money currently spent on green initiatives was reserved for health initiatives in the developing world.

Now they are trying to declare that if we didn't build wind turbines, that we would spend all that money on theoretical physics research into nuclear fusion instead.

It's a ridiculous argument.

Especially when we consider that most of the money for theoretical physics research comes from state grants, and most of the people who are most voraciously declaring that more money should be invested in nuclear fusion are pathologically opposed to taxation and public spending and would rather see tax cuts for themselves than increases in any form of government spending.

Also, if the governments of the world did announce today that they were going to spend a trillion dollars on developing nuclear fusion as soon as possible for the good of mankind, half of people on this thread would declare that the money would really be spent on mind control rays, and the other half would be saying it's just a waste of their money on another corrupt and bloated government quango and that we should leave it to the 'more efficient' private sector (despite the fact that they currently are not devoting anywhere near enough resources into this line of research)
gibberish.

harnessing fusion is an engineering problem, not a problem in theoretical physics.

the global budget for fusion plasma prototype over the next decade is 10Bn. Eamon Ryan wants to piss away 20Bn+ on wind turbines and associated costs. We know this won't work. It just makes a few greenie gombeen wind developers rich. These are the guys telling Ryan he is the great green messiah.

the irish need to cop themselves on. we have to stop wasting our childrens' money on whackjob eco-bling.
 

Tombo

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Aug 27, 2009
Messages
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The anti greens are masters of the false dichotomy and declaring that by investing in x means we won't be doing y. when it is highly unlikely that y would be done even if x was not being invested in.
Example 1. We shouldn't be spending money on cutting carbon, because so many people in the world don't have access to anti malaria drugs, as if the money currently spent on green initiatives was reserved for health initiatives in the developing world.

Now they are trying to declare that if we didn't build wind turbines, that we would spend all that money on theoretical physics research into nuclear fusion instead.

It's a ridiculous argument.

Especially when we consider that most of the money for theoretical physics research comes from state grants, and most of the people who are most voraciously declaring that more money should be invested in nuclear fusion are pathologically opposed to taxation and public spending and would rather see tax cuts for themselves than increases in any form of government spending.

Also, if the governments of the world did announce today that they were going to spend a trillion dollars on developing nuclear fusion as soon as possible for the good of mankind, half of people on this thread would declare that the money would really be spent on mind control rays, and the other half would be saying it's just a waste of their money on another corrupt and bloated government quango and that we should leave it to the 'more efficient' private sector (despite the fact that they currently are not devoting anywhere near enough resources into this line of research)
Gibberish indeed.

The anti Watermelons suggest that rather than burn piles of perfectly good money, instead do something wild and crazy like not burn piles of money and put it to some productive use instead.

Watermlons hate logic and common sense.
 

owedtojoy

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Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
46,050
gibberish.

harnessing fusion is an engineering problem, not a problem in theoretical physics.

the global budget for fusion plasma prototype over the next decade is 10Bn. Eamon Ryan wants to piss away 20Bn+ on wind turbines and associated costs. We know this won't work. It just makes a few greenie gombeen wind developers rich. These are the guys telling Ryan he is the great green messiah.

the irish need to cop themselves on. we have to stop wasting our childrens' money on whackjob eco-bling.
From what I gather, the date for ignition of nuclear fusion is 2020 and the estimated date for connection to the grid is 2040.

By that time, if nothing happens, there will be enough CO2 in the atmosphere to raise global average temperatures by more than 2 degrees - and the goal is to keep the rise within 1.5C.

Would you support a crash program to bring ignition forward 5 years, and delivery of power to the grid by 10 years?
 

ICallely

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Aug 18, 2010
Messages
187
I wonder why the politicians and scientists are so focussed on this one technology?

Granted, the goal is admirable, but, even if successful, these plants will be huge, thus the transmission losses will always be significant.

Why don't they invest some research money in Thorium research?

It looks as feasible as the fusion option, nearly as clean, as safe and uses a readily available fuel.

It would allow us some breathing space whilst fusion is developed.

Research of 2bn USD would see a viable reactor, and if Ireland were to undertake this investment, we would be exporting our technology and electricity for a couple of decades.

Some useful links for the non scientist:

Uranium Is So Last Century ? Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke | Magazine

And slightly more technical, but if you read to the end of the article it is quite understandable even if you don't have a chemistry/physics background.

Update 2 Thorium - The Better Nuclear Fuel?

So, how about it? Ireland leading the world in clean nuclear energy, which CAN'T melt down, unlike some of our other industries.
 

soubresauts

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Jun 2, 2007
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Would you support a crash program to bring ignition forward 5 years, and delivery of power to the grid by 10 years?
You're asking for vast amounts of taxpayers' money (trillions) to be spent on fusion research in the next few years. The answer is, obviously, NO.

Governments wouldn't wear it, and as for the citizens...

Look at the popular opposition to nuclear power of any sort. For example, this German petition, "Citizens against the nuclear lobby", to stop Merkel's sop to the nuclear corporations, which would also be a massive setback to the renewable energy solutions. See how fast the number of signers is growing...
 

cry freedom

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Nov 8, 2009
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I wonder why the politicians and scientists are so focussed on this one technology?

Granted, the goal is admirable, but, even if successful, these plants will be huge, thus the transmission losses will always be significant.

Why don't they invest some research money in Thorium research?

It looks as feasible as the fusion option, nearly as clean, as safe and uses a readily available fuel.

It would allow us some breathing space whilst fusion is developed.

Research of 2bn USD would see a viable reactor, and if Ireland were to undertake this investment, we would be exporting our technology and electricity for a couple of decades.

Some useful links for the non scientist:

Uranium Is So Last Century ? Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke | Magazine

And slightly more technical, but if you read to the end of the article it is quite understandable even if you don't have a chemistry/physics background.

Update 2 Thorium - The Better Nuclear Fuel?

So, how about it? Ireland leading the world in clean nuclear energy, which CAN'T melt down, unlike some of our other industries.
Count me in!
Where do I sign?
 

derm0t

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Messages
334
Ah, Greenisgood - another obnoxious know-nothing...

Nuclear fusion has been described as being "20 years in the future, since 1950", and "The energy source of the future - and it alwasy will be".

Keep stroking off to your technocrat masturbation fantasies. See where it gets you. Good luck with the childish ad hominems about pot-heads as well, twit.

See? Not fun when you're on the receiving end, is it?
 

derm0t

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If you'd like to grow up, and do a little study, here are two great lectures (both of which your humble correspondent had the pleasure of attending in person):

Streaming Theater

David Goodstein

Screw it. You don't (a) have a clue, or (b) give a sh!t. Still, the above might be of use to those with critical thinking skills.

Enjoy!
 

riven

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Oct 4, 2007
Messages
2,218
What Brian Cox sayas is absolute gibberish also. ITER does not expect to make any fusion power before 2018 and only then a maximum of 480 seconds. He is a typical research massively playing down the engineering problems facing ITER.
We have been making fusion power for years but have not been able to make it where net energy is produced or for periods for more than 1-5 seconds.

(note Helium here refers to helium 3)

The problem still remains in the high neutronicity of the deuterium-tritum fusion and the deuterium-deuterium. Neutronicity refers to the amount of energy associated with the release of a neutron from the reaction/fusion. Simplistically a high value means a high energy neutron is formed which will structurally degrade the reactor walls in a matter of seconds. The JET in the UK has a plasma lifetime of 20-60 seconds max.

The problem is that reactions that do not produce a high neutronicity are generally very 'slow' reactions. An example is the Deuterium-helium fusion which is 83 times 'slower' than the deuterium-tritum fusion. It is also 10-20 times more difficult to 'ignite'/start. This leads to a lower power density/power output (1-2 orders of magnitude) which is a simple estimate of the economic potential.

Thus the main issue with fusion energy is either building a reactor that is capable of withstanding the neutron release or some process for generating He 3 that does not impact economics (potentially mining on the moon is one source). The only other likely candidate is the proton-boron fusion but this has more extreme constraints in temperature, plasma confinement and exceedingly low power density.

Getting a fusion going is relatively easy. Sustaining it at the power densities required and getting a positive net energy output is the difficult part.
 

ICallely

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Count me in!
Where do I sign?
Well, you know how it works, lobby, educate, organise, spread the word to those who have influence, email and text the media.

I accept the chance of this happening is slight, but can you imagine the motivational impact of a thorium reactor running on the Irish Glass bottle site, pumping electricity across the Irish sea to the UK?

Irish engineers designing and building thorium reactors all over the world?

Why not dream?

After-all the engineering difficulties are an order of magnitude easier than fusion, the main one is the metallurgy of the structure.

Where do you sign? Email Pat Kenny, a scientifically literate media person who has influence.

Where do you sign? Contact your local TD.

I'm going to. Today.
 

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