UK 1st in Nuclear Fusion - (Not Fission)

Interesting developments in the quest for the holy grail in Nuclear Energy. Fusion a U.K 1st.

Might be on-line a bit late for quite a few members on here but it looks like Fusion may become a reality.

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The Fusion Innovation Challenge saw five companies working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority to advance progress towards the ultimate energy source
Gov.UK link.

First results from UK experiment point to a solution to one of fusion's hottest problems​

Tests on the MAST Upgrade machine at Culham Science Centre are crucial for developing fusion power plants.

  • UKAEA’s new MAST Upgrade device is solving a major challenge for commercial fusion energy
  • Tenfold reduction in heat on key fusion machine components
  • Boost for the UK’s ‘STEP’ programme to put fusion power on the grid for abundant, low-carbon electricity
Scientists at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have successfully tested a world-first concept that could clear one of the major hurdles in developing fusion energy.

Initial results from UKAEA’s new ‘MAST Upgrade’ experiment at Culham, near Oxford, UK, have demonstrated the effectiveness of an innovative exhaust system designed to make compact fusion power plants commercially viable.

With no greenhouse gas emissions and abundant fuels, fusion can be a safe and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply.

Fusion energy is based on the same principle by which stars create heat and light. Using a machine called a ‘tokamak,’ a fusion power station will heat a gas, or ‘plasma’, enabling types of hydrogen fuel to fuse together to release energy that can generate electricity.

A key challenge in getting tokamaks on the electricity grid is removing excess heat produced during fusion reactions.

Without an exhaust system that can handle this intense heat, materials will have to be regularly replaced – significantly affecting the amount of time a power plant could operate for.

The new system, known as a ‘Super-X divertor’, would allow components in future commercial tokamaks to last for much longer; greatly increasing the power plant’s availability, improving its economic viability and reducing the cost of fusion electricity.

Tests at MAST Upgrade, which began operating in October 2020, have shown at least a tenfold reduction in the heat on materials with the Super-X system.

This is a game-changer for achieving fusion power plants that can deliver affordable, efficient electricity.

UKAEA is planning to build a prototype fusion power plant – known as STEP – by the early 2040s, using a compact machine called the ‘spherical tokamak’. The success of the Super-X divertor is a huge boost for engineers designing the STEP device, as it is particularly suited to the spherical tokamak.

More at this link.
 
It's been ground-breaking for the last 30 years, fusion power is always 20 years in the future. Same story when the Joint European Torus (JET) was running at the same facility, oh around 30 years ago.

Look for an announcement from the new French European ITER Tokamak in the very near future...
 
Here's hoping we don't give this one away to the Septics like we have with every other tech advance we made.

The Americans are already building a place to house the fusion reactor they have in works.

Besides if this sort of power is the way forward in helping to replace what we are using now and making the world a bit of a cleaner place, why wouldn't the UK or any country for that matter share this technology?

It seems to me that we can't move forward because no one wants to share anything that may benefit mankind.
 
Or the yellowman steal the ip to produce a knock off

As I was writing my post I did wonder how long it would be before the Chinese nicked the plans and produced a knock off.
 

HCL

LE
The Americans are already building a place to house the fusion reactor they have in works.

Besides if this sort of power is the way forward in helping to replace what we are using now and making the world a bit of a cleaner place, why wouldn't the UK or any country for that matter share this technology?

It seems to me that we can't move forward because no one wants to share anything that may benefit mankind.

A little matter of the MacMahon Act 1946, where the USA stiffed the UK and Canada over sharing atomic research which the Canucks and us had poured tons and tons of treasure and brains into. The US couldn't have done any of it without Canada an UK involvement. They broke their word. Quelle surprise.
 
A little matter of the MacMahon Act 1946, where the USA stiffed the UK and Canada over sharing atomic research which the Canucks and us had poured tons and tons of treasure and brains into. The US couldn't have done any of it without Canada an UK involvement. They broke their word. Quelle surprise.

That was 70 years ago and besides the Act was amended in 1958 to allow the United States to share information with its close allies.
 

endure

GCM
A little matter of the MacMahon Act 1946, where the USA stiffed the UK and Canada over sharing atomic research which the Canucks and us had poured tons and tons of treasure and brains into. The US couldn't have done any of it without Canada an UK involvement. They broke their word. Quelle surprise.
Not forgetting:

"When the members of the Tizard Mission brought the cavity magnetron to America in 1940, they carried the most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores."

James Phinney Baxter III
 

endure

GCM
A little matter of the MacMahon Act 1946, where the USA stiffed the UK and Canada over sharing atomic research which the Canucks and us had poured tons and tons of treasure and brains into. The US couldn't have done any of it without Canada an UK involvement. They broke their word. Quelle surprise.
Actually in one way the McMahon Act was a good thing for the UK. It forced us to develop our own bomb independent of the USA. All the help we got from them was what was in Bill Penney's head when he left the Manhattan Project.
 
The Hyde Park Agreement was lost in Roosevelt's papers after his death, and until the American copy of the document was found American officials were puzzled when the British mentioned it. The Quebec Agreement was an executive agreementhat only applied to the Roosevelt Administration, and the Senate had not seen the document.

McMahon told Churchill in 1952 that "If we had seen this Agreement, there would have been no McMahon Act.
 
Here's hoping we don't give this one away to the Septics like we have with every other tech advance we made.

Having been a research student looking into a then a cutting edge segment of IT and IS application and use, experience tells me it will happen again. The problem is that whilst the UK, and other countries, are pretty good at coming up with new stuff, the reason it does not generally end up making the UK money is due to investment on two counts:

1. The UK fails to follow through on initial developments due to the purse being empty so the idea moves overseas, or
2. The initial research was funded by furriners, or a company linked to furriners, so ultimately the research outcomes belong to them anyway.

For example; mine and 3 other individuals research was funded by F*rd for their own business needs. It was effectively F*rd UK that paid for the research. However, in terms of the eventual volume of usage of our research and work using our research F*rd USA was the largest beneficiary.

Research carried out at UK institutions of higher learning is not done on a whim, or because someone thinks it is a good idea. The research is either funded by corporates, government departments, or jointly with most funding coming from corporates. And, like all corporates they are out to make money so they will take the completed research where the money is, and in the english speaking world that is the USA.
 
allow the United States to share information with its close allies.
I think we have to ask if we are still / will remain 'close' allies?

I hope we will, but you never know.
 
Only after they realised we were going nuclear with or without them.
The US seriously tried to shaft us over nukes.

How did it do that? As stated above the McMahon act would never had happened if the US Senate had known about the agreement that the Roosevelt Administration had made.
 

Blogg

LE
Great but people were going on about the potential of Super-X Diverters at least 10 years ago, so it is not going to be quick.

Reality is that UK needs to crack on with Small Modular Reactors ASAP

 
One design team in the USA made big noises about compact fusion reactors, fast design cycles rather than massive infrastructure (like JET, ITER), and running it all through the Skunk Works to make it happen within the decade, not within the century. Unfortunately, it's all gone a bit quiet, which is a real shame...



Another company is looking at aneutronic fusion, and direct energy conversion...


 
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Can it produce 1.21 gigawatts? I need to get back to 2009.
 

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