Allan Takes Aim Blog

Do you think Nuclear Fusion a no brainer?

Posted on: 7 January 2011


 I doubt I need to spell it out but just to save any confusion I am neither particle physicist nor any other kind of scientist although I might make claim to being both reasonably intelligent and observer of my fellow man (man being non gender specific).

To those people who live outside Canberra and only recently become readers of the blog you might wonder about the blog’s caption. Wonder no more. On 7 September, 2010 in http://www.On Line Opinion and slightly earlier in The Chronicle. I had piece ‘The future is fusion’ published.  On 3 March 2010 I also wrote a piece about fusion for the Chronicle ‘There’s none so blind.’

In the latter I made the following statements: “Such safe nuclear power is fusion, although in Australia, vested interests and politicians with big ambitions but limited vision and ability, do little to help accelerate the nuclear fusion program, a program that will provide the world with a limitless supply of clean energy.

Indeed it seems strange that trillions of dollars are not being spent in hastening the development of a product fusion energy that will help replace fossil fuels and curb CO2 emissions. Even stranger however, is the fact trillions of dollars were spent developing nuclear fission to build bombs that allegedly would save the world from being destroyed by warring excesses. (The Manhattan project.) Have the bombs succeeded? No they haven’t which for me, puts the IPCC’s and Green theories about global warming and climate change in the same category.” 

In “The future is fusion” I made these statements. “Strangely, IPCC scientists (and Lord Nicolas Stern) all of whom say that planet earth is doomed unless CO2 emissions are cut never seem to mention nuclear fusion. Perhaps they’re shy? If so, I’ll say it for them. 

“The fact is, energy produced by nuclear fusion is not only limitless and waste free, it will also cut the use of fossil fuels to nil and make redundant the wave energy barrages, solar panels and power windmills currently polluting the landscape. Geo-thermal power will still be used.

 “So why aren’t the doomsayers calling for development of fusion energy as a priority? ….

“Because demand for their products would be reduced, I can understand coal and oil companies not wishing fusion to become reality. And governments too, would view it with reluctance unless it became politically expedient to do otherwise, because they would lose the tax that the coal and oil industries provide.

At the same time, if coal and oil companies as well as governments really mean what they say when they talk about curbing CO2 they could demonstrate their sincerity by actively and publicly encouraging the accelerated development of fusion. Will they? Well that’s the $64,000 question.”(Perhaps I should have said the $64 billion question)

In both cases some people commented that I didn’t know what I was talking about; that what I was suggesting was pie in the sky.

 That said, I now wonder what they would say to Professor Brian Cox (acknowledged as one of the world’s leading thinkers), when being interviewed for a contribution to the “Times 2” pull out in the Canberra Times 7 January 2011 said in answer to the question: “Can we make a scientific way of thinking pervasive” answered? “This would be the greatest achievement for science over the coming centuries. I say this because I do not believe we run our world according to evidence based principles. If we did we would be investing in an energy Manhattan project to quickly develop and deploy clean energy technologies.”  Professor Cox, a physicist at Manchester University is also at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in Geneva.

I wonder how many people think Professor Cox wrong? If interested in curing the CO2 problem of perhaps you might send this blog off to your friends and ask them to comment.

 But perhaps more important, let’s start a debate in Australia on:

 The Australian Fusion Project   


12 Responses to "Do you think Nuclear Fusion a no brainer?"

Nice enough site but you need to do some more work on fusion.
Please visit the ITER site and you will see why OZ has not invested in this program. The magnitude of it is far beyond ACA and any journo here, never mind the cost just for this test machine are is way beyond the entire wealth of Oz.
Maybe there is another way to make fusion that they haven’t thougt of yet. YouTube is full of back yard fusion plants but real scientists are still struggling with the equipment to contain it even if they have the right idea.

Here are a couple of the key clips on this.

Lots more if you are interested in the fine details at the ITER site.
ITER builds the biggest flattest site on Earth. 90 ha
To get an overview

Do this one first: one is not bad either for a second opinion:

This is a must watch

How they get the bits to the site:

The vacuum:

Capturing the energy:

But they are not going to make any power after all that:

And just in case you get excited and think you are going to shut down Hazelwood etc next week

(Like the stupid Greenies are trying to do) have a listen to this guy’s view of the whole deal:

Thanks for the comments. Well said. As a subscriber to the ITER forum through the ANU plasma research unit am already in receipt of information. Nonetheless, thanks for the advice. Let add that also that my reason for writing about “Fusion” is sto stir up not only lazy science writers to start writing about it so that the matter can be given the attention it deserves but also to the community at large. As for the Fusion Project. I am well aware that Australia on its own would not have the finances to tackle it but I feel sure the project would have a chance of coming to fruition if sold properly to the other countries in Asia that would benefit enormously from Fusion. Will always be glad to hear from you

The Test: Would You Be a Good Cop?…

I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

Thanksfor your comment and your question:Would I be a good cop? Well in years gone by I was a police officer, PC217 in Yorkshire’s West Riding Constabulary which I joined after passing out as top cadet at Pannal Ash training school. But my simple answer, yes. I thinkI was a good policeman then and would still be a good policeman today. However, perhaps I would answer differently if you defined your criteria of what makes a good ‘cop.’

They speak as if the spending on Fusion was a big deal. At the height of the Manhatten project the US Governement was ploughing 0.4% of GDP into the project and had 100,000 employees working on it. If the UK was to plough 0.4 % of its GDP into Fusion Research then the UK, by itself would build four ITER machines in the time it is taking the 33 partner companies to build one.
Serious funding is needed in developing the machines in time for the almost inevitable crunch that is coming in our children’s lifetime when either the burning of fossil fuels has to be stopped, or oil becomes sufficiently scarce and expensive to extract that countries start going to war over it.

Many thanks for your comment. The stats you provided will come in useful when next I take to the word processor in pursuit of getting politicians, tame bureaucrats and some in the Green movement to take off the blinkers and get down to the really serious business of encouraging the speedy development of fusion reactors.
Please keep in touch about any informartion you think useful.

Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

Let me say that while you think the design of my site unique, it isn’t. But what I hope is unique is what I write: and you should think the same. Your blogs are what makes your personal site unique, just ensure that what you have to say is the product of your own mind. If it happens that a blog of yours is similar to that of someone else it means that more than one person shares the same thought However, that is not to excuse people copying what someone else has written, changing a few words, then and posting it as their own, that’s plagiarism. Better not to write something unless it is unique to your mind

You are probably familiar with the U.S. Navy funded polywell fusion since it’s being researched by the University of Sydney but I never see any mention of anything but ITER. Clearly, it has a long way to go but with ITER not expected to be fully operational until 2030 or so every avenue should be explored.

The answer No. But I will be writing about fusion in the not oo distant future. Don

Did you happen to notice the “breakthrough” in cold fusion in the news recently by Mr. Rossi and his E-cat device?

I have been writing about Professor Rossi for more than two years. Incidentally the company producing his e-cat is located in the US.

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