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24 November 2020

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Peter VE

All my life we've been 10 years from a working fusion reactor. I suspect we will continue on that path.

srw

I predict that within 20 years we will have a demonstrated fusion reactor, not from this huge machine, but from a small fusion reactor designed by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Commonwealth Fusion Systems.

https://news.mit.edu/2020/physics-fusion-studies-0929

coboarts

I live a few miles away from the NIF and had the chance to do a tour. At the time they had only the first four lasers working. There is so much great stuff going on, yet we live in a
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5P7x4vh_ts

John C Durham

It's only a matter of time.

jerseycityjoan

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought fusion required maintaining temperatures as hot as the sun here on earth. I can't see how we could do that. I also cannot see how we could do that safely.

But I admit to being both ignorant and unimaginative. I would love mankind to find a source of cheap, limitless and safe energy. Will fushion deliver that anytime soon -- or ever?

Nicolas

jerseycityjoan,
We already achievement, here on earth, temperature way higher that what we can find at the center of the sun. The core temperature is estimated to be in the 15 to 20 million °C range. The NIF team discussed here already achieved a plasma temperature of about 57 million °C.
More importantly, another project, the Z machine, reached an incridible 3.7 billion °C ! ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_Pulsed_Power_Facility ). This put this project well within the reach of aneutronic fusion reaction (fusion with no radioactivity whatsoever). I personally think it is the most promising approach. Those temperature don't necessarily need to be sustained for a very long time. Think of it like a modern pulsed car engine compared to a continuous steam engine.


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