Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nuclear Fusion Might Be Closer Than We Thought

It's not happening next week or even in the next few years.  But recent experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have brought fusion energy a lot closer to reality.

These experiments have produced more energy from fusion reactions than the amount of energy that was put into the fuel.  Omar Hurricane, the physicist in charge of the experiments, said a lot more work still needs to be done before fusion becomes a viable energy source, but:

“Really for the first time anywhere, we’ve gotten more energy out of this fuel than was put into the fuel. And that’s quite unique. And that’s kind of a major turning point, in a lot of our minds.” 

Unlike fossil fuels or nuclear fission the process currently used in today's nuclear power plants nuclear fusion will create an abundant energy source with no pollution, waste products or greenhouse gases.  Describing the status of nuclear fusion research right now, Omar Hurricane compared it to “climbing half way up a mountain, but the top of the mountain is hidden in clouds. You can’t see it. You don’t have a map.”

He also said:

“I wish I could put a date on it.  But it really is just research. And, you know, although we’re doing pretty good, we’d be lying to you if we told you a date.”

But we're halfway up the mountain.

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Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

This is welcomed news but I can't help but be a little pissed that it hasn't happened sooner, which it would have if it wasn't for BIG ENERGY smothering it since heavy water cold fusion was first discovered in the 30's.
However, in my humble opinion, the two things that might well save this earth for human habitation are nuclear fusion and desalinization. The first will drive the second and give us unlimited clean energy and water. With both, we might well be able to regrow this green planet into the garden God gave us.

February 12, 2014 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

Fusion huh? Been promising us this for like forever. In the meantime, the energy tycoons convince the powers that be that pumping otherwise good water mixed with who knows what into the ground to break down solidified oil is our next great energy source. Solar, wind, fusion are still riding the bench. Petroleum is and will be first string as long as it's legs last.

February 13, 2014 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

I'm really excited about this.

February 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mr. C: I agree, fusion and desalination are our ultimate hopes for survival (people and the planet). And I agree that the fossil fuel industry, enabled by their useful idiots in the media and government, have done everything possible to smother these innovations.

MRM: True, this has been a pipe dream for decades. But according to the article, fusion actually has been achieved, on a tiny scale. There's still a lot of work to be done in order for it to be workable, but those experiments are an important milestone.

The worst thing that could happen is for the U.S. to become Saudi America because of endless drilling and fracking.

Jim: Me too.

February 13, 2014 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Experts believe it still will be many years or decades before fusion can become a practical energy source."

Long enough for the future Republican President and Congress to take it out of Government hands (because Government is bad!) and give it to the Energy Industry who will then charge us the same as if we were paying for Oil, and still get tax breaks and subsidies for it!

Hopefully this will not be like the space race, where the Government sold off numerous taxpayer funded technologies developed for the space projects to Private Industry for pennies that we now pay the same price for if they had developed it themselves.

Would it still be possible to have a 3 mile Island or Chernobyl type fusion plant accident?


February 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: As far as I know, nuclear fusion doesn't have any of the contamination or radiation hazards of nuclear fission. I'm not sure of this; I don't know a lot about fusion energy. I hope fusion -- if and when it becomes a major energy source -- doesn't get rationed out by a few conglomerates charging huge prices.

February 13, 2014 at 4:46 PM  

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