Could This Lump Power the Planet?
Posted by keelynet on December 5, 2009
I think this approach makes a lot more sense and might achieve results.
“Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab are betting $3.5 billion in taxpayer money on a tiny pellet that could produce an endless supply of safe, clean energy. For some, that’s hard to swallow. Scientist Edward Moses holds a model pellet, but the real version will contain a few milligrams of deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen that can be extracted from water.
If you blast the pellet with a powerful laser, you can create a reaction like the one that takes place at the center of the sun. Harness that reaction, and you’ve created a star on earth, and with the heat from that star you can generate electricity without creating any pollution. Forget about nuke plants, coal, oil, or wind and solar.
“This is the real solar power,” says Moses. What Moses is talking about is controlled nuclear fusion—fusing nuclei rather than splitting a nucleus, as happens in ordinary nuclear-fission power plants. In a fission reaction, the nucleus of a uranium atom is split into two smaller atoms, releasing energy in the form of heat. The heat is used to make steam, which drives a turbine and generates electricity. In fusion energy, the second half of this process (heat makes steam makes electricity) remains the same. But instead of splitting the nucleus of an atom, you’re trying to force a deuterium nucleus to merge, or fuse, with a tritium nucleus.
When that happens, you produce helium and throw off energy. It’s not an enormous laser, but a system that combines 192 identical lasers and zaps them into a round chamber, about 30 feet in diameter, where the tiny pellet of fuel awaits the blast. NIF’s laser, which took a decade to build and was completed earlier this year, can produce 60 times more energy than any other laser ever built.” – Full Article Source
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