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£50bn question: do we want faster trains or limitless clean energy?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by auric, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. mmterror

    mmterror pfm Member

    Exactly. We all know it's going to be around £150bn by the time its finished around 5-10 years later than it should be.
     
  2. auric

    auric pfm Member

    Accumulated costs may well be many https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA_(fusion_reactor), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_European_Torus and others https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_nuclear_fusion, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/23/fusion-power-is-it-getting-closer (same photo but different words) but all monies well spent.

    I have the distinct feeling that profits may well be a long way down the line but at a bargain basement I expect HMG could sell a chunk of he family silver with the intention of cooking the books in the short term. Success may well be just a published peer reviewed research paper away, so, to paraphrase Wolfie Smith "Power for the people".
     
  3. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    4th Generation nuclear could be a more immediate priority, far greater energy yield and cleaner. It also uses much of the current waste as fuel.
    The present idea of burying waste still containing 96% of it's energy is obscene.
     
  4. tomh

    tomh Switching over to AM

    I'm surpisesd no one has pointed out that there is no evidence that fusion is any closer to being a viable commercial energy source than it was 40 years ago. As a technology its been 10-20 years away from being viable for over 40 years now, and whilst many developments have been made, we are still a very long way from it being a viable energy source.

    Don't get me wrong, I think its worth investing in fusion (and fission, and wind, and solar, etc), but its definatey a gamble for a the long term with no guarentees it will every be viable. Also not a fan of HS2, but to suggest that spending £50B would make fusion work is highly misleading.

    EDIT - Doh! I seem to have re-awakened an ancient thread thinking it was current. It's clearly too late for me to be allowed near the internet. *sigh*

    --
    Tom
     
    Rana and Bananahead like this.
  5. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    another fossilized thread raises its head
     
  6. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    Chuck it into a Thorium reactor and split it non-pollutingly into two smaller threads.
     
    gintonic likes this.
  7. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

    https://www.iter.org

    I spent some time with a lead physicist working on this last year.
    He informed me that the project has solved all of the major theoretical and practical problems, and they are confident of current schedule.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    darrenyeats likes this.
  8. tomh

    tomh Switching over to AM

    Theres a world of difference between solving all theoretical problems and delivering a viable solution, and I would challenge that "all practical problems had been solved" statement.

    Right now all fusion reactors consume more power than they produce, and run for very short periods of time. The record for runtime of any reator is 300ms, and the record for for Q (The ratio between power generated vs versus power consumed) is 0.69 (At at JET in the UK in 2016). Both these things currently make fusion power somewhat impractical.

    A lot may have changed since I was studying physics, but I don't see any strong evidence of fusion power being a viable and economic power source in the foreseeable future.

    On a side note: Brexit has put JET (located in the uK but largely funded by Europe) in a very sticky place.

    Maybe the best thing to do is park thing thread and revice it in 10 years and see how fusion power is doing :)
     
  9. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

    The physicist informed me the ITER timetable is circa 10 years to a functioning prototype, so the egg heads are well ahead of you :~)
     
  10. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    China have reached 100s containment and are planning a Q=10 prototype.
     
  11. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Remainiac Terrorist

    Isn't this research something else we will now be booted out of developing because we stupidly left the EU?
     
  12. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Clean energy. Trains in UK is a lost and corrupt cause.
     
  13. slavedata

    slavedata pfm Member

    HS2 was Cameron's vanity project, enough said. Fusion or 4th generation Fission has to be a more worthwhile investment. Do we still have joint involvement with CERN and the new Fusion unit being built in France or do we lose these as we wander into the Brexit fantasy?
     
  14. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

    ITER is a joint venture between China, the EU, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the USA.
    No doubt the Brexiters have been diligent in ensuring the UK isn't going to loose out.
     
  15. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Considering CERN is in Switzerland and the new facility you refer to is being built in France with involvement from countries outside the EU, there are a few points that we could go over here. Brexit ignorace is rife.
     
  16. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    It will be so ironic if China ends up with the IPR for a practical fusion reactor and the west have to pay high royalties.
     
  17. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    Do they use lead physicists due to their imperviousness to radiation?
     
    Barrymagrec, darrenyeats and Still like this.
  18. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

    :-D you swine!

    Swifty moving on from my embarrassment ...
    The bigly senior ITER physicist informed me that the interior of the device is only hazardously radioactive to humans for a few of weeks.
     
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  19. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    interesting to see the documentary recently about the massive impact the 125 had on britain , people in peterborough could get home from london in 51 mns , in many cases faster than their colleagues in london . incredible impact on society
     
    Still likes this.
  20. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    I have said before that I think that HS2 is more about capacity than speed, but if you are building rail infrastructure in the 21st century, why would you not build it to 21st century standards?
     
    Still likes this.

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