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Comment Re:Top 3 promising fusion concepts: (Score 1) 346

It also took 20% of the world's oil production offline for nearly a decade, which profits other oil companies, especially with the guaranteed market for military fuel. And there was a _hope_, ill-founded, that a wave of strong anti-Muslim-leadership politics would sweep the region.

Yeah, but that hope was not based in the History of the mideast and reality as it exists there. That was just another inconvenient bit of wishful thinking that was useful in settling that particular family feud. It's a place where one can go from esteemed ally to the "American Devil" overnight, depending on the convenience of the parties involved.

So we were surprised that after we sort of installed a democracy, they all went back to what they were doing before, which is enjoying the hell out of killing each other.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 346

Did that answer your question, or do you require a more detailed explanation?

You answered my question, but you didn't give me the answer you thought you did. Do you know the exact amount of Lithium that is going to be used in the first commercial fusion power generating station? Have you worked with Lithium?

You need to understand that when using words like "essentially free", you are saying that it is a trivial matter. You won't understand that however. You are going to say that you were not talking about the handling and containment, just the purchase price, which you have predetermined to be "essentially free"... There is no part of generating power with these genies in a bottle that is trivial, and just between us chachalacas, pronouncing a vital component as essentially free before the first watt of commercial power has been generated is hubris on a grand level.

I wouldn't hire you as part of the process, I can tell you that. If you came in looking for a job in this matter, and told me that a critical part of the whole endeavor was essentially free, I'd determine you weren't suitable for the task. And I'd be right.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 346

Do you mean thermal efficiency? I pegged it at somewhat less than 50%, like most power plants:

$ units You have: 1g / (7 g/mol / avogadro ) * 17.5 MeV You want: kWh * 67003.703

Since a typical household electricity use is about 9000 kWh/year, at 35% efficiency, that would be several years worth.

If you mean transmutation efficiency, it doesn't matter. You keep recycling the lithium until it converts. As I pointed out, the overall cost of that process could be high, but the cost of the raw lithium is insignificant.

But not 0. My entire thrust was that people were saying Lithium is "essentially free". Tell me exactly how much Li is going to be used in the first commercial fusion power generation plant, and tell me that it is "essentially free". Looking forward to your precise figures.

This "essentially" attitude is why a lot of people don't trust nuc power. Remember, nuclear electricity generation is "too cheap to meter", as told to us by Lewis Strauss, no less an authority than the Chairman of the US AEC. Sorry muchacho, there is no particular part of the process that is insignificant, not the cost, not the composition, not the housing, not anything. Well maybe the flowers planted around the power plant. Then again, we might want to specify some hyper accumulators for phytoremidiation if there was an accident, so as to get a head start on the cleanup.

Comment Re:Top 3 promising fusion concepts: (Score 1) 346

That old paradigm is called 'economy of scale' and it works very well in most industries.

And quite a strategic nightmare when applied to power generation in the modern age. Tell me, if say I was a country that you were fighting. Would you prefer that I had only a couple electric generating facilities, or thousands of them.

For me, I would hope any country I was fighting would have exactly one big economy of scale power generation plant. I would utilize 1 each daisycutter or cruise missile, and my enemy is now my bitch. This is a strategic observation not shared by many, but it is not incorrect.

Comment Re:Yeah Sure (Score 1) 346

And it had nothing to do with taking out a military nuisance for Israel.

Different groups had different ways to benefit off of a war in Iraq. The far right social conservatives are always hopeful that a mideast war can grease the skids for armagheddon. Halliburton made wonderful profits from supplying war related activities. Wars also serve as a conservative economic stimulus package.

But yeah, in order to settle an old family fight, we were going to go into Iraq to settle that score. Everything else was just gravy to some folks.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 346

By my calculation, the ~1g of lithium in a common phone, if converted to tritium, could generate enough electricity to power a typical household for several years. So the cost of the lithium itself is negligible.

The costs involved with gathering and handling the tritium would be a different story.

What percentage efficiency of conversion are you using?

Comment Re:sorry, it's not that simple (Score 1) 346

it still produces lots of radioactive waste.

Fusion produces less waste than fission, and it is shorter lived. But it doesn't help with the political problems. The Greenies and NIMBYs are going to oppose fusion just like they oppose fission.

As I've noted before, one doesn't need to be a Greenie, and one might understandably become a Nimby when they watch what happens to some of these completely safe reactors when things go wrong.

In short, I don't have a problem with Nuclear energy power generation. We can do this.

What I have a huge problem with is trusting that the humans in the loop are going to build something safe. The more dense the energy, the worse the problems when a human induced problem lets that genie out of the bottle.

What did we save money on? What corners did we cut to save money or meet the schedule? Who might we have paid off in order to pass a safety inspection?

I know people. I know energy. I know what happens when you put a shitload of energy in the hands of normal humans with their normal traits.

Comment Re:So sick of the Fusion Scams (Score 1) 346

I know, right?

My first thought was "did they actually just explain to slashdotters what a fusion reactor is??"

I don't know how it was in the bad old days, but I'm pretty certain that a lot of present day Slashdotters need much of this stuff explained to them. Just looking at the conversations about Samsung phone batteries shows a remarkable lack of knowledge by many.

And really, that's okay. None of us were born knowing everything - even though I've been accused of being a "know-it-all". But if there is something I don't know, I have this excellent tool for learning that I'm typing on right now.

Comment Re:So sick of the Fusion Scams (Score 1) 346

It is a very new thing to many readers because so little investment has been put in that development has taken decades.

Now let me get this straight. You are saying that Fusion generated power is a 100% certainty, and the only reason we aren't enjoying it right now in our homes is because not enough money has been put into it?

Well, I'm no dummy in such matters, but I'm not convinced that the bootstrap scheme is going to ever work. Not cynicism, or pessimism, but just looking at the positive feedback aspect of trying to sustain and contain fusion, and have leftover energy available to generate power.

Comment Re:Top 3 promising fusion concepts: (Score 1) 346

The problem is not so much fusion, or fission, it's that there are other forms of energy too. And while fusion reactor designs have increased in cost three or four orders of magnitude in the last 50 years, in that same period PV has decreased three orders of magnitude.

So much this! And one interesting reason is that fusion/fission is relying on an old paradigm, that you have to generate a shitload of electricity at a centralized location, feed it through lossy lines and transformers, and it eventually arrives at your house. This involves a grid network of power generation and control, and all of the vulnerabilities thereof.

My guess is that legacy power needs will start to flatten out and possibly even decrease, as the renewables allow more and more people to go off-grid. If you build a house in an area that isn't in a development already served by grid power, solar is already cheaper by a mile than paying for the Utility company to run a line of poles to your place.

Comment Re:Top 3 promising fusion concepts: (Score 1) 346

Yeah, I'm pissed off! Where's all the riches and oil we were supposed to get from Iraq after we invaded?

Not certain if you are poe-ing or not, since you seem to have an obsession with those left wingers you always rail about, but you have to forget the hearts and minds, and the WMD's, and the oil, and allowing some folks to believe that old Saddam was behind the twin tower attacks.

That's all so many different things that it gets pretty complicated.

Occam's razor cuts it down to the simplest and most credible reason. We were never going to get anything from the War in Iraq, or at least it didn't matter if we did. It was settling a Bush family score.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 346

So a blanket of Lithium is added to the vessel, and the neutron hitting it, produce tritium and helium. That is where the "tritium is bred from lithium, so essentially free" from parent post come from.

I had no idea that lithium was free.

I guess that since you add yeast to a sugary concoction, and it pisses out alcohol, that ethanol is free too. Who knew?

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