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Thu Dec 28, 2017, 06:31 PM

Nuclear Sphere: Weird Globe Could Revolutionize Fusion Energy

By Rafi Letzter, Staff Writer | December 28, 2017 11:03am ET

A team of researchers has a plan to achieve nuclear fusion that actually produces energy, and their proposal looks very different from the fusion projects the world has already seen.

If the team is right, its strange, spherical hydrogen-boron reactor could be built in useful form before any ongoing conventional fusion projects reach completion.

The secret behind the new reactor design? It relies on completely different elements than older projects do, and it uses different methods to heat up its core. [The 8 Hottest Places on Earth]

Elusive power source
There's a lot of energy locked away inside atoms.


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Reply Nuclear Sphere: Weird Globe Could Revolutionize Fusion Energy (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2017 OP
Cicada Dec 2017 #1
Victor_c3 Dec 2017 #2
hunter Dec 2017 #3
Victor_c3 Dec 2017 #4
hunter Jan 2018 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Dec 28, 2017, 08:48 PM

1. If this works we have unlimited almost free energy

That would change everything.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 28, 2017, 10:08 PM

2. I can only begin to immagine what our world would look like

A nearly limitless clean energy would solve all of our environmental woes. Energy intensive techniques to capture CO2 and convert it to something else wont be a problem. Energy required to recycle and process our wastes and contamination wonít be a problem either.

Just immagine to social impacts with nearly unlimited and free energy. Cost of heating a cooling our homes would be nilch. Transportation costs would drop immensely. Whole industries would become obsolete and irrelevant. Our constant need to meddle in other nationsí issues so that we could secure energy would be over. Wars, the power and posturing of nations, our financial systems, etcettera. Everything would change. Everything.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 29, 2017, 04:03 PM

3. Be careful what you wish for.

I think cheap fusion energy would only accelerate the current mass extinction event.

Imagine this earth with a few hundred billion humans and no more nature.

We humans would assimilate the entire biosphere, we would become the Borg.

If I knew how to build a fusion power plant I might not tell anyone.

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Response to hunter (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 29, 2017, 10:21 PM

4. Based on a lot of reading I did about 5-10 years ago

After about 2050 global population is set to begin a slow decline.

Globally, as our standard of living has increased, birth rates have decreased. There have been a number of studies to support this, but when people arenít starving and spending all of their time trying to secure their next meal, their literacy rates increase. There is a direct link between the literacy rates of girls and women in particular and their subsequent birth rate. For a quick example, look at South American nations. In the 1960s many of them had birth rates in excess of 6 kids per woman. By the 2000s, birth rates there have dropped to levels even lower than in our country.

I believe global population will stabilize and correct itself in the matter of a few decades. Technologies like that discussed above will help us deal with the pollution and wastes we produce as globally our consumption goes up. We have a serious consumption problem that will only get worse, but that is a topic for a different post.

By about 2050, the approximate year projected maximum of global human population, it is estimated that the earth (excluding Antarctica and the arctic) will have an average population density of the current density of France.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 2, 2018, 11:07 AM

5. About France...

France's present electricity generation mix is a result of the French government deciding in 1974, just after the first oil shock, to expand rapidly the country's nuclear power capacity, using Westinghouse technology. This decision was taken in the context of France having substantial heavy engineering expertise but few known indigenous energy resources*. Nuclear energy, with the fuel cost being a relatively small part of the overall cost, made good sense in minimising imports and achieving greater energy security.

As a result of the 1974 decision, France now claims a substantial level of energy independence and almost the lowest cost electricity in Europe. It also has an extremely low level of carbon dioxide emissions per capita from electricity generation, since over 90% of its electricity is nuclear or hydro.


So we already have an example of what a nuclear powered society looks like. France has the second highest number of children per family in Europe; 2.01 when the last figures were announced, and considerable immigration. Compared to other affluent nations, the population of France is increasing rapidly.

I think the optimistic view of human population growth, that it will level off as affluence increases, will be offset by global warming. The siren song of cheap natural gas is too great. The largest industrial projects in the world today involve the extraction and distribution of natural gas.

Climate change, aggravated by increasing fossil fuel use worldwide, will cause severe population displacements, refugee crisis, even within nations like the United States. These displacements will act against the comfortable sorts of affluence that reduce population growth. If world population growth does become negative, it's likely to be for very unpleasant reasons.

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