Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest
An article in the New York Times. And it says that the headline is compact nuclear fusion reactor is quote very likely to work studies suggest so and they give a couple examples. Of projects that are ongoing right now of people building nuclear fusion reactors, right. So the nuclear actors we have right now are fishing reactors and you gotTa have uranium and you know that creates a whole thing in the uranium market you must have uranium, right? That's the one thing we know how to how do inefficient reactor. And fuel is kind of expensive and it requires a lot of mining whereas the fuel for these fusion reactors is usually isotopes of hydrogen. So it's far more plentiful than uranium and it would generate fusion would generate less. Activity less waste and it's just less dangerous overall which is pretty cool. So. There have been significant hurdles to this people talked about it as kind of a pipedream many years ago that'll never happen, but but it's starting to happen. So there's this reactor called spark SPARC. It's being developed by researchers at MIT plus this spin off company like an MIT spinoff company of which there are many called Commonwealth fusion systems and the project is supposed to start next spring and take three or four years, which is like a really really short timetable i. mean there's been another project in southern France called it Er International Sirmo nuclear experimental reactor. It's been under construction since two thousand thirteen and it's it's actually not designed to actually generate electricity but it was expected to produce a fusion reaction by twenty, thirty five and I think they've poured like billions of dollars into that and and they've raised I think two, hundred million for this this spark project and they have a little picture. Little artist's rendering of what the reaction. Chamber look like and they show a little model of a human standing next to it and it's like I dunno makes the Reaction Chamber looks like it's about twenty feet tall and thirty feet wide. Whereas the the other thing is like the size of soccer field. Literally, they said they said, would be far smaller than the I. T. E. R. About the size of a tennis court compared with a soccer field. So. The that international project estimated to cost about twenty, two billion. So this could be really cold. This could if we can generate electricity with this hyper pundit fuel I, mean there's no shortage hydrogen oral, right? That's really cool and it. It makes an interesting point. If you read the work of an economist named Julian Simon he's always making this point about energy saying there may be a finite supply. Of crude oil when planet earth. Right there's there's probably a finance apply although we don't know that it is in constantly being generated deep in the bowels of the earth. But let's just say it's not let's say that's unlikely and there's a finite supply. So people are always predicting you know the end of the world we're going to run out of crude oil. Then what are we GONNA do? We gotTA DO SOMETHING And Simon's whole point was always that look. It's not the supply of the resource you're using it's the technology, the technology. Any given moment defines what the resources that you need, and if the resource changes from crude oil, which were digging way the hell down in the ground and using all this high pressure fracking technology and stuff, I? mean. That's a that's a massively expensive capital intensive thing. And of course, building a fusion reactor, probably would be Kaplan thing but then you know you build it and it. And I'm guessing that if you do it right, it'll electricity for at least decades if not a century or more and the fuel becomes not crude oil dug out of the ground, you know for lots of capital investment but hydrogen, which you don't have to dig out of the ground you know how they produce the hydrogen necessary I'm sure there's there's a lot more to this than a headline in the New York Times. But to me, it's a really cool example of this constant innovation that seems to trump so much that doesn't work in human society, right so much of the government meddling and downright foolishness, and you know we pollute the earth and we treat each other badly and and yet there are these these ongoing innovations that make life better for all of us.