How Significant is Fusion “Breakthrough”?

December 16, 2022

I don’t think it will mean squat near term for climate.

But, the more the merrier.

6 Responses to “How Significant is Fusion “Breakthrough”?”

  1. renewableguy Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the next line out of the denial group that we should wait for fusion to mature before getting off of fossil fuels.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2022/12/14/the-world-should-be-100-powered-by-renewable-energy-before-nuclear-fusion-is-commercially-competitive/

    The World Should Be 100% Powered By Renewable Energy Before Nuclear Fusion Is Commercially Competitive

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “[F]usion is one more tool that can help us decarbonize more quickly.”

    Where do the producers dig these people up?

  3. neilrieck Says:

    It will be decades before anything commercial comes from this.

    NIF used 192 gas lasers to impart 2.05 megajoules of energy into a target which resulted in the release of 3.15 megajoules. So the “net” increase was 1.1 (about 50%) which translates into 277 watt-hours. (really kind of crappy considering the size of the facility)

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-04440-7

    Going forward, they would need to replace the 30-year-old lasers with newer smaller semiconductor units the miniaturize it. But we still have a problem with the manufactured fuel pellets being very expensive so now we would need to see the total costs from beginning (fuel) to end (something that still produces steam in order to rotate an electrical generator)

    Meanwhile the installed cost of wind and solar (which are available today) continue to drop

  4. Jim Torson Says:

    Is this guy confused and poorly-informed? Or, is he just stupid? Or, is he lying?

    It’s sickening to see how the news media is so eager and willing to report on this nonsense.

    >

  5. ecoquant Says:

    I think it works among publics because many people think of technology and science as if it were magic. Thus, if you have a problem like climate change caused by fossil fuel (and other) emissions of greenhouse gases “all you need” is knowing the appropriate wand to draw and wave.

    Cargo cult Science?

  6. neilrieck Says:

    According to ScieneFriday, NIF pulled 300 megajoules from the grid in order to provide 2.1 megajoules of laser energy. So this was only a theoretical breakthrough. (kind of like measuring the efficiency of an automobile while ignoring all the energy required to extract the oil, refine it into gasoline, then deliver the fuel to retail pumps)

    https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/nuclear-fusion-breakthrough/


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