Sunday, April 1, 2018

I Think the World is About to Change Forever

The Drive:

Lockheed Martin has quietly obtained a patent associated with its design for a potentially revolutionary compact fusion reactor, or CFR. If this project has been progressing on schedule, the company could debut a prototype system that size of shipping container, but capable of powering a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier or 80,000 homes, sometime in the next year or so.
The patent, for a portion of the confinement system, or embodiment, is dated Feb. 15, 2018. The Maryland-headquartered defense contractor had filed a provisional claim on April 3, 2013 and a formal application nearly a year later. Our good friend Stephen Trimble, chief of Flightglobal's Americas Bureau, subsequently spotted it and Tweeted out its basic details.
If the revolutionary nature of this is not clear: the oceans are full of deuterium.  Fusion reactors makes fission reactors look lazy and dirty.  Fusion's byproducts are helium (not radioactive) and heat.  The insanely optimistic Atomic Age predictions for a future where electricity would be so cheap it would not be metered seem possible.


Akatsukami said...

D-T fusion also produces free neutrons.

Jay Kominek said...

and these days helium is worth money. so you get to sell your waste product for a couple hundred per gas cylinder.

StormCchaser said...

I hope this works, but I'm a bit skeptical. On the other hand, pretty much all of the government funded fusion world has been taken over by the giant ITER project. This would be far better.

On the byproducts of fusion.... unless it is aneutronic fusion (and this is not), it will create quite a bit of radioactivity via neutron activation of the materials in the reactor. I don't know the relative amount compared to a fission reactor, but it is certainly not insignificant.

There are different fuel mixes that do not produce many neutrons, but this reactor doesn't use them. The relatively aneutronic fusion reactions require either exotic material (He3) or much higher temperature-pressure product in the reactor.

Left Coast Conservative said...

Really? A productized nuclear fusion reactor to go on the market when I have yet to hear of a sustained fusion reaction? That is an extraordinary claim.

BFR said...

The neo-Druidic pagan earth-worshipers will loathe this.

The last thing that communists want is distributed power of any kind. Distribution decreases reliance upon centralized government and power, and lessens their ability to control people.

It will be fought tooth and nail, highly regulated and controlled, and limited to prevent global warning/cooling/climate change etc, with women and minorities hardest hit.

B said...

Yeah, I'll wait until they actually make ANY sustained fusion reaction.

So far there is nothing but dreams.