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Climate Change and Will FUSION Stop it


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Question?

 

Who believes that fusion will get here BEFORE we peak our oil and gas ("Clean Fossil Fuels(In comparison to dirty coal)" or fusion will be readily available by that time?

What are your thoughts?

(I think its going to be pretty blooming close)

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No. All the money is going into ITER, and ITER isn't even hoped to be break-even. Even in a best case scenario it's still multiple decades till anyone breaks ground on a commercial fusion power station.

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Yes, ITER is a real "monster", but fantastic science as well (with hopefully some spinoffs). I personally would prefer more money in smaller research projects instead of accumulating such huge amounts of efforts in single projects (like CERN and ITER). By the way fusion is not as clean as always said... tritium is brutal radioactive. And the clean He - B fusion reaction is far out of range. That's the situation for decades now, and nothing really changed.  A better way to deal with climatic issues is perhaps saving the forests first.  Best regards! Tom.

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Climate change is happening now. It cannot be stopped even if all emissions were reduced to zero immediately. It could have been kept in boundaries by rolling out renewable energies starting with the clear and precise warnings some 15 years ago, with less certainty much earlier. That didn't happen, and it isn't even happening now, quite the contrary actually. That leaves us somewhere on the pathways between 2° and 6° warming and up to 3 billion people falling out of the margins for human (or generally) habitability on the planet. The respective projections have not taken into account some positive feedbacks that are right now impossible to quantify with rigour.

Nobody knows when and if fusion will be ready, it is probably a dead horse by then because too expensive and fuel shortage, a problem that has been hand waved away until now.

Edited by Pixophir
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Climate change is like a train. You can’t let it run at full speed all the way until an incomplete bridge, and then expect to stop it in a few seconds.

You either start braking early or crash.

We didn’t start braking early. Either the whole train is going off the cliff or a good portion of it, along with all the passengers and crew.

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seeing as the climate was never fixed to begin with, nope. 

fusion, for all its benefits, will be initially very disruptive. its going to collapse all the economies that have been built on oil. a lot of rich countries will become poor countries practically overnight. it will however enable an increased quality of life around the globe in the mid term. then we will start worrymongering all the heat pollution reactors generate as the waste heat from first and second gen fusion plants starts going through the roof.  later generations bring aneutronic fuels and direct conversion which stand to bring improved safety and efficiency.  a lot of people trumpet he3 fusion as some kind of breakthrough that makes fusion viable, that is in error. he3 fuel cycles are a lot harder to fuse than the deuterium-tritium cycles.  and if you can hit that cross section, you might as well shoot for proton-boron11, which is going to be perfect for direct conversion outputting only alpha particles and no side products (you need a star to fuse protons).  i guess it really depends on what kind of space propulsion were using.

it might also turn into a money pit. solar tech is experiencing rapid evolutions and it may turn out to be a lot cheaper per kw/h, especially if you can solve the storage problem or use orbital beamed power. this is especially true if we absolutely have to use a tokamak. as those things are going to be big, heavy and expensive to build. there are hard physical limits on how small you can make them. it will help if we can make more compact reactor designs work, as that drives down costs and lets you build them on an assembly line. 

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7 hours ago, HebaruSan said:

All the money is going into ITER, and ITER isn't even hoped to be break-even.

Just like it's needed,

The leading fusioneers are busy with ITER, well paid, smiling, fat, and happy.

This guarantees from an unexpectedly built effective fusion reactor, which would break the energy market.

Like a medieval monastery, where you hold too clever ones, making them busy with scholastics, before they can disturb the public swamp and run disasters.

When the fusion time comes, the ITER gang will be spreaded around the really effective projects.

***

The fossil fuel will be used while it's effective, just getting more centralized, replacing the petrol cars with powerplants and electric cars.

Because:

1. It works, don't repair.

2. The hydrocarbon price consists mostly of taxes, the cost is usually negligible.
Less fossils → less taxes → less free money to fund the anti-fossil party.

3. While the fossil fuel is on top, you can keep selling the electric windmills and solar panels.
If all energy is green, who needs them?

4. While the fossil fuel is on top, you can keep selling the anti-fossil franchise with its T-shirts, tokens, simposiums, and carbon-dioxide visioneers.

5. The more energetically effective is the industry, the less fossil you need.

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Moved to Science and Spaceflight.

Even if fusion is made viable today, it'll be upwards of a hundred years or more, if ever,  before it's replaced all the greenhouse emitting sources it can.   Even then. there will still be a number of processes that will be emitting.  And without sequestering, we're not going to see any rollback in climate change while any of us are alive. 

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The problem seems to be less with fixed power production (which can be "green" or nuclear) and more with mobile applications. Greening fuel is probably more important than fusion.

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55 minutes ago, DDE said:

Greening fuel is probably more important than fusion.

These proponents of green organic fuel thought so, too.

"Green fuel", they said.
"The trees are the best fuel", they said.
"What can go wrong?", they said.

And see, what happened.

Spoiler

 

Treebeard is waiting for the green fuel lovers coming to cut the trees.

main-qimg-fe92b847c428a86efc8697fd3eff4d

Edited by kerbiloid
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Hard, really hard. Let's assume that one day suddenly whole Europe, North America, RU, and CN use green power and fusion. No offence I basically don't believe that some countries in Africa, South Asia and countries in Central America could afford to use this. What about them? There are billions of people here too

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Every source of energy has it's down-sides, and we should expect that to continue to be the case going forwards.

If environmental groups were really concerned with global climate change, and not just fund-raising, they would have been advocating for nuclear power instead of against it.

The ignorant fear, the self-interested stoke that fear to their own ends, and we all get more propaganda until it gets to the point that your 'truth' depends on which source of lies you distrust less.

 

Unless you have a magical power source that people can build in their own garage on a shoe-string budget and then power their entire neighborhood for a decade, the supply for the power grid will continue to be used as a game piece by people seeking more money, more power, or both.

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58 minutes ago, Terwin said:

If environmental groups were really concerned with global climate change, and not just fund-raising, they would have been advocating for nuclear power instead of against it.

The ignorant fear, the self-interested stoke that fear to their own ends, and we all get more propaganda until it gets to the point that your 'truth' depends on which source of lies you distrust less.

 

Unless you have a magical power source that people can build in their own garage on a shoe-string budget and then power their entire neighborhood for a decade, the supply for the power grid will continue to be used as a game piece by people seeking more money, more power, or both.

Dear colleague, politics, agenda and general defamation aside, the power source for the roof top exists. It is called solar power and depending on the area it can easily supply a household with power including charging an electric car, and add excess to the grid, earning a buck or two. It doesn't power households for just a decade, rather 2-3. There are solutions to combine it with wind and water where applicable and wanted. In combination with a low energy house, well insulated and intelligently placed windows and ventilation system with heat exchanger, heat pump, living off-grid - for whatever reason or agenda, - has become trivial at not too high latitudes. Individual cases need calculation of course.

In most countries it is an initial investment that pays off, sooner than later at current price hike rates.

One needs a house with somewhat suitable roof or another area and/or can participate in neighbourhood projects. These solutions are often times subsidized. Some of it (the PV part, when not grid connected because regulations) can even be made DIY to a degree, because DC isn't rocket science.

Edited by Pixophir
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1 hour ago, TKMK said:

maybe we could put wire across the ocean for electricty. I dony imagine it would be easy, or cheap.

Wires don't work over long distances due to intense power loss to resistance. All you'd do is heat the oceans.

1 hour ago, Pixophir said:

Dear colleague, politics, agenda and general defamation aside, the power source for the roof top exists. It is called solar power and depending on the area it can easily supply a household with power including charging an electric car, and add excess to the grid, earning a buck or two. It doesn't power households for just a decade, rather 2-3. There are solutions to combine it with wind and water where applicable and wanted. In combination with a low energy house, well insulated and intelligently placed windows and ventilation system with heat exchanger, heat pump, living off-grid - for whatever reason or agenda, - has become trivial at not too high latitudes. Individual cases need calculation of course.

In most countries it is an initial investment that pays off, sooner than later at current price hike rates.

One needs a house with somewhat suitable roof or another area and/or can participate in neighbourhood projects. These solutions are often times subsidized. Some of it (the PV part, when not grid connected because regulations) can even be made DIY to a degree, because DC isn't rocket science.

And what happens when those solar panels wear out, pray tell? Given current manufacturing techniques, they rarely reach net zero.

And that's before a war-indiced REE crisis looming on the horizon.

1 hour ago, Terwin said:

If environmental groups were really concerned with global climate change, and not just fund-raising, they would have been advocating for nuclear power instead of against it.

The ignorant fear, the self-interested stoke that fear to their own ends, and we all get more propaganda until it gets to the point that your 'truth' depends on which source of lies you distrust less.

B-but nuclear power is unnatural whereas solar panels are!

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19 minutes ago, DDE said:

And what happens when those solar panels wear out, pray tell? Given current manufacturing techniques, they rarely reach net zero.

No need to pray. Solar panels start at a bit above nominal, and go linearly down to between 80% and >90% output after 25-30 years, depending on technology. That means they loose 10%-20% in 30 years, just to avoid confusion. Please look it up. And yes, there are installations from the late 80s and early 90s for confirmation and technology has improved since then, with further steps under development.

 

Won't comment on the sarcasm, but quite up-to-date because actually happening, what happens when the nuclear power plants in a country stand still ?

Right they import renewables from the neighbours ;-)

 

Edited by Pixophir
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1 hour ago, Pixophir said:

Dear colleague, politics, agenda and general defamation aside, the power source for the roof top exists. It is called solar power and depending on the area it can easily supply a household with power including charging an electric car, and add excess to the grid, earning a buck or two. It doesn't power households for just a decade, rather 2-3. There are solutions to combine it with wind and water where applicable and wanted. In combination with a low energy house, well insulated and intelligently placed windows and ventilation system with heat exchanger, heat pump, living off-grid - for whatever reason or agenda, - has become trivial at not too high latitudes. Individual cases need calculation of course.

In most countries it is an initial investment that pays off, sooner than later at current price hike rates.

One needs a house with somewhat suitable roof or another area and/or can participate in neighbourhood projects. These solutions are often times subsidized. Some of it (the PV part, when not grid connected because regulations) can even be made DIY to a degree, because DC isn't rocket science.

I have never seen anything that would let someone manufacture solar panels in their garage, nor any way to produce solar panels cheaply, let alone something that does both.

The primary criteria I listed were cheap and easy, whereas solar panels are neither.

If solar gets a break-even period of less than 2 years I might consider it cheap, but having a break-even period measured in decades is not so cheap.  

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24 minutes ago, Terwin said:

I have never seen anything that would let someone manufacture solar panels in their garage, nor any way to produce solar panels cheaply, let alone something that does both.

I have. It is not magic. I'm sure you can find a DIY video on youtube.

When done, show me how to do a nuclear reactor in the garage. You can choose the type and buy any special parts. But it must last 30 years only with occasional dusting and (I'm being sporty here) 25% loss of power output, ok ! No fuel change, no additional maintenance, I don't use fuel either and when properly grounded the rack aluminium won't flow away.

24 minutes ago, Terwin said:

The primary criteria I listed were cheap and easy, whereas solar panels are neither.

600W(peak) ~250 Euro (daily prices can vary). Well, ok, that can be 30kg ... needs a second hand or a solar powered electric sledge to schlepp on the roof.

24 minutes ago, Terwin said:

If solar gets a break-even period of less than 2 years I might consider it cheap, but having a break-even period measured in decades is not so cheap.  

If nuclear gets a break even of ... a forget it. It'll never get a break even. Cost accumulates every second.

Seriously, that must be calculated for an installation. It is longer than 2 years, but much shorter than the lifetime even without excess feed-in.

 

Edit: btw., what was that about countries with renewables helping out nuclear driven countries because their reactors are out of service ?

Edited by Pixophir
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Solar panels are mass products. Like gummy bears. Do you like gummy bears ? I do :-)

Imagine the following: from 28 ordered RTGs 3 arrive broken. You see the pallets on the truck and think "Idiots". You call the store, say, guys, someone broke 3 of the RTGs, looks like a forklift race. They say: again ? Oh we're as sorry as possible. We'll have a word with the shipping company. Will send  a replacement the next days, just give the broken ones to the recycling, will you ?

Now, isn't that easy peasy ?

(Happened to me. Replace RTG with solar panels)

Edited by Pixophir
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8 hours ago, TKMK said:

maybe we could put wire across the ocean for electricty

The seawater is a conductor itself!

Let's build the fusion powerplants and then just drop wires into ocean.

It will be an Ocean of Power (literally), and we can even power the ships with it.

7 hours ago, Pixophir said:

There are solutions to combine it with wind and water where applicable and wanted. In combination with a low energy house, well insulated and intelligently placed windows and ventilation system with heat exchanger, heat pump, living off-grid - for whatever reason or agenda, - has become trivial at not too high latitudes.

And right now Europe has a lucky opportunity to see how it works.

Btw, about the solar roofers. What about big cities with multi-storey houses?
How much roof area per dweller can it provide?

How much solar powerplant are do you need to replace all car combustion engines?

6 hours ago, Pixophir said:

what happens when the nuclear power plants in a country stand still ?

Why do they?

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7 hours ago, Pixophir said:

Please look it up.

I have. California as the early adopter is having a crisis where the 25-30 year panels, especially in residential installations, are being decommissioned en masse, and they have no capacity to even properly dispose of them.

Also, 25-30 years is quite unimpressive by powerplant standards.

7 hours ago, Pixophir said:

what happens when the nuclear power plants in a country stand still ?

If this happens to all of your nuclear powerplants, usually you have bigger problems to worry about than a nationwide power shortage...

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43 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

What about big cities with multi-storey houses?

How much roof area per dweller can it provide?

How much solar powerplant are do you need to replace all car combustion engines?

Why do they?

All these questions have relatively simple answers. The last one, in case people haven't heard, France has massive problems with partly unexplained stress corrosion in more than half of their reactors. Since the country runs mostly on nuclear, they must import energy.

21 minutes ago, DDE said:

I have. California as the early adopter is having a crisis where the 25-30 year panels, especially in residential installations, are being decommissioned en masse, and they have no capacity to even properly dispose of them.

Replacement of solar panels is just trivial and can be done by everyone. They should be recycled, that's an emerging industry.  Replacement and recycling of nuclear material (and that includes fusion reactors of the Tokamak type like ITER) is an unsolved, even unsolvable problem.

21 minutes ago, DDE said:

Also, 25-30 years is quite unimpressive by powerplant standards.

But there's a misunderstanding here: A solar installation doesn't need much ado in that time. Otoh, no thermal power plant runs 30 years without massive maintenance, a constant stream of parts and fuel. Thermal power have long down-times, sometimes years.

Edited by Pixophir
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2 minutes ago, Pixophir said:

Replacement and recycling of solar power is just trivial and can be done by everyone.

Evidently, not. It took cheap Chinese labor and advanced industey to make solar panels economically competitive, whereas your pretty strong claims for DYI solar powerplants remain groundless.

2 minutes ago, Pixophir said:

But there's a misunderstanding here: A solar installation doesn't need much ado in that time. Otoh, no thermal power plant runs 30 years without massive maintenance, a constant stream of parts and fuel.

While producing orders of magnitude more power, reliably.

2 minutes ago, Pixophir said:

France has massive problems with partly unexplained stress corrosion in more than half of their reactors. Since the country runs mostly on nuclear, they must import energy.

EDF's importing energy in order to meet Macron's lofty target of exlorted electricity. Purely moronic politics, combined with faulty welds. Don't dismiss the entire class of power sources thanks to a bad apple.

Don't blaspheme against Atom, or be divided in His sight.

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51 minutes ago, DDE said:

Evidently, not. It took cheap Chinese labor and advanced industey to make solar panels economically competitive, whereas your pretty strong claims for DYI solar powerplants remain groundless.

Now we're getting personal and reverting to common arguments of type "not even wrong". I've posted the data. I run an off grid house soon. And I am just one of many.

51 minutes ago, DDE said:

While producing orders of magnitude more power, reliably.

In contrary. Renewable energy production overtook thermal production in many countries. Some rely totally on the former. And, btw.(edit), had Europe put more effort in rolling out renewables, they wouldn't have that many problems now because of the horrible circumstances. Countries with high renewable share are better off. France's plans are changing, apparently people are understanding that relying on nuclear put them on wrong track. Though they also speak of new coal plants, which is irresponsible under the global threat of climate change.

51 minutes ago, DDE said:

EDF's importing energy in order to meet Macron's lofty target of exlorted electricity. Purely moronic politics, combined with faulty welds. Don't dismiss the entire class of power sources thanks to a bad apple.

They are importing energy because they have unexplained stress corrosion and no maintenance people and material to repair it. The reactors are shut down because they are unsafe. The nuclear lobby's plan didn't work out. Lot of rotten fruit :-)

 

Edited by Pixophir
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