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1 Bob Dillon  Fri, Apr 26, 2013 8:01:29pm

Timeline: Chain reaction

1929: Scientists use Einstein’s equation E=mc² to predict release of large amounts of energy by fusing atomic nuclei together.

1939: German-born physicist Hans Bethe, pictured, demonstrates that nuclear fusion powers stars.

1950: Andrei Sakharov and Igor Tamm in the USSR propose a “tokamak” fusion reactor.

1956: Tokamak programme begins in strict secrecy.

1969: Tokamak results declassified, astounding Western scientists.

1973: Design work begins on Joint European Torus (Jet), a tokamak-type reactor in Europe.

1983: Jet completed at Culham, Oxfordshire, on time and to budget.

1985: USSR proposes an international fusion-energy project.

1988: Design work begins for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, later known as simply Iter. 1992: Design phase begins for Iter.

1997: Jet produces 16 megawatts of fusion power, the current world record.

2005: Cadarache, France, chosen as Iter site.

2021-22: “First plasma” scheduled, when ionised gases will be injected into the Iter tokamak.

2027-28: Iter “goes nuclear” with injection of tritium.

2030s: First demonstration fusion reactor to produce electricity for grid.

2050s onwards: First commercial nuclear fusion power plants.

My hope is that the timeline is shortened with more breakthroughs. As Buckminster Fuller pointed out in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth en.wikipedia.org
politics is not the answer - technology is.

amazon.com

2 CarleeCork  Fri, Apr 26, 2013 8:15:42pm

Religion is not the answer, Science is.

3 TDG2112  Sat, Apr 27, 2013 8:07:09am

They’re building a new test facility. Lots of nations involved. The US isn’t mentioned in the article. That is to say, all the new science is being done OUTSIDE the US.

How much of America’s economy is based on Science and Technology? And why?

Why is it we are letting others lead the way with these big projects?

I guess I have to also take issue with the article’s headline. They have a new idea on how to do this without putting more energy in than comes out, but the facility is merely to prove that it works. Not exactly a breakthrough from what I can tell.

From the article:
“We’ve passed from the design stage to being a construction project.” Dr Alejaldre said.

4 Bob Dillon  Sat, Apr 27, 2013 9:23:29am

re: #3 TDG2112

Regulations, politics and funding plus expert criticism.

With Tight Research Budgets, Is There Room for the Eternal Promise of Fusion?

dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com

A Veteran of Fusion Science Proposes Narrowing the Field

dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com

en.wikipedia.org

The ITER project confronts numerous technically challenging issues. French Nobel laureate in physics, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes said of nuclear fusion, “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty. The problem is, we don’t know how to make the box.”

“We’ve passed from the design stage to being a construction project.”

Apparently now there is high confidence that we can make the box.

“This week the project gained final approval for the design of the most technically challenging component – the fusion reactor’s “blanket” that will handle the super-heated nuclear fuel.”


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