Korean artificial sun, KSTAR, sets the new world record of 20-sec-long operation at 100 million °C

Aims to continuously operate high-temperature plasma over the 100-million-degree for 300 seconds by 2025

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Science Business Announcement

The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research(KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees.

On November 24(Tuesday), the KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KEF) announced that in a joint research with the Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States, it succeeded in continuous operation of plasma for 20 seconds with an ion-temperature higher than 100 million degrees, which is one of the core conditions of nuclear fusion in the 2020 KSTAR Plasma Campaign

It is an achievement to extend the 8 second plasma operation time during the 2019 KSTAR Plasma Campaign by more than 2 times. In its 2018 experiment, the KSTAR reached the plasma ion temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time (retention time: about 1.5 seconds)

To re-create fusion reactions that occur in the sun on Earth, hydrogen isotopes must be placed inside a fusion device like KSTAR to create a plasma state where ions and electrons are separated, and ions must be heated and maintained at high temperatures.

So far, there have been other fusion devices that have briefly managed plasma at temperatures of 100 million degrees or higher. None of them broke the barrier of maintaining the operation for 10 seconds or longer. It is the operational limit of normal-conducting device* and it was difficult maintain a stable plasma state in the fusion device at such high temperatures for a long time.

* Limits of a Normal Conduction Device: Unlike the KSTAR, a fusion device that features a superconducting magnet, the existing fusion devices based on normal-conducting magnets such as copper cannot be operated for an extended period of time because when a high electric current runs through the magnet to create magnetic field that is strong enough to confine plasma, the magnet becomes overheated due to its resistance.

In its 2020 experiment, the KSTAR improved the performance of the Internal Transport Barrier(ITB) mode, one of the next generation plasma operation modes developed last year and succeeded in maintaining the plasma state for a long period of time, overcoming the existing limits of the ultra-high-temperature plasma operation.

Director Si-Woo Yoon of the KSTAR Research Center at the KFE explained, “The technologies required for long operations of 100 million- plasma are the key to the realization of fusion energy, and the KSTAR’s success in maintaining the high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds will be an important turning point in the race for securing the technologies for the long high-performance plasma operation, a critical component of a commercial nuclear fusion reactor in the future.”

“The success of the KSTAR experiment in the long, high-temperature operation by overcoming some drawbacks of the ITB modes brings us a step closer to the development of technologies for realization of nuclear fusion energy,” added Yong-Su Na, professor at the department of Nuclear Engineering, SNU, who has been jointly conducting the research on the KSTAR plasma operation.

Dr. Young-Seok Park of Columbia University who contributed to the creation of the high temperature plasma said “We are honored to be involved in such an important achievement made in KSTAR. The 100 million-degree ion temperature achieved by enabling efficient core plasma heating for such a long duration demonstrated the unique capability of the superconducting KSTAR device, and will be acknowledged as a compelling basis for high performance, steady state fusion plasmas.”

The KSTAR began operating the device last August and plans to continue its plasma generation experiment until December 10, conducting a total of 110 plasma experiments that include high-performance plasma operation and plasma disruption mitigation experiments, which are joint research experiments with domestic and overseas research organizations.

In addition to the success in high temperature plasma operation, the KSTAR Research Center conducts experiments on a variety of topics, including ITER researches, designed to solve complex problems in fusion research during the remainder of the experiment period.

The KSTAR is going to share its key experiment outcomes in 2020 including this success with fusion researchers across the world in the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference which will be held in May.

The final goal of the KSTAR is to succeed in a continuous operation of 300 seconds with an ion temperature higher than 100 million degrees by 2025.

KFE President Suk Jae Yoo stated, “I am so glad to announce the new launch of the KFE as an independent research organization of Korea” “the KFE will continue its tradition of under-taking challenging researches to achieve the goal of mankind: the realization of nuclear fusion energy,” he continued.

As of November 20, 2020, the KFE, formerly the National Fusion Research Institute, an affiliated organization of the Korea Basic Science Institute, was re-launched as an independent research organization

###

For more information on KFE and KSTAR, visit: https://www.kfe.re.kr/eng/index

To download the pictures of KSTAR, follow this link : https://www.kfe.re.kr/eng/post/eng_photo

The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy(KFE) is Korea’s only research institute specializing in nuclear fusion. Based on our development and operation of KSTAR, a superconducting fusion research device, the KFE seeks to achieve groundbreaking research results, develop core technology for commercializing nuclear fusion, and train outstanding nuclear fusion personnel. In addition, the institute is spearheading a joint effort to open the era of nuclear fusion energy in the mid-21st century through active participation in the ITER Project.

From EurekAlert!

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Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 2:17 am

Unless we can create the gravity of a Sun on Earth, fusion is just a bomb of an idea.

Greg
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 2:49 am

If you create the gravity of the sun on Earth , the Earth will implode, is that any better?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Greg
December 25, 2020 3:17 am

Containment.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 6:42 am

Lead shields gamma/x rays. Polythene shields neutrons. What shields gravity?

Bryan A
Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 25, 2020 9:39 am

Dork matter

Bryan A
Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 25, 2020 4:34 pm

Perhaps gravity is best countered by Quark Matter

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 25, 2020 10:58 pm

Explain the sun without lead and polythene shields?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 26, 2020 10:48 am

Look up “Cavorite”, invented by H. Wells, 1901.

Reply to  Greg
December 25, 2020 8:13 am

The Koreans could have spent the money on a test Thorium MSR and could now be producing electricity….just sayin’.

PCman999
Reply to  Thorium Power
December 25, 2020 12:17 pm

1 gram ($30,000) of tritium-deuterium fused creates about as much energy as a whole tonne of coal! But the tonne only costs about $85 …. Fusion will never be economic, and the people saying so are scammers or gullible.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  PCman999
December 25, 2020 7:23 pm

Sigh. Ever hear of the economy of scale? Once the reactors are working the fuel sources will become much cheaper.

Klem
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 3:58 am

What are you saying, Patrick. Fusion power is only 20 years away, remember?

Kpar
Reply to  Klem
December 25, 2020 8:34 am

Just like it has been for the last thirty years…

Bindidon
Reply to  Klem
December 25, 2020 1:43 pm

Klem

TWENTY years? Ooooh.

Tokamak experiments started at the end of the 1950’s (I was just a bit over 10) and ‘real results‘ were since then promised every 20 years.

Hmmmh.

J.-P. D.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 4:49 am

Unless we can create the gravity of a supernova, fission is just a bomb on earth…
See, I can talk nonsense as well. My nonsense is bigger than your nonsense

Last edited 7 months ago by Leo Smith
Patrick MJD
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 11:02 pm

We can control fission and have done for many decades. Proven. Not sure what your point is. A fusion bomb is just a fission-fusion bomb, but, as a bomb, it cannot be contained.

n.n
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 11:31 am

Even a gravity field from the mass of our Sun is insufficient to fully contain its fusion reactions.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  n.n
December 25, 2020 11:56 am

The sun’s surface gravity is only 28 g. My money’s on cold fusion.

n.n
Reply to  Mike McMillan
December 25, 2020 12:21 pm

Cold fusion is the plausible alternative. For hot fusion, a singularity (e.g. black hole) to contain most, but not all, of its effects. A greenhouse effect to contain its heat production. A lensing construct to create a “universal” effect. Fusion does not coexist, and requires a universe unto itself. A womb effect, which offers safe sanctuary, selectively, opportunistically, maybe. We are better off tilting at wind turbines.

mcswell
Reply to  n.n
December 25, 2020 8:53 pm

Huh? If you’re talking about coronal ejections, that’s not where fusion is taking place; it takes place in the core of the Sun. If that’s not what you’re referring to, perhaps you could clarify?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  n.n
December 25, 2020 9:29 pm

Well, it does otherwise it would consume itself rapidly. We can already do that, rather fission-fusion-fission-fusion bombs. We know they work very well.

posa
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 2:00 pm

There are alternatives now to tokamacs … you should educate yourself
LPPFusion.com

Patrick MJD
Reply to  posa
December 25, 2020 9:27 pm

“LPPFusion is developing a new energy source, modeled on fusion energy that powers our Sun.”

Models.

posa
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 27, 2020 10:43 am

No jackass. If you read further you’ll note that the LPPFusion experimental device was been built years ago. The website abounds with pictures, videos, and published studies of the device. It’s already created small amounts of fusion energy. It has reached two of three criteria for achieving fusion. Currently it’s under an upgrade to finally crack the third criterion.

The LPPFusion device doesn’t rely on magnetic (Tokamak) or inertial confinement (laser) schemes … instead the process is a matter of induced “self-confinement” of the plasma until a fusion state is reached (measured n nano-seconds)

Last edited 7 months ago by posa
Joel O’Bryan
December 25, 2020 2:27 am

Operational fusion reactors will forever remain just 40 years away. Just like CAGW.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 25, 2020 2:45 am

Yeh, and machines heavier than air can never fly. To equate these efforts to a scam is insulting.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 25, 2020 7:55 am

with all the money shoveled at high energy fusion physics for the last 40 years, it has generated an entire cottage industry of rent seekers. that money put to a modern civilian sector fission reactor program would have gone along ways to a building new modern generations of fission reactors.

TallDave
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 25, 2020 9:14 am

otoh we didn’t give the Wright brothers a trillion dollars and fifty years to produce something that didn’t even fly

Last edited 7 months ago by TallDave
Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  TallDave
December 28, 2020 7:23 am

When I did a spell in 1972 at the then lab for plasma physics for my masters we were happy with a confinement time at 10^7K of a microsecond on a turbulent pinched plasma arc discharge. 20 sec at 10^8K 50 years later is arguably a similarly large leap as from the Wright bros to the jumbo jet.

Flight Level
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 25, 2020 6:44 pm

Ed,
Heavier than air machines started to reliably fly the moment fossil fuels allowed for engines and on-board energy supply with sufficient power to weight ratio. And keep flying ever since, better and better each passing day.

Also allow me to outline that lighter then air machines don’t fly and have never flown.

They float by buoyancy (ask Mr. Archimedes how this happens).

Photios
Reply to  Flight Level
December 26, 2020 10:38 am

If he answers you, please tell us what he says.

Greg
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 25, 2020 2:50 am

CAGW is the catastrophic future of life on Earth … and always will be.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Greg
December 25, 2020 3:51 am

The search for tomorrow’s Existential Threat is on-going….

Reply to  Gregory Woods
December 25, 2020 5:01 am

It will come from a direction that no one will expect. Men will realise that with new gender laws, going gay is really all that there is left, and all breeding will cease.

Last edited 7 months ago by Leo Smith
Richard Page
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 5:22 am

Nope. And you just speak for yourself in that! Rather than this happening, we’ve really become too stupid to succeed as a species. Time for us to die out and let another species have a go perhaps?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Richard Page
December 25, 2020 8:28 am

Any replacement species will come up out of evolutionary competition, just as we have done. Any newbies will be just as stupid as the oldbies.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Gregory Woods
December 25, 2020 7:57 am

The Democrats say its Capitalism.
Republicans and the evidence says it’s Socialism.

I go with the evidence.

Ron Long
December 25, 2020 2:27 am

Interesting posting of fusion news, Charles. The Tokamak fusion reactors utilize strong magnetic fields to suspend the plasma as it is excited to high temperatures by streaming an energy beam into it. The drawback to Tokamak fusion reactors has been energy balance, it takes more energy to suspend the resulting plasma that the heat energy given off by the hot plasma. The high temperature, plus 100 million deg C, is almost certainly not much thermal energy as the plasma mass was low. The dream of fusion energy continues, and even some progress is made, but commercial viability? I have an electrical generator and large gas can to power my house when needed, that’s commercial viability.

Hivemind
Reply to  Ron Long
December 25, 2020 3:15 am

The problem with Tokamaks isn’t the energy, it’s the stability. The plasma stream twists and hits the wall of the containment vessel, losing its energy.

saveenergy
Reply to  Hivemind
December 25, 2020 3:29 am

The problem with Tokamaks is lack of control of the plasma stream so it loses its energy.
The extra external power required to give that control will probably still make the energy balance go the wrong way…but it’s still good to have a go …it’s practical blue sky thinking, who knows what other things will be found.

We don’t know what we don’t know !!!

Kpar
Reply to  saveenergy
December 25, 2020 8:41 am

There is another confounding factor that is the real problem- extracting the energy produced and converting it into a usable form (electricity).

Current proposals suggest the fast neutron flux (the largest energy component) will heat stainless steel cooling jackets, and the resultant steam will power turbines, just like present power systems.

Problem: the jackets will ablate and blister, needing replacement in a few years.

Additional problem: disposal of the now highly radioactive stainless steel. Megatons of it.

posa
Reply to  Kpar
December 25, 2020 2:05 pm

There’s no chance toks can be commercialized… but there are other approaches to fusion. Time to climb out of the tokamak cage.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  posa
December 25, 2020 11:05 pm

Based on what you have posted, none!

TallDave
Reply to  Hivemind
December 25, 2020 9:16 am

worse than that

even if stable, toks are low beta (low ratio of power to containment field)

low beta devices will always be too large to be practical (i.e too expensive to compete)

experimental high beta devices might someday be useful, but they don’t produce decades of PhD work for hundreds of careerists

incrementalism ugh

Last edited 7 months ago by TallDave
Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Ron Long
December 25, 2020 6:11 am

Yes. I suspect at the root of this is the second law of Thermodynamics which is putting its stamp of disapproval on these experiments. Ultimately the energy harvested will turn out to be less than the energy required to initiate and maintain the process.
For some reason, I know not how, the Sun has sufficient excess energy to keep the process going; but we do not. Eventually the Sun will run out of this and die.

TallDave
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
December 25, 2020 9:19 am

the Sun is a very poor fusion reactor — a compost heap produces more power per mass

but the Sun is also very large and dense, and so the energy is trapped for a very long time

beng135
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
December 25, 2020 9:21 am

Energy balance (conservation of energy), is the First Law of Thermodynamics.

Last edited 7 months ago by beng135
mcswell
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
December 25, 2020 9:49 am

@Alasdair: The Sun produces energy by fusing hydrogen nuclei (protons) into helium nuclei. We know how it works, and the second law of thermodynamics does not forbid it. But it’s a difficult to produce the pressures, temperatures and densities of the Sun’s core here on Earth–you can get any two of the three, and you can fuse hydrogen to helium in your basement if you want (just watch out for the neutrons). But getting all three at once is Hard. Hydrogen bombs do it, and produce quite an excess of energy; but doing it in a controlled manner is a bit more difficult.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  mcswell
December 25, 2020 3:15 pm

That’s the bit that will never be achieved with the current thinking and designs.

paul courtney
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 25, 2020 4:25 pm

Patrick: No, no, it will- in twenty years.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  paul courtney
December 25, 2020 11:06 pm

Infinity and beyond (Funding)!

Speed
December 25, 2020 3:11 am

Fire wasn’t useful until humans found a way to contain and control it without burning the forest down.

Meab
Reply to  Speed
December 25, 2020 10:11 am

Dumb analogy. Fire is something that cavemen figured out. Fusion has fundamental physical constraints that thousands of PhD scientists haven’t been able to solve after a half-century of (expensive) research. I know, I’m one of them. Fusion won’t be competitive until we’ve used up all the Uranium and Thorium on Earth, not for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Meab
December 25, 2020 7:34 pm

With a breeder reactor, we can run for quite a while. We have a lot more U-238 than U-235. I like the liquid thorium salt reactors. I know some people here are not fans. but since we had one running in the 1960’s, we should be able to improve the design a bit.

Speed
Reply to  Meab
December 26, 2020 4:09 am

Meab wrote, “Dumb analogy”.

The main job of a reactor is to house and contronuclear fission—a process where atoms split and release energy.

Reactors use uranium for nuclear fuel. The uranium is processed into small ceramic pellets and stacked together into sealed metal tubes called fuel rods. Typically more than 200 of these rods are bundled together to form a fuel assembly. A reactor core is typically made up of a couple hundred assemblies, depending on power level.

NUCLEAR 101: How Does a Nuclear Reactor Work? | Department of Energy

Alex
December 25, 2020 3:20 am

Plasma physicists are professional liars.
The working fusion device is always 30 years away – timely for the leading scientist getting retired.

Reply to  Alex
December 25, 2020 4:53 am

That belies the fact that progress is being made. No one appreciated how tough the problem of containment would be, and fission reactors worked, and there was plenty of fossil fuel, so there was no urgency· Fusion has been trickle funded on the back burner for 70 years. It’s amazing it’s got as far as it has.

Last edited 7 months ago by Leo Smith
Alex
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 9:22 am

it will stay “back burner” for very long.
a progress?
it was evident, the NIF will not work: one can scale down the sub-critical bomb tests. It is known, the ICF fusion will work at a 20 MJ laser pulse.
Yes, if there will be a progress in laser technology, it will work.
Yet, the plasma physicists managed to get money for NIF construction at 2 MJ level, with the leading scientist having faked his PhD.
Tokamak?
Everything scales there indeed… up to the runaway electrons.
These will kill any tokamak designed for energy production.
Tokamak is dead end.

TallDave
Reply to  Alex
December 28, 2020 11:40 am

laser is a pipe dream

net power for a millisecond does no one any good

TallDave
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 9:26 am

nah, Bussard said 30 years ago toks were no good

all we’ve learned since is that he was right

there might be another approach that could work, but cumulatively we’ve spent around a trillion dollars (in 2020 dollars) on toks b/c no one wants to admit they spent decades chasing a dead end

Last edited 7 months ago by TallDave
Bob Langenbach
Reply to  TallDave
December 25, 2020 11:33 am

When I was a sophomore in High School in 1953, fusion was only 25 years away! So now it is 30 years away. So, in 67 years, we’ve extended the time to fusion energy by 5 years. Will it be 40 years away in 2087. I guess I won’t get to see, but maybe. Medicine may let me live to 150 years by then. LOL

TallDave
Reply to  Bob Langenbach
December 28, 2020 11:42 am

if we live long enough we might see fusion become 100 years away

Rich Davis
Reply to  TallDave
December 26, 2020 10:03 am

Yes, “trickle funded”
LOL

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Alex
December 25, 2020 5:26 am

Fusion will never happen until the Extraterrestrials allow it.

mcswell
Reply to  Alex
December 25, 2020 9:52 am

Lying is saying something you know is false. As Leo has said, progress is being made, and it’s quite possible there will be a breakthrough in the next 20 years. Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

So no, they are not lying; nature just has more tricks up its sleeve than we thought.

Alex
Reply to  mcswell
December 26, 2020 12:47 am

Sure they knew it.
Well, I cannot exclude there were a few, who didn’t, but these were morons.

bonbon
December 25, 2020 3:55 am

An overview of known fusion projects at the end of the page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KSTAR
omits
https://lppfusion.com/
for some strange reason.
Now to Make America Great Again, then get serious about fusion crash programs.

It looks like Biden, like his mentor Obama, will say “we don’t need no fancy toys”.

Reply to  bonbon
December 25, 2020 4:58 am

Arguably at this point you don’t. Dont worry, wait till the British have developed it, and then steal the design, like you normally do. Radar.The magnetron. The supersonic aircraft. The jet engine. The digital computer. The television set. Radio. Penicillin.
I’ll give you the transistor though. And Unix. But not Linux. That was a Dane.

Timo V
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 5:29 am

Not a Dane, a Finn. Linus Torvalds.

Robert Brewer
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 6:21 am

Britain did not invent the cavity magnetron used in radar systems in the ww2 era, they improved on a magnetron invented by an American named Albert Hull and married it to radar to improve its capabilities. Radar (and magnetrons) were being built and designed in the US concurrently with or even before some of the work done in the UK. The UK did play an integral part in improving the technology, but it was not a UK invention. Technology rarely develops in a vacuum. It builds upon the work of past inventors, scientists and engineers. But hey, you’re welcome for having the internet to post this on…

mcswell
Reply to  Robert Brewer
December 25, 2020 9:54 am

Technology rarely develops in a vacuum” But–aren’t magnetrons vacuum tubes?
🙂

Reply to  Robert Brewer
December 25, 2020 10:18 am

But hey, you’re welcome for having the internet to post this on…

The World Wide Web, you mean?

https://www.internethalloffame.org//inductees/tim-berners-lee?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6fX7qt7p7QIVUvlRCh22NAqIEAAYAiAAEgKm5_D_BwE

noaaprogrammer
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 8:18 pm

Television was pioneered by Philo T. Farnsworth of Beaver, Utah. (He also invented a small nuclear fusion device using inertial electrostatic confinement, but it wasn’t practical at generating any excess power.)

posa
Reply to  bonbon
December 25, 2020 2:10 pm

LPPFusion rocks… chiefly because it’s not a dead-end tokamak design but operates on a plasma “self-confinement” principle. The LPPFusion experimental reactor will be operating with upgrades and probably begin introducing hydrogen- boron fuel before June 2021.

Unlike tokamaks, a focus fusion device is very cheap, compact and well suited to commercial energy production.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  posa
December 25, 2020 9:25 pm

“LPPFusion is developing a new energy source, modeled on fusion energy that powers our Sun.”

Sounds like smoke and mirrors to me, nothing working, just models.

posa
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 27, 2020 10:45 am

It sounds that way Because you’re a benighted fool.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  posa
December 26, 2020 2:11 am

“before June 2021”?
That’s good! We can wait and see it.

posa
Reply to  Rainer Bensch
December 27, 2020 10:46 am

Indeed. LPPFusion is not a fifty year endless project. Keep your eye on the LPPFusion website and their FB page.

Peter W
December 25, 2020 4:39 am

Oh, dear, think of how much they have contributed to Global Warming with this terrible experiment!
(written from “sunny, warm” central Florida where the temperature this morning is 42 F.)

Reply to  Peter W
December 25, 2020 4:58 am

3°C here in sunny Britain

Kpar
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 25, 2020 8:44 am

About the same here in sunny Chicago…

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Kpar
December 25, 2020 2:06 pm

It 17 C here in Mesa, In my book it cold, but cold is where I grew up -11C kind of warm there for this time of year.

rbabcock
Reply to  Peter W
December 25, 2020 6:32 am

I am wondering just how they measure 100M degrees?

Kpar
Reply to  rbabcock
December 25, 2020 8:44 am

I have a candy thermometer, but it doesn’t go that high.

TallDave
Reply to  rbabcock
December 25, 2020 9:22 am

first they measure the fusion reactor at room temperature

then they ask GISS to perform adjustments to the data until they discover it was actually 100M degrees

mcswell
Reply to  rbabcock
December 25, 2020 9:54 am

I’m guessing by the wavelength of the radiation it gives off, but it is an interesting question!

December 25, 2020 4:48 am

That is pretty ****ing good actually.

Tom
December 25, 2020 5:34 am

I noticed that Mr. Biden has announced his intent to ask for a substantial increase in spending for researching renewable energy. One hates to ever gainsay doing basic research, but there is this common belief, especially among environmentalists and alarmists, that we can lick the fossil fuel problem through sheer public will. Sending people to the moon is often cited as an example of how this can work. Of course, sending people to the moon was not an economic enterprise, and having been on the moon has given us no lasting economic benefits that could not have been gained without going to the moon. Energy is a somewhat different matter and I remain skeptical that we can research our way out of the need for fossil fuels. If we really wanted to get rid of fossil fuels, then we should be doing research on nuclear power and investing in new nuclear plants, which do not seem to be what is on people’s minds.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Tom
December 25, 2020 12:54 pm

There are 14 nuke power plants under construction in China and 7 in India. Not all peoples minds are anti-nuke power.
https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/facts-and-figures/world-nuclear-power-reactors-and-uranium-requireme.aspx

Hum
December 25, 2020 6:43 am

We may not need fusion anyway. Mill’s has just had 3rd party confirmation of 3.38X heat energy over input power for his Suncell at 100,000W of steam production. They are to do 3rd party location operation soon. Sounds like his detractors may have some crow to eat.

https://brilliantlightpower.com/validation-report-of-100000-w-of-continuous-steam-production-by-the-suncell/

Last edited 7 months ago by Hum
Steven Miller
Reply to  Hum
December 25, 2020 8:06 am

Mills has been making outlandish claims for around 30 years; so far his”detractors” have not had to eat any crow.

Warning Signs For Energy Technology Investors 3: Yes, They Can Be That Stupid (forbes.com)

TallDave
Reply to  Steven Miller
December 25, 2020 9:24 am

lol he’s still around?

electric universe my ass

Hum
Reply to  TallDave
December 25, 2020 2:01 pm

So I noticed you dips didn’t address any of the science on my link. Yeah good job.

Bryan A
Reply to  Hum
December 25, 2020 4:41 pm

It’s too much like Steorn’s OU device to be believable as a true energy source
The Or go

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn

StandupPhilosopher
Reply to  Hum
December 25, 2020 6:13 pm

It turns out there is no science to address with whatever version of a perpetual motion machine someone is trying to sell other why it won’t work. ( For the ten thousandth time )

Hum
Reply to  StandupPhilosopher
December 25, 2020 6:52 pm

So are you calling Nansteel a liar then, or just incompetent?

Scott
December 25, 2020 7:42 am

I worked on tandem fusion energy devices back in the the 80’s (1980-1987) at LLNL.
I concluded that fusion energy would be the energy source for the future and always would be.

Last edited 7 months ago by Scott
littlepeaks
December 25, 2020 7:53 am

Were the Koreans successful in capturing any of this energy for use in power generation?

TallDave
Reply to  littlepeaks
December 25, 2020 9:23 am

2L says they must have

probably the building thermostat took a few minutes longer to kick off the next heating cycle

mcswell
Reply to  littlepeaks
December 25, 2020 9:55 am

I believe it’s still below break-even.

ScienceABC123
December 25, 2020 8:58 am

It’s closer, but the three fundamental problems still remain: 1) how to inject additional material to keep the fusion process ongoing, 2) how to extract the fusion waste products, 3) how to extract energy from the reactor in a usable form.

Kpar
Reply to  ScienceABC123
December 25, 2020 1:42 pm

Especially No. 3

TallDave
December 25, 2020 9:13 am

eh stop wasting money on low-beta vanity science projects with no plausible path to commercial power

even in the most advanced vaporware designs, tokamak plant power density is far too low to ever compete with fission

Gary Pearse
December 25, 2020 9:26 am

“when a high electric current runs through the magnet to create magnetic field that is strong enough to confine plasma, the magnet becomes overheated due to its resistance.”

Man, I thought this stuff was far beyond anything I could comment on! Tell me it isn’t true that they have been using copper wound cores for the magnetic bottle containment!!! and oak-spoked wheels for the planned steam power take-off. My, my, I could have given them a leg up at the start of the project.

Rud Istvan
December 25, 2020 9:53 am

To paraphrase a Nobel physics laureate:
Fusion energy is such a pretty idea. Put the Sun in a box. The difficulty is the box.

December 25, 2020 10:16 am

The British STEP project to change the doughnut tokamak into an apple tokamak seems promising:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Tokamak_for_Energy_Production

James Walter
December 25, 2020 10:59 am

Check out http://www.LPPFusion.com and http://www.Aueron.ca for practical fusion at an infinitesimal part of the cost of this monster

PCman999
December 25, 2020 11:53 am

Why do they bother, when tritium is $30,000? Better off with coal at that rate.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  PCman999
December 25, 2020 1:13 pm

Because not all fusion reactors use tritium. A few small projects use boron and normal hydrogen that fuse and release 3 alpha particles with NO high speed neutrons. Tri-Alpha Energy is one example.
https://tae.com/news/

Bindidon
Reply to  dan no longer in CA
December 25, 2020 3:50 pm

When this project will have reached the Tokamak experience level, our grand-children will start believing what you write here.

Currently, it’s not much more than PR.

J.-P. D.

Robert of Texas
December 25, 2020 1:08 pm

Just 50 more years and they will be up to 20 minutes… Of course, then you have to start worrying about actually GENERATING more electricity than you are consuming, so that will take another 50 years or so. Another 50 years beyond that they will have a STABLE reactor capable of producing more electricity then it burns…but it won’t be economic for another 50 years (if ever). Luckily by then the entire world will be running on advanced Nuclear Power which will lat us thousands of years.

This is kind of like climate change in that you can make up any goal and know you won’t be alive when proven wrong.

The difference is that this uses actual physics and science whereas you don’t need any of that for climate change predictions.

December 25, 2020 1:32 pm

20 seconds is an improvement, but the progress in this field is so slow that you can barely notice anything from one decade to another. We were many who thought fusion was 20 years away in the 1980-ies.

However, the ‘Stellarator’ architecture has shown something that looks more like a breakthrough. Unfortunately, most of the research, including this, is on the Tokamak architecture.

/Jan

Bryan A
Reply to  Jan kjetil Andersen
December 25, 2020 4:46 pm

Fusion energy is the BEST source of perpetual energy as it is perpetually 20 years away

Bindidon
December 25, 2020 1:35 pm

Looks very nice, but… all fusion processes are, if we like it or not, bound to the deuterium+tritium pair, for longer time.

What does that mean?

While Deuterium is really abundant enough (about 25,000 Gt within the oceans if I well remember), Tritium does not exist in nature and must therefore be artificially breeded in reactors.

Means to put blankets around the reactors’ kernel, containing Lithium ‘upgraded’ to Tritium: like, in 4G reactors, Uranium 238 up to Plutonium 239, or Thorium 232 up to Uranium 233.

But, due to the extremely violent but rare neutrons initiated within D+T fusion, Beryllium must be added as additional neutron source(it reemits many neutrons per shot).

100 ton Lithium + 300 ton Beryllium + 800 ton steel around, means 1,200 ton, to be exchanged every two years.

German scientists busy with the design of DEMO, ITER’s successor, planned in 2006 (!) a waste production of 60,000 ton per reactor lifetime of 30 years, dismantling [not: simply decommissioning, of course] included.

*
The next (insufficiently answered) question is: what is with the tritium cycle?

This element not only is highly toxic: it is the most volatile one on Earth, so much that it bypasses even some steels.

Tritium is since longer time suspected to be the cause of major infantile diseases (throat cancer) around fission-based nuclear plants.

*
Thus, before I welcome a theoretically wonderful source of electrical energy, I would enjoy some more transparency about all that.

J.-P. D. in Germoney

Flight Level
Reply to  Bindidon
December 25, 2020 6:57 pm

Tritium is not toxic. It actually behaves as Hydrogen and decays by β particles (electrons) that can’t even penetrate the outermost skin level or a cigarette paper.

mcswell
Reply to  Bindidon
December 25, 2020 9:00 pm

Like “Flight Level” said. I used to have a wristwatch with a dial lit up by tritium. That was probably 40 years ago, and I’m still alive the last time I checked.

Michael S. Kelly
December 25, 2020 3:48 pm

Was that 100 million degrees Celsius, or Kelvin?

Bindidon
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
December 25, 2020 4:16 pm

0 °C = 273.15 K
100,000,000 °C = 100,000,273.15 K

J.-P. D.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
December 26, 2020 10:31 am

The rest of us got your joke Michael

mikee
December 25, 2020 6:29 pm

So, that only leaves thorium reactors! What’s the holdup?

Gordon A. Dressler
December 26, 2020 10:44 am

It’s an interesting article on what can be attained for the product of plasma temperature and time in a Tokamak-type device, but what really counts is the product of plasma density*time*temperature.

Practical engineers would like to know how many orders-of-magnitude below energy-“breakeven” we are currently at.

Ed Norman
December 26, 2020 2:39 pm

No mention of plasma density here! That is the third important factor to achieving meaningful fusion. If the density is low, there will be negligible fusion, even at 100 million degrees for 5 minutes.

Mark Smith
December 27, 2020 3:31 am

Did they produce output energy greater than input? I am saying no because we wouldnt be guessing. That result would be front and centre. 10 seconds of energy drain. If they get to 100 seconds Seoul will blackout.

Mark - Helsinki
December 27, 2020 4:21 pm

Lol 20 seconds

They have been promising our replica sun since the 60s. Problem is, the experiments will never yield a continuous process, because the sun doesn’t work the way we think it does

Every 20 years we’re told its around the corner. Mark my words, in another 20 years, we’ll still be dealing with seconds or minutes at best

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