[Science] France to host nuclear fusion project


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Matt
France to host nuclear fusion project

Tue Jun 28, 2005 04:30 AM ET

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) - France is to host the world's first nuclear fusion reactor, the project's multinational partners agreed on Tuesday, bringing closer a technology backers say could one day provide the world with endless cheap energy.

France beat off a rival bid from Japan to host the 10-billion-euro ($12.18 billion) experimental reactor at Cadarache in the south of the country, according to an agreement signed by the partners after a meeting in Moscow.

The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project is backed by China, the EU, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. It seeks to mimic the way the sun produces energy, potentially providing an inexhaustible source of low-cost energy using seawater as fuel.

Unlike fission reactors used in existing nuclear power stations, which release energy by splitting atoms apart, ITER would generate energy by combining them.

"After long discussions and a great deal of joint work, the participants chose the site of Cadarache in France," Russia's atomic energy chief Alexander Rumyantsev told reporters.

"Today we are making history in terms of international scientific cooperation," the EU's Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik said in a statement.

"Now that we have reached consensus on the site for ITER, we will make all efforts to finalize the agreement on the project, so that construction can begin as soon as possible," Potocnik said.

Japan and France have wrangled for months over where the reactor should be built while other partners have clashed over funding, causing repeated delays in the project.

ITER began in 1985. Decades of research, however, have yet to produce a commercially viable fusion reactor.

The EU supported the French bid to have the reactor built in Cadarache. Tokyo had sought to have it built in the northern Japanese village of Rokkasho. The other partners have also been at odds over which of the two should host the reactor.

"It is a big success for France, for Europe and for all the partners of ITER," said a statement issued by the office of French President Jacques Chirac.

France has been a big producer of nuclear energy since the oil shocks of the 1970s and has 58 nuclear reactors, the most in the world after the United States. (Additional reporting by Brussels newsroom)

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?t...storyID=8911598

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strekship

Nice. Somday, Fusion will replace fission. And after that, Anit-Matter reactors!

From what i understand, fusion produces much less waste than fission does.

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qkslvr221
Nice. Somday, Fusion will replace fission. And after that, Anit-Matter reactors!

From what i understand, fusion produces much less waste than fission does.

586131533[/snapback]

Anti-Matter reactors...damn now we can build a life-sized working replica of the enterprise!!! Now where did i put those spare warp drives... :shifty:

Ontopic, I think Fusion could be an answer to greater energy demand in the future, including fuels!

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Matt

you are correct. fusion produces far less waste than fission.

The large flux of high-energy neutrons in a reactor will make the structural materials radioactive. The radioactive inventory at shut-down may be comparable to that of a fission reactor, but there are important differences. The half-life of the radioisotopes produced by fusion tend to be less than those from fission, so that the inventory decreases more rapidly. Furthermore, there are fewer different species, and they tend to be non-volatile and biologically less active. As opposed to nuclear fission, where there is hardly any possibility to influence the spectrum of fission products, the problems can be further reduced by careful choice of the materials used. "Low activation" materials like vanadium, for example, would become much less radioactive than stainless steel. Such materials would have half-lives of tens of years, rather than the thousands of years for radioactive waste produced from fission. This involves the design of new alloys with unusual chemical compositions; a complex process as the chemical composition also affects the materials' mechanical properties.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power#...onmental_issues

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mint0

Isnt this still highly dangerous and potentially another chernobyl?

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Matt
Isnt this still highly dangerous and potentially another chernobyl?

586131551[/snapback]

possibly, but if the correct precautions are taken then i doubt it will be another chernobyl.

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mint0
possibly, but if the correct precautions are taken then i doubt it will be another chernobyl.

586131553[/snapback]

no offence, but you're far enough away to not be affected by it

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qkslvr221
That's the stupidest thing i've heard  :huh:

586131569[/snapback]

:rofl:

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King Raa

They want to develop fusion because it'll be safer than fission - once they work out how to get it going.

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ljames28
no offence, but you're far enough away to not be affected by it

586131558[/snapback]

That's the stupidest thing i've heard :huh:

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Argote

Nice... got beaten to this one... here's another source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4629239.stm

this is wonderful news... hopefully one day fusion will replace all current nuclear (fission) and fossil fuel (carbon, petroleoum, gas) power plants and will become the source for nearly all the power we need at a low (relative) cost and with minor enviromental impact

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nexx
Isnt this still highly dangerous and potentially another chernobyl?

586131551[/snapback]

I'd be more worried about the reactor turning one of the scientists into an 8 legged super villian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power#...onmental_issues

The likelihood of a catastrophic accident in a fusion reactor in which injury or loss of life occurs is much smaller than that of a fission reactor. The primary reason is that the fuel contained in the reaction chamber is only enough to sustain the reaction for about a minute, whereas a fission reactor contains about a year's supply of fuel.
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JustGeorge

Slaps on some SPF 10,000 and hopes for the best......

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[SKM-Industries]
Isnt this still highly dangerous and potentially another chernobyl?

586131551[/snapback]

not at all ^_^

a fusion reaction is contained and sustained by powerfull magnetic fields, should there be any containment breach; ie; magnetic field collapse, the reaction itself would cease.

the only damage would be to the imidiate area, such as the reactor room, which would be constructed of heavy thermal shielding.

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Fred Derf

The ITER will not produce any actual electrical energy or anything. This is just a test reactor that will be activated for about half a second at a time.

We are some time away (probably still decades) before we have cheap, clean, nuclear fusion.

Canada pulled out of the ITER partnership because the prospects seemed dim (to make a bit of a pun about electrical power generation).

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stefanra

That's great news. Hopefully nuclear fusion will replace stupid nuclear fission some day.

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.Kompressor

I'd be worried too if they were pulling off an experiment like that near my home. ;)

Hope there's no accidents. make sure the French are drinking wine while building it. :blink:

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[SKM-Industries]

here's a lil Q & A on the BBC news website..should answer a few basic questions: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4627237.stm

if anyone wants further, more detailed info, a quick google search will produce more info than you can handle ^_^

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Fred Derf

[science] tag added to title

Again, it won't be a functioning power generator. It will just work for half a second at a time and the results will be studied.

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gdodson

Isn't the power output by fusion also much greater per amount of fuel?

Edit: ^Fission rips electrons off of atoms by slamming them together, fusion combines atoms. Fission= taking apart, fusion= putting together. Stars use fusion. They start with hydrogen and produce other elements.

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vincent

Can someone tell me the difference between nuclear fission and Nuclear fusion?

I know stars burn nuclear fuel, by way of E=MC2, or something like that.

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Fred Derf
Can someone tell me the difference between nuclear fission and Nuclear fusion?

I know stars burn nuclear fuel, by way of E=MC2, or something like that.

586133590[/snapback]

Fission is splitting of a complex element into two simpler ones.

Fusion is combining two simple elements into a more complicated one.

The ultimate goal with Fusion is to combine Hydrogen and Oxygen so that the "waste" product is water. The trick is to do this at reasonable temperatures.

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vincent

But doesn't fission toss neutrons at an atom since you cant slam a positively charged atom at another positively atom. Neutrons have no charge hence they can stick to an atom and produce an amount of energy?

But i think thats where the atom bomb comes in, nevermind :pinch:

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Matt
Can someone tell me the difference between nuclear fission and Nuclear fusion?

I know stars burn nuclear fuel, by way of E=MC2, or something like that.

586133590[/snapback]

star's 'energy' is pretty much a hydrogen fusion reaction.

fission is gathering power emited by the splitting an. fusion is the energy gathered when two atoms or entities are 'fused'. the problem is that they dont stay fused too long to put it in a nutshell.

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gdodson
But doesn't fission  toss neutrons at an atom since you cant slam a positively charged atom at another positively atom. Neutrons have no charge hence they can stick to an atom and produce an amount of energy?

But i think thats where the atom bomb comes in, nevermind :pinch:

586133640[/snapback]

The reaction is started by launching a neutron at super high speed into the matter to be diffused, but then the electrons are what destroy everything and continue the reaction.

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