Vandergraaf, Chuck wrote:
> In addition to the problems of containing
> the plasma in a fusion reactor,
> there's the additional problem of the
> neutron damage to the pole pieces.
> pieces would have to be replaced. We see
> the same sort of neutron damage in
> Zr-alloy CANDU pressure tubes: they
> actually stretch!
Neutron activation and Neutron damage is a problem. However,
compared to the nightmare of tons of Plutonium storage, transfer,
and processing, it seems minor.
> As a less-theoretical (non-theoretical) person, I gave up on fusion years
> ago. Matter of fact, at a conference about a year ago, one speaker
> mentioned that about the only pronouncement on the fusion is that it is
> "forty years away from being viable." This has been the case for the last
> fifty years. ;-)
During the war they needed Radar to spot submarines on the
surface to win the battle of the Atlantic. No one even knew
if it could be done. The "candu" attitude at MIT nevertheless
produced the Magnetron and cm-wave radar that wiped out the
U-Boats. Same with the Manhattan Project and the A-Bomb. They
didn't know if one could be built, or what would happen when
they set it off. Same with Fusion.
Bush had a chance to pump $1.3 trillion into Fusion over
10 years. Instead he opted for a tax cut. There is no law of
physics which says a Fusion reactor can't be built. It's just
a matter of money. Big money. But oil IS a big money problem.
Point is, there is no option... it's either Fission or
Fusion when the oil runs out. If the West doesn't come up
with an Energy plan, based on Nuclear power, the 3rd world
knows it's days are numbered, and they are starting to revolt
under Islamic leadership because the Moslems own the bulk of
the remaining oil reserves. Saddam even tried to take Kuwait
because of it.
Only 20% of the Moslems are Arabs. Hundreds of millions
of them live in S.E. Asia and Malaysia, Iraq-Iran and even
N. Africa. What with the inclusion of Mecca they form a
continuous highway running the full length of the Eastern
Hemisphere from Sumatra in the East to Gibraltar in the West.
They have begun to attack Buddhism in the East (the Taliban)
as well as Christianity in the West.
Point is, it's obviously time for some big ideas, because
let's face it, the end of the Oil Age is a big problem. It
could be the biggest problem the World has ever faced. A
"world energy plan" requires new and undreamed of levels of
"world government".. which means first of all pointing out
to the Russians that a military enforced one party system is
not viable. They are going to have to cave in to the Democratic
reality of a Left and a Right. On the other hand, Capitalism is
going to have to recognize the absolute necessity of massive
Socialist structures to accommodate the human and economic rights
of the billions and billions of less developed populations in
the 3rd World.
Religion, is absolutely central to this plan. The Communist
tradition of Atheism must be ameliorated. Hopefully the
Communist World will accept a "scientifically based" theory of
God and Religion, and therefore the discovery of a scientific
proof of God becomes of urgent, indeed paramount importance.
At any rate, one really wonders if Bush and Putin are up to
meeting the challenge of all this, or if it's going to be more
burying our heads in the sand and talking about Windmills, Solar
Power, geothermal fantasies, harnessing the tides, more miraculous
carburetors and other baloney. Or whether the US presidency is
going to become defined as finding a man who can face up to
the World Energy Crisis, the 3rd World revolt, the world religion
crisis, and the Moslems.
-- Be sure to visit my website below ----------------------------------------------------------- George Hammond, M.S. Physics Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://people.ne.mediaone.net/ghammond/index.html -----------------------------------------------------------
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