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Old 08-12-2019, 08:46 PM   #16
Urwumpe
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Originally Posted by N_Molson View Post
 50 years wouldn't be that bad... Controlled nuclear fusion would be pretty much the end of energy issues...

But even if it works, the 40+ nuclear power plants will have to be cleaned. Well, put in barrels and stored (and secured) for several thousand years. Its going to cost a huge lot regardless.

And fusion wouldn't be the end of nuclear waste as well. It would just be different waste. Maybe somebody invents a smarter way one day than to hide it "under the carpet". But I don't see one coming soon.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:50 PM   #17
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 And fusion wouldn't be the end of nuclear waste as well. It would just be different waste. Maybe somebody invents a smarter way one day than to hide it "under the carpet". But I don't see one coming soon.
I heard thorium reactors (or at least some variant of a subcritical reactor with external neutron source) can be used to 'burn' through some of the waste. I don't know the details though
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:54 PM   #18
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There are many types of reactors that could burn through the waste. Problem is, most of them are the types which breed fissile material, and no one wants more nukes floating around.

The issue with fusion is the neutron flux it would produce. That tends to turn everything around it into radioactive waste, rather than just the easily removable stuff in the core. It's not going to be any cleaner or much safer.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:34 PM   #19
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 The issue with fusion is the neutron flux it would produce. That tends to turn everything around it into radioactive waste, rather than just the easily removable stuff in the core. It's not going to be any cleaner or much safer.

Exactly, though that is also a matter of the fuel used... Helium-3 would for example be almost neutron free...and perfectly neutron free, if filtering the resulting helium-4 from the plasma would be perfectly fast.


(Since even at too low energy, some helium-3 can fuse with helium-4)
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:41 PM   #20
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Helium-3 would for example be almost neutron free...
At the pace things are going maybe we'll be able to extract some from the far side of the Moon in 500 years or so...
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #21
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 At the pace things are going maybe we'll be able to extract some from the far side of the Moon in 500 years or so...

Or get it fresh from the tap by harvesting the solar wind...
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:29 PM   #22
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 and perfectly neutron free, if filtering the resulting helium-4 from the plasma would be perfectly fast.
AFAIK, it's not going to be perfect - there are other less likely reactions alongside every aneutronic one, and there is no ways to stop them. So it would be like 10% of the flux rather than zero.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:58 PM   #23
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 AFAIK, it's not going to be perfect - there are other less likely reactions alongside every aneutronic one, and there is no ways to stop them. So it would be like 10% of the flux rather than zero.

Well, the reaction of Helium 3 with itself produces two protons, one helium-4 atom and a lot of gamma rays. Only the gamma Rays would really be capable of producing new neutrons, the charged particles could be kept in the plasma and separated from the fuel by their different charge to mass ratio.


The problem is: We would need to harvest 2 billion tons of lunar soil every year, just to produce enough Helium-3 to allow producing enough power just for the USA. At perfect efficiency.



Wouldn't work, we would need a better source for it. Or a different reaction with more chance of neutron production...


Did somebody already investigate if the strong neutron reaction of a fusion reactor could be used for burning nuclear waste? Like putting tiles of nuclear waste into the reactor chamber and let them absorb neutrons, while cooling them (and produce more energy from the absorbers?)
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:45 AM   #24
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Didcot power station: Power cut as cooling towers demolished
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-49375917

National Grid not having much luck lately.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:07 AM   #25
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Analysis
By Dominic O'Connell, Today programme business presenter
Like the opening scene of an Agatha Christie novel, National Grid's preliminary investigation into the power cut 10 days ago is replete with clues and plausible villains, but lacks a final verdict on who or what cut the power.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49402296

Well, they've got a couple of weeks to come up with something.
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