Re: USGS estimate of oil supply

From: George Hammond (
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 00:20:56 EDT


    Vandergraaf, Chuck wrote:
    > George,
    > 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

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