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More on IEC Fusion Reactors

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by tonybelding, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    This article should be posted everywhere, it should be shouted from the rooftops:

    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2584496&C=america

    This reactor could solve global warming (if you think it's a serious problem), solve global oil depletiion, and solve nuclear proliferation in one shot. It's crazy not to build it.
     
  2. electrified

    electrified Member

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    I am sceptical about global warming, wonder about peak oil (though it has to happen sometime), but I also think it is stupid not to persue this technology. It looks cheaper than oil, isn't going to be comming from countries with people trying to destroy us, and is very clean. What isn't there to like about it? If you hear about someone investing in this, let me know, I would like to join them.
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  4. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Hell, I realy don't know why he doesn't start a 'donation campaign'. Raising 2 milions with such a great promising product that will make reach many people, but benefit all shouldn't really be a problem.

    I am willing to donate 20 dollars for him to build the prototypes. With working prototypes goverments will have hard time turning him down.
     
  5. DDB

    DDB Member

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    So let China jump on it--we'll let them foot the bill for once. If it works, then our government will bite. If this guy dies before he has a chance to complete his work, that would be the real tragedy.
     
  6. electrified

    electrified Member

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    Its about intelectual property rights. If China funds the project, they would have shared ownership of the technology, perhaps full ownership.
     
  7. CTF

    CTF Member

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    As if China has ever had any reservations about pirating anyone else under the sun's technology.
    I have heard of Bussard before but really know little about him. I hate to disparage anything that is so far above my head technically, but this has many of the earmarks of a fraud. I'm just sayin'. The time pressure, the hints of marketing the idea to rivals, the fact that this has been the holy energy grail for tons more of gifted scientists for decades, the preceding failed cold fusion table top experiments that caused such kerfuffle's. All this being said, poor Mr. Bussard would be not at risk of being seen as a fool, but at risk of being whacked if this thing works. The disruption of an electric car would be nothing compared to the disruption of throwing several top earning industries out of business and sending the angry Middle East back into the pages of National Geographic. I know that currently that last part seems edifying, but humans have a tendency to go down swinging.
    On a more mundane note, the WSJ had a comparatively mundane article today by Laura Meckler about oil firms constraining sales of the E85 ethanol product. Now barring some sort of fusion, I see only two energy sources-The Sun with solar, ancient fossil solar, wind and fuel from growing things, And/Or The Earth with geothermal from the molten core or fissile minerals. So really it is a simple problem-identify the source to be used, collect it, distribute it and (hopefully all efficiently and cleanly) use it. Sun to electricity to (torque) seems to be the answer. Why sun to growing thing to alcohol to tank to ICE to torque? Less disruptive?
     
  8. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    IEC has nothing to do with cold fusion, it was being researched as far back as the 1950s (by Philo Farnsworth with his "fusor" device), decades before anyone imagined cold fusion.  There have been a lot of steps that led to Bussard's device over a span of decades.  Also, Dr. Bussard is one of the co-founders of the entire US nuclear fusion program, his work at Los Alamos and elsewhere is legendary, and it would be hard to name anybody who has a higher reputation in the field of fusion research.

    One must also wonder what his motivations could possibly be for wanting to scam anybody.  He's in his 80s now, and his reputation is already more than made in the scientific community.  And, he's asking for a few million dollars to repeat the experiments he did for the US Navy, which is piddling pocket change compared to the billions we've thrown at tokamak research or attempting to secure Middle Eastern oil, both with little useful results to show.  (Or, to put it in perspective, the hundreds of millions that Congress will hand out in vouchers for people to upgrade their TV sets in 2009!)

    The most important thing I would underscore is that Bussard isn't promoting "orgone energy" or some other crackpot idea.  His ideas are sufficiently grounded in known science that they can be reviewed, critiqued and (most importantly) tested by other scientists.  I'm optimistic that it will happen, but it may take a while.

    Barring fusion, the best "universal" and non-polluting power sources we have are solar power and nuclear fission.  By universal I mean, they can work practically everywhere.  Hydro power, wind power and geothermal are all great for those areas which have the appropriate local resources.  There was a recent study suggesting that a little research and development could make it possible to tap into geothermal energy in "most areas", but that's still unproven.

    The advantage biofuels have over battery storage is energy density.  If you cultivate algae (or hemp, jatropha, switchgrass or any other plants) and refine them into biofuel, that is effectively a biological form of solar power.  It's not as efficient as solar panels, but it does produce a fuel which is very energy-dense, and you will need that for some purposes.  Aircraft fuel would be an obvious example.  Others might include heavy trucks, construction equipment, farm equipment and military vehicles.  I see a significant role for biofuels, unless somebody invents a miracle electricity storage device (like EEstor's thing, maybe?).
     
  9. CTF

    CTF Member

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    Thanks for fleshing out my understanding of the basics. I do not wish to defame Mr. Bussard. I just like to maintain a healthy skepticism in a world in which one of the truest lessons I have learned is that if something is too good to be true it is not likley to be true. If Dr. Bussard is close to the end of his career he might be motivated by a desire for recognition or to have his somewhat expensive work continued and still not be motivated by mere geld. We all have egos. On the other hand, perhaps he is onto something and it is real and will break out and settle some problems that have plagued mankind since we discovered fire. I would be delighted, but for now, I personally would need a brain transplant to learn the physics necessary to verify his research enough to be comfortable funding his work. Unfortunately, the people with such skills might actually be in the wrong of all this for following massive, expensive, slow moving research paths and being wedded to their own theories.
     
  10. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Personally I see the idea of Hydrogen as a high energy storage medium as the source of mobile energy for the future. This assumes of course that we do get "free" electricity through advances in solar power or fusion or similar. Biofuels is a decent option for right now since it doesn't require any more tech at all, but for the medium and long haul it still meddles around with carbon which affects the climate a lot more than pure water vapour.

    Cobos
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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  12. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    It's a simple case of time dilation, fusion technology is moving so fast that time slows down for it.
     

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