Fusion energy almost sounds too good to be true – zero greenhouse gas emissions, no long-lived radioactive waste, a nearly unlimited fuel supply
Perhaps the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy is that the economics haven’t penciled out. Fusion power designs aren’t cheap enough to outperform systems that use fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.
University of Washington engineers hope to change that. They have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.
The team published its reactor design and cost-analysis findings last spring and will present results Oct. 17 at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fusion Energy Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.
“Right now, this design has the greatest potential of producing economical fusion power of any current concept,” said Thomas Jarboe, a UW professor of aeronautics and astronautics and an adjunct professor in physics.
The UW’s reactor, called the dynomak, started as a class project taught by Jarboe two years ago. After the class ended, Jarboe and doctoral student Derek Sutherland – who previously worked on a reactor design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – continued to develop and refine the concept.
The design builds on existing technology and creates a magnetic field within a closed space to hold plasma in place long enough for fusion to occur, allowing the hot plasma to react and burn. The reactor itself would be largely self-sustaining, meaning it would continuously heat the plasma to maintain thermonuclear conditions. Heat generated from the reactor would heat up a coolant that is used to spin a turbine and generate electricity, similar to how a typical power reactor works.
“This is a much more elegant solution because the medium in which you generate fusion is the medium in which you’re also driving all the current required to confine it,” Sutherland said.
The Latest on: Fusion reactor
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Fusion reactor” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Fusion reactor
- Unlocking Fusion Energy’s Future With Artificial Intelligenceon February 25, 2024 at 12:17 am
A Princeton-led team has developed an AI model to predict and avert plasma instabilities in fusion reactors, showcasing real-time control improvements and setting the stage for more reliable fusion ...
- You Got Fusion In My Coal Plant!on February 24, 2024 at 4:00 am
While coal was predominant in the past for energy generation, plants are shutting down worldwide to improve air quality and because they aren’t cost-competitive. It’s possible that ...
- Prototype fusion reactor planned for TVA siteon February 22, 2024 at 4:01 pm
Type One Energy's concept for a stellarator fusion reactor (Image: Type One Energy) "Successful deployment of Infinity One in East Tennessee, with our partners TVA and ORNL, is a critical milestone in ...
- U of I nuclear professor encouraged by record setting fusion teston February 22, 2024 at 12:00 pm
Using the Joint European Torus (JET), a huge, donut-shaped machine known as a tokamak, scientists in Great Britain were able to sustain a record amount of fusion energy for five seconds, enough to ...
- AI solves nuclear fusion puzzle for near-limitless clean energyon February 22, 2024 at 9:23 am
Scientists have used artificial intelligence to overcome a huge challenge for producing near-limitless clean energy with nuclear fusion. A team from Princeton University in the US figured out a way to ...
- World’s top stellarator: US coal plant to host fusion energy facilityon February 22, 2024 at 7:48 am
In collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s ORNL, Type One Energy Group will construct a reactor at the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Clinton, Tennessee, by 2025.
- This company wants to turn a Tennessee coal plant into a fusion reactoron February 21, 2024 at 11:44 am
Type One Energy wants to use a retired TVA coal plant to build a research fusion reactor, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Labs.
- Out with the old | US coal-fired power plant to be transformed into fusion reactoron February 21, 2024 at 9:59 am
Developer to build prototype fusion machine at old coal plant with view to building full-scale reactor in the future ...
- AI to forecast real-time plasma instabilities in nuclear fusion reactoron February 21, 2024 at 8:00 am
Researchers use AI to predict and prevent plasma instabilities in fusion reactors, averting reaction disruptions. Experiments show AI forecasts issues 300 milliseconds early, allowing real-time ...
- What’s fueling the commercial fusion hype?on February 20, 2024 at 1:31 am
All the necessary component technologies, like rockets and communications, were in hand on a smaller scale. In the case of fusion power reactors, no one is yet sure what they would look like, let ...
via Bing News