Wind, solar and nuclear

Heated discussions on a hot topic.
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ElectricMonk
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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by ElectricMonk » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 pm

We haven't explored the full potential of Unobtainium yet.

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landrew
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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by landrew » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:16 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 pm
We haven't explored the full potential of Unobtainium yet.
If you could obtain it.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by Ken Fabos » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:03 am

landrew - that would be Hydrogen-3, not Helium. ITER uses Hydrogen-2 (deuterium) and Hydrogen-3 (Tritium) together, aiming to fuse pairs of them as the 'easiest' fusion reaction to achieve. ITER doesn't expect any shortages of supply of H-3 from Earth based sources, not even with assumptions that Fusion will become the dominant global energy supply. I seriously doubt that will happen any time soon. Tritium won't ever be a high value Moon-mining commodity - a lot better resources are needed for justifying mining on the Moon than Hydrogen-3.

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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by landrew » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:29 am

Ken Fabos wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:03 am
landrew - that would be Hydrogen-3, not Helium. ITER uses Hydrogen-2 (deuterium) and Hydrogen-3 (Tritium) together, aiming to fuse pairs of them as the 'easiest' fusion reaction to achieve. ITER doesn't expect any shortages of supply of H-3 from Earth based sources, not even with assumptions that Fusion will become the dominant global energy supply. I seriously doubt that will happen any time soon. Tritium won't ever be a high value Moon-mining commodity - a lot better resources are needed for justifying mining on the Moon than Hydrogen-3.
Helium-3
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Austin Harper
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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by Austin Harper » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:37 pm

BBC News wrote:
We're just five years away from harnessing almost unlimited power from "miniature suns", some start-ups say: nuclear fusion reactors that could provide abundant, cheap and clean energy.
...
Reaching "energy gain", the point at which we get out more energy than we put in, has been tantalisingly elusive. Not any more, fusion start-ups say. "This is the 'SpaceX moment' for fusion," says Christofer Mowry, chief executive of General Fusion, a Canadian company aiming to demonstrate fusion on a commercial scale within the next five years. "It's the moment when the maturation of fusion science is combined with the emergence of 21st Century enabling technologies like additive manufacturing and high-temperature superconductors. Fusion is no longer '30 years away'," he maintains.
...
The company has built three tokamaks so far, with the third, ST40, built from 30mm (1.2in) stainless steel and using HTS magnets. This June it achieved plasma temperatures of more than 15 million C - hotter than the core of the sun. The firm hopes to be hitting 100 million C by next summer - a feat Chinese scientists claim to have achieved this month. "We expect to have energy gain capability by 2022 and be supplying energy to the grid by 2030," says Mr Carling.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by landrew » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Austin Harper wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:37 pm
BBC News wrote:
We're just five years away from harnessing almost unlimited power from "miniature suns", some start-ups say: nuclear fusion reactors that could provide abundant, cheap and clean energy.
...
Reaching "energy gain", the point at which we get out more energy than we put in, has been tantalisingly elusive. Not any more, fusion start-ups say. "This is the 'SpaceX moment' for fusion," says Christofer Mowry, chief executive of General Fusion, a Canadian company aiming to demonstrate fusion on a commercial scale within the next five years. "It's the moment when the maturation of fusion science is combined with the emergence of 21st Century enabling technologies like additive manufacturing and high-temperature superconductors. Fusion is no longer '30 years away'," he maintains.
...
The company has built three tokamaks so far, with the third, ST40, built from 30mm (1.2in) stainless steel and using HTS magnets. This June it achieved plasma temperatures of more than 15 million C - hotter than the core of the sun. The firm hopes to be hitting 100 million C by next summer - a feat Chinese scientists claim to have achieved this month. "We expect to have energy gain capability by 2022 and be supplying energy to the grid by 2030," says Mr Carling.
This all sounds great, but there's a reason for my skepticism. I've been reading similar articles for over 30 years, always promising that a net energy gain from fusion is "just a few years away." It's only reasonable to question the same set of claims being made over and over, when they never seem to be supported.

I'm just as open to seeing the evidence for net energy gain from fusion as I am for seeing physical evidence of Bigfoot. But both have seemed to be tantalizingly close for years, but nothing seems to change.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by Ken Fabos » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:02 pm

landrew wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:29 am
Ken Fabos wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:03 am
landrew - that would be Hydrogen-3, not Helium. ITER uses Hydrogen-2 (deuterium) and Hydrogen-3 (Tritium) together, aiming to fuse pairs of them as the 'easiest' fusion reaction to achieve. ITER doesn't expect any shortages of supply of H-3 from Earth based sources, not even with assumptions that Fusion will become the dominant global energy supply. I seriously doubt that will happen any time soon. Tritium won't ever be a high value Moon-mining commodity - a lot better resources are needed for justifying mining on the Moon than Hydrogen-3.
Helium-3
My wrong, sorry.
Mining on the Moon is another subject, but I can't see mining Helium-3 being viable.

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Re: Wind, solar and nuclear

Post by landrew » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:35 pm

From Wikipedia:
Cosmochemist and geochemist Ouyang Ziyuan from the Chinese Academy of Sciences who is now in charge of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program has already stated on many occasions that one of the main goals of the program would be the mining of helium-3, from which operation "each year, three space shuttle missions could bring enough fuel for all human beings across the world."
Of course, it goes without saying that the space shuttle won't be used for mining the moon. I think the intent was to convey that a shuttle-sized payload (X3) would provide enough energy to power the earth for a year. Of course this has been disputed, and the technology does not exist, so a proper estimate is not possible. But even if partially true, it's intriguing to think that such a concentrated source of energy may some day be available. It tends to make a moon-mining mission seem less daunting in a way.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.