Government Scientists ‘Approaching What is Required for Fusion’ in Breakthrough Energy Research

  1. According to the Iron Law of Headlines, any headline with the word "breakthrough" in it is exaggerated hype

  2. Perhaps another step on the road to fusion, all the experiments are helping to get there. The more data that is gathered about fusion and near-fusion conditions, the faster all the teams involved can move forward.

  3. Excuse my ignorance on the topic, but don't current fusion solutions already make significant use of magnets to control the plasma? What is the breakthough here?

  4. A tokamak uses a very strong magnetic field to try to contain an ongoing fusion reaction. The National Ignition Facility instead fires a bunch of lasers at a pellet of fuel to heat and compress it to cause fusion - the idea being that it would cause fusion within one pellet at a time rather than a sustained fusion reaction like in a tokamak.

  5. These NIF experiments are a dead end. I think either commonwealth fusion or helion will be the first to demonstrate net energy gain with fusion.

  6. Maybe it actually was a decade away in 2012, maybe it'll be a decade away in 2032. Who knows? But if it's technologically feasible it'll happen at some point.

  7. If we had provided any reasonable level of funding for Fusion research those estimates might have held.

  8. ITER will be a legit fully functional fusion reactor once it is built. Shit is mad expensive and complicated to build though. It will take another few decades after ITER to get anything cheap enough to be commercially viable. People that were saying it was 10 years away were talking about just showing that it can be done at all, not actually having it impact our lives in any way.

  9. We are approaching profitability amoungst our conglomerate partners to sell this off and so what if that's after the tipping point?

  10. It seems like a similar “viable fusion is almost here” headline is now every month or so

  11. So I am going to start posting on all fusion posts. First nuclear power is carbon free and has more than 50 years of development. Fusion has only theories and no working prototypes that produce usable energy. Additionally Fusion power is still going to produce radiation in high levels and a weapon made from Fusion technology will probably far more destructive that nuclear which is saying something. Finally replacing the hot rock is not going to change anything energy wise because all power generation revolves around spinning a magnet while it is surrounded by copper wires(with a few exceptions). This means that nuclear Fusion is inferior to nuclear fission and even once Fusion is usable it will contain more dangers than fission.

  12. Funny how this article was published same day it was reported ITER has cracks and will need more time and money to produce first plasma. Gotta keep the research money going, after all, fusion is only 30 years away.

  13. There is a huge step between working fusion (i.e. net positive energy) and commercially viable fusion. We currently have neither, and working fusion has been "only a decade away" for 50 years.

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