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The Forum > Article Comments > The future is fusion > Comments

The future is fusion : Comments

By Don Allan, published 7/9/2010

When it becomes commercially viable, fusion will not only solve nearly all our energy problems but it will also combat CO2 emissions.

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Before sounding off with an apparently uninformed opinion on the potential of terrestrial nuclear fusion as a future source of energy it would be best to take into account these comments from a nuclear physicist:

http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/5929

(Read through until you come to the part on fusion)
Posted by michael_in_adelaide, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 10:09:04 AM
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Fusion - pie in the sky indeed; and best place for it, Don.

And, while it is safely positioned way up there, we can get down to earth by safely tapping into its benefits via the solar industries.
Mark Oliphant was far from mathematically challenged; so if he was with us today he would be impressed by the world populationís accelerated growth rate, which rose from the time of his heyday (1950) at 2.6 billion to a current 2010 6.8 billion. He would be similarly impressed by the accompanying growth of per-capita consumption and waste production. He could not help but acknowledge the impossibility of Homo sapiensí expansion continuing indefinitely, and that the engine driving that is unlimited cheap energy.

He was quite familiar with impressive explosions which result from unlimited breeder reactions.
Posted by colinsett, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 10:17:21 AM
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This is a most disturbing article. On the one hand we all share the author's hope for limitless pollution-free energy, but on the other, it seems that his primary motive seems to be to slag the IPCC and Greenpeace.

Given that sustained, controlled fusion has never been achieved, despite half a century of highly-funded efforts, it seems absurd to characterise the IPCC and Greenpeace as "effectively being fusion deniers".

Denialism is now a well-rehearsed epithet, and perhaps the pro-AGWs must bear some responsibility for pushing the comparison between Holocaust denialists and people who don't go along with the views of about 99% of climatologists.

We now have the word "denier" being used by proponents of any cause against their opponents, in an attempt to land a knockout blow without having to resort to sustained reasoned and verified discourse.

The IPCC and Greenpeace are simply using reason and verification- if the author can point to any credible example of controlled, sustained fusion then he may be entitled to deride those who refute his evidence.

But to use the word "denier" in this discussion is going way too far.
Posted by Jedimaster, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 10:26:49 AM
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It is not just about energy. Oil is used for the manufacture of a huge variety of products - the very keyboard upon which I type for example.

Fusion is not enough, not soon enough and inadequate for all our needs - why invest in this limited technology when we already have other technologies just waiting for visionary entrepreneurs?
Posted by Severin, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 11:45:09 AM
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Don - for once I will side with everyone else. Fusion is just a dream at the moment. If you really consider carbon to be a problem and want to go nuclear then fission is the only answer in the forseeable future. However, public perception of the waste disposal problem (note I say perception, not the reality) will probably rule it out in Australia. Switching to gas will reduce emissions and cause far less fuss. Using renewables will not do anything apart from raise the anxiety levels of those who have to manage the network, and increase costs.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 11:45:09 AM
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have to agree with curmudgeon, the greens and IPCC amongst others all seem to be in denial about "renewable" being anything besides world savers.

the reality is that current and even upcoming renewables will have no impact on a large city base load power requirement

isn't it awful that these people are in denial about it, when we could go nuclear and have a comfortable future, but we'll p*ss it away if the greens and AGW types have anything to do with it - hopefully after a term of the greens in parliament, that will be all over.
Posted by Amicus, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 12:35:30 PM
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