Tuesday, December 13, 2022


 Can you imagine how much power we’ll have available if Elon Musk decides to lead the nuclear fusion effort in this country?


  1. Far too many people assume that economically feasible fusion power is possible. There is absolutely no basis in physics to support that belief. The ONLY place we know of where fusion on an ongoing basis producing significantly more power than is input into the process exists is inside a sun. And that's probably the only place in the universe fusion is possible due to the massive gravity and pressure existing at the sun's core.

    1. Well, I hope not. I've been reading science fiction since 1970 and I'll admit it may be very very hard to do but so was just about everything else mankind has done since developing the scientific method. I just put the problem in the context of the fission programs of WWII. Groves and Oppenheimer led the way into a future they could barely conceive of much less really comprehend and as they used to say in the lab, fission is easy, cells can do it. Still, I have my hopes because its pretty clear that energy out in excess of energy in shows promise. I still remember walking by the little plaque at UChicago showing where, under the bleachers of the old grandstands they got the nuclear reactor running.

  2. The problem with fusion is that current containment methods (e.g. very large powerful magnetic fileds) require massive ammounts of energy. I'd suggest that if we do figure out how to start a controlled fusion reaction, we won't be able to stop it because of the energy requirements. To put it in perspective, its like the hotel load on a submarine's nuclear power plant, except that for fusion its a much larger number.

  3. Can you imagine how much power we'd have if Musk backed the latest generation of fission reactors? From small modular reactors to in neighborhoods and replacing whole mega power plants, how much cheaper and better the power plants would be?

    Much better than pinning hopes on fusion, until, at least, we can mine Helium 3 in large quantities (because using Hydrogen or non He3 Helium will still create radioactive waste.)