Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by takyon on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:31PM   Printer-friendly
from the Ready-in-10-years! dept.

New research (more accessible) suggests that Boron-Hydrogen fusion may be viable, and doesn't leave behind a radioactive reactor.

our simulations show for example that 14 milligram HB11 can produce 300 kWh energy if all achieved results are combined for the design of an absolutely clean power reactor producing low-cost energy.

Now where did I leave my petawatt lasers?

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:39PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:39PM (#610743)
    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +2  
       Funny=2, Total=2
    Extra 'Funny' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:33AM (2 children)

    by Immerman (3985) on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:33AM (#610858)

    Melting boron is easy.

    The hard part is step 2 (from TFA):
    > ii) A plasma confinement by a magnetic field of the order of a few kiloteslas created by a second laser beam with a pulse duration of a few nanoseconds (ns).
    Let me repeat that. A magnetic field of the order of a few kiloteslas. From what I can find, the current record for the most powerful magnetic field ever created is about 90 Teslas, and the fields in the LHC fields are closer to 9.

    So all we need to do is to make a magnetic confinement field more than 30x more powerful than anything ever accomplished before, and their system may provide a viable form of p-B fusion.

    Now sure, order-of-magnitude improvements are very often possible given enough effort. But... don't expect me to hold my breath waiting.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:08PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:08PM (#610969)

      The way controlled fusion is perpetually twenty years in the future has become a running joke. But progress is progress - people throw away computers today that governments would have slaughtered millions to obtain thirty years ago. We may yet reach Fusion.

      I think renewables make the most sense to use, when it's feasible. They're easier to set up in a decentralized way, which makes targeted infrastructure physical attacks, targeted infrastructure cyber attacks, or the effects of a single flood or earthquake on the power grid less severe. But solar and wind just don't scale like nuclear, you need many tens of billions of dollars in panels and batteries (or pumped energy storage, or compressed air energy storage like or similar) to offset one traditional nuclear power plant.

      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:26PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:26PM (#610990)

        A joke of the saddest sort, since if you measure it in terms of progress per dollar, it has been proceeding roughly in line with initial projections when the "20 years away" claim was first made. Unfortunately, funding has been declining steadily since then so that at any moment it pretty much always remains 20 years away at the then-current funding levels.

        If you were feeling especially cynical you might even suspect that the purse strings were being controlled by someone(s) with a vested interest in making fusion into a running joke.

        On the bright side, the slowly vanishing funding for tokamak fusion has inspired many other groups to make impressive progress on various shoestring-budget alternative fusion technologies that could be deployed in a much more distributed fashion - though even that tends to suffer from ever-diminishing budgets. For example there's my personal favorite: the late Dr. Bussard's Polywell fusion team, now EMC2, sounds like it had reached the point where they are ready to build a full-scale (10m diameter) net-positive reactor. And, judging from the trickle of publicly available information from their last progress reports while funded by the NAVY, the prototypes have likely already successfully demonstrated aneutronic p-B fusion in addition to the much easier D-T fusion.