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Earthling7228320321 t1_j6mk8vf wrote

I wish the world was working together on the looking energy crises.

I can't help but feel that we could be looking at fusion power as a more realistic near future option if the whole world was throwing everything they have at it.


Ehldas t1_j6mnc4h wrote

Fusion is not a "near future" option.

Research is going extremely well, and it's basically down to engineering rather than physics problems now as no-one in the industry really doubts that it will be a viable form of energy generation. But it's still 10-15 years away from even having a viable fusion reactor design, and then a huge amount more from being a dominant source of energy.

So we need to need to be concentrating on the solutions we have now (renewables, existing reactor designs, SMRs, etc.) to solve the problems for the next 20-30 years.


jert3 t1_j6nc5s2 wrote

Fusion power has been 10-15 years away for at least 50 years now.


Ehldas t1_j6ndxbd wrote

Well, yeah, but then again we've never before been a decade away from an actual, real Q10+ fusion reactor, even if it's not intended to be a commercial one, and now we are.


Earthling7228320321 t1_j6mtyrs wrote

That's my point. It's not, but it could be.

And physics is still very much of concern here. Engineering solutions are great but at the end of the day we need a better fundamental understanding of particle behavior if we are to make it sustainable. Right now no amount of engineering alone is going to overcome the problem of neutrons rapidly destroying equipment when they start pouring out of the fusion reaction.

However difficult these problems are, if the world wasn't stuck in a status quo of exploitation and war posturing, it would certainly make the job easier.


Ehldas t1_j6mut8f wrote

>Right now no amount of engineering alone is going to overcome the problem of neutrons rapidly destroying equipment when they start pouring out of the fusion reaction.

Really? You should tell that to the engineers who invented the FLiBe blanket, specifically designed to capture the neutrons "flooding out" and turn them into useful tritium to feed back into the fusion cycle, while also protecting the rest of the fusion reactor vessel.


Earthling7228320321 t1_j6n17bz wrote

So then why are they still a problem?


Ehldas t1_j6n3rrg wrote

I didn't say neutrons were a specific problem : you did.

There are plenty of other engineering problems, including long duration high-temperature divertors, tungsten chemistries for wall endurance, new magnet chemistries of higher power and smaller size, computing designs to continue optimising plasma flow control especially at edges, and overall reactor design for ease of construction, maintenance, etc.


Earthling7228320321 t1_j6n6yss wrote

My point was that we'd solve these problems a lot faster if worked on getting along. But I realize that's just a pipe dream so this whole convo is kinda rooted in pointlessness. I wasn't really arguing about the specifics.


RedditIsShit9922 t1_j6nxpbw wrote

>we could be looking at fusion power as a more realistic near future option

Fusion is the exact opposite of that. It is highly speculative and can only become viable in the far future, if ever. Do not get fooled by the sensationalist headlines. There is a mountain of giant problems that need to be overcome before fusion can actually become commercial, and we have no idea if we can ever overcome these problems.

But we desparately need to act now, not wait for scifi tech to become reality. We cannot afford to waste money on this now. We should invest it into things are working to reduce CO2 RIGHT NOW.


Earthling7228320321 t1_j6p26ql wrote

I mean that would be great too but all signs point to us falling short of all the major climate goals so I think we should be funding every avenue of research we have on the matter. From renewables to fusion to AI to a new AI god based religion to give the masses of humanity a better life guide than the religions that are currently available. Which is a topic that I think we all need to talk more about, btw.


Supertrinko t1_j6ogx3h wrote

We're totally working on fusion technology, and it's coming along at a nice pace. Every now and then we beat previous thresholds for how much energy it's generating.

In terms of "working together", that would indeed be idea. Just look at what the EU does for energy infrastructure across all the EU countries. Imagine if we gave the UN the mandate and funding to do that, but for the world. Just through economies of scale we'd have a much, much more efficient electricity system.

Unfortunately at this point the realist in my comes out and it becomes easy to pick that apart by what would really happen if we tried. "My country should get more and if you don't do x we'll pull funding!"