DailyDirt: Fusion Is Less Than 30 Years Away (Maybe)
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Fusion has been a promising potential energy source for decades. The joke is that it’s always just 30 years away. Every so often, people working on various forms of fusion make some news with press releases claiming that they’ve discovered some revolutionary new way to achieve cheap/free/clean fusion. But whenever a fusion science “breakthrough” is announced in a press release in lieu of a peer-reviewed journal, it usually turns out to be disappointing. Everyone wants to see fusion energy become a reality, but it’d be nice to see real scientific progress towards it instead of promotional hype to boost the reputation of a lone inventor or a company’s skunkworks program. It’s great to be optimistic about the future of fusion; just don’t cry “wolf” too many times, okay?
- Lockheed Martin has issued a press release claiming a “breakthrough” in fusion and a prediction that they’ll have a working prototype within the next 5 years. This new approach appears to achieve a “high beta” so that more plasma can be contained, but it would be nice if more of the science were publicly available — especially before the press release. [url]
- University of Washington engineers have proposed a fusion reactor design they call the dynomak which could produce energy more cheaply than coal. Getting to a breakeven point might be a bigger hurdle than making fusion energy cheap. [url]
- Andrea Rossi?s E-Cat device is a “cold fusion” (or low-energy nuclear reaction, LENR) generator that claims to produce oodles of energy without any waste or any negative side effects whatsoever. Independent verification of this device’s capabilities is claimed, but what is really necessary is independent replication of this device. [url]
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