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No future for fusion power, says top scientist
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Maximust
science forum beginner


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

H. E. Taylor wrote:

Quote:
2006/03/09: NewScientist: No future for fusion power, says top scientist

Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power,
argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science.

Even nuclear fusionís staunchest advocates admit a
power-producing fusion plant is still decades away at best, despite
forty years of hard work and well over $20 billion spent on the
research.

That's a heckuva lot cheaper than $200billion for resource wars half way across
the world!

Quote:
But the new paper, personally backed by the journalís
editor, issues a strong challenge to the entire fusion programme,
arguing that the whole massive endeavour is never likely to lead to
anything practical or useful.

"The history of this dream is as discouraging as it is expensive,"
wrote William Parkins, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan
Project during the second world war, who later became the chief
scientist at US engineering firm Rockwell International.
[...]
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8827


andiamo
-het


PS.
For those who might wonder...
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is
possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something
is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - Arthur C. Clarke's First Law


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JP
science forum beginner


Joined: 29 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

I read the original on New Scientist with interest - thanks very much for
the link.

However, I must say that it somehow bears striking familiarity with the
statement that greeted Faraday's dynamo: "Of what possible use could it
be?"

Maybe the experiment in question or anything similar in contemporary times
will be supplanted by something that works in the near future.

Isn't that what development really is all about?

The future is all about possibilities. It always has been. And never about
limitations defined by perhaps the most limited species on this planet -
man.

:-)

JP
---



"H. E. Taylor" <het@despam.autobahn.mb.ca> wrote in message
news:4410BABD.4E7@despam.autobahn.mb.ca...
Quote:
2006/03/09: NewScientist: No future for fusion power, says top scientist

Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power,
argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science.

Even nuclear fusion's staunchest advocates admit a
power-producing fusion plant is still decades away at best, despite
forty years of hard work and well over $20 billion spent on the
research. But the new paper, personally backed by the journal's
editor, issues a strong challenge to the entire fusion programme,
arguing that the whole massive endeavour is never likely to lead to
anything practical or useful.

"The history of this dream is as discouraging as it is expensive,"
wrote William Parkins, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan
Project during the second world war, who later became the chief
scientist at US engineering firm Rockwell International.
[...]
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8827


andiamo
-het


PS.
For those who might wonder...
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is
possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something
is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - Arthur C. Clarke's First Law



--
"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for
our wits to grow sharper." -Eden Phillpotts

Energy Alternatives: http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/energy/energy.html
H.E. Taylor http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/
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G. R. L. Cowan
science forum addict


Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

"H. E. Taylor" wrote:
Quote:

2006/03/09: NewScientist: No future for fusion power, says top scientist

Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power,
argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science.

Even nuclear fusionís staunchest advocates admit a
power-producing fusion plant is still decades away at best, despite
forty years of hard work and well over $20 billion spent on the
research. But the new paper, personally backed by the journalís
editor, issues a strong challenge to the entire fusion programme,
arguing that the whole massive endeavour is never likely to lead to
anything practical or useful.

"The history of this dream is as discouraging as it is expensive,"
wrote William Parkins, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan
Project during the second world war, who later became the chief
scientist at US engineering firm Rockwell International.
[...]
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8827

andiamo
-het

PS.
For those who might wonder...
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is
possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something
is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - Arthur C. Clarke's First Law

--
"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for
our wits to grow sharper." -Eden Phillpotts


I don't think people setting up commercial fusion power stations
after a government lab had successfully demonstrated a prototype
would have much use for that lab's personnel. They'd have to hope
to successfully navigate a still wrenching, but at least possible,
transition from working on the prototype to ...
what? Working on a better prototype? When did any Western
country last build a prototype *fission* reactor?

When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?



--- Graham Cowan, former hydrogen fan
Boron: internal combustion, nuclear cachet http://tinyurl.com/4xt8g
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LongmuirG
science forum beginner


Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:56 am    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

Graham Cowan wrote:
Quote:
When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?

Good question! It would be tempting to point to the Manhattan Project,
where the people solved the problem. General Groves insisted on cheap
& nasty buildings at Los Alamos because the laboratory was going away
after the war was won. The lab is still there, and now the buildings
are quite nice. Maybe the message is that bureaucracies will outlive
their original goals.

Another example might be NASA's Apollo Program -- again, the original
participants solved the problem and met the goals. And again the
bureaucracy is still there many years later, spending lots of money
doing something.

Fifty years ago, the Brits were working on something called ZETA --
Zero (net) Energy Thermonuclear Apparatus. Obviously, they never got
to zero. Controlled fusion seems to be one of those projects that is
always 50 years away from completion -- and it might not be because the
malingering scientists are spinning things out. It might be because,
genuinely, commercial controlled fusion is really beyond our grasp with
current technology.

Controlled nuclear fusion is definitely worth studying -- but it is not
clear that a new international bureaucracy like ITER is the way to
study it. You can just imagine the board meetings, grappling with the
key issues -- how many female handicapped lesbian Palestinian single
parents do we have in Team Leader positions? Perhaps something
equivalent to the space X-Prize would be a better way to spend whatever
the taxpayer wants to throw at the problem?

In the meantime, controlled fusion is like photovoltaics or synthetic
photosynthesis -- worth continuing research but should not be counted
upon to rescue us from our approaching energy woes.
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Bradley K. Sherman
science forum beginner


Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

In article <4410B798.5C4543D7@eagle.ca>,
G. R. L. Cowan <gcowan@eagle.ca> wrote:
Quote:

When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?


Anyone showing a short path to fusion power will not have to worry
about redundancy, no matter who's paying the bills.

--bks
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geltab
science forum beginner


Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

H. E. Taylor wrote...
Quote:
"The history of this dream is as discouraging as it is expensive,"
wrote William Parkins, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan
Project during the second world war, who later became the chief
scientist at US engineering firm Rockwell International.

And I just googled Rockwell International and see it makes nuclear
bombs and fission reactors. Of course he sees no future in fusion
technology, it poses a threat to his employer.

I'll bet in the same speech he trashed fusion technology and at the
same time called for several trillion dollars in government subsidies
for fission technology.
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Psiclone
science forum beginner


Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

i was wondering how long it would take to suppress the z machine test the
other day... they got out more than they put in.
prolly cause at super heats of 2 bil kelvin a critical mass occurs and
starts spontaneously combusting "whatever the medium that light travels on"
is called these days...

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.rss.html?pid=19214

of course they may be trying to smokescreen to get others to avoid expanding
on the technology so they can.
or it may be a govmint deal so other countries give up on pursuing it.


"geltab" <lsd@trip.com> wrote in message
news:PXaQf.57755$dW3.50223@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com...
Quote:
H. E. Taylor wrote...
"The history of this dream is as discouraging as it is expensive,"
wrote William Parkins, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan
Project during the second world war, who later became the chief
scientist at US engineering firm Rockwell International.

And I just googled Rockwell International and see it makes nuclear
bombs and fission reactors. Of course he sees no future in fusion
technology, it poses a threat to his employer.

I'll bet in the same speech he trashed fusion technology and at the
same time called for several trillion dollars in government subsidies
for fission technology.
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Cary Jamison
science forum beginner


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

H. E. Taylor wrote:
Quote:
2006/03/09: NewScientist: No future for fusion power, says top
scientist

Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power,
argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science.

Has he been listening to ArchiePu?


Cary
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penguinista
science forum beginner


Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:50 am    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

LongmuirG wrote:
Quote:
Good question! It would be tempting to point to the Manhattan Project,
where the people solved the problem....

Another example might be NASA's Apollo Program -- again, the original
participants solved the problem and met the goals.

Both projects with a cost no object, must do attitude.
Quote:

...Controlled fusion seems to be one of those projects that is
always 50 years away from completion -- and it might not be because the
malingering scientists are spinning things out.

Controlled fusion appears not to scale down well, and burocrats are
reluctant to pay to scale experiments up.
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Chris
science forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

http://www.newelectricity.co.uk/Teslas%20Coil/index.htm

Tesla did it in 1930 but was pilloried because people did not understand it.

I've built four or five, two exploded with loss of life, one stable one was
laughed at, another one was impounded by the secret service as "radio stuff"
in a sensitive area, another was out on a shelf at culham, lamp still lit
woring, stable, totally ignored and the last one is on my shelf here waiting
for a fuel delivery which will not come.

The authorities don't want it, oil and coal employ people and make our
economy run, how would our economy work if electricity was free and all work
was done by automatic machinary, our system depends on slaves, paid or
unpaid slaves, brain damaged ruins of men operating machinary.... What will
people do with no work for them? And how will our ecomony work. Ban free
electricity, ban AI, why use a machine when you have a man, tame and
obedient slave to carry out the task of feeding the rich and powerful.

Thats the truth.

The only thing our government scientists want is their permanent sallaried
positions, their houses, their privilidged positon of cheese rolls at tea
break and steak for lunch and that long long early retirement....

They have no interest in actually making it work, once done they will all be
redundant.

Lets transfer all the research to Westinghouse who know how to make a profit
and our lives will all be enhanced, no need for oil, war to get it or
dangerous mining for coal.

All we need is power and all our needs can come from low grade ore since
everything is in Granite.

Have a jiffy at http://www.newelectricity.co.uk/ you might save a couple of
quid!

Another set of ideas might come from http://www.chrisscrazyideas.co.uk/

I've spent my life being pilloried because of the vested interests of Men at
the Top.

I'm not an angry young man I'm a dissapointed old man approaching my natural
termination.

--
Chris
"H. E. Taylor" <het@despam.autobahn.mb.ca> wrote in message
news:4410BABD.4E7@despam.autobahn.mb.ca...
Quote:
2006/03/09: NewScientist: No future for fusion power, says top scientist

Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power,
argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science.

Even nuclear fusion's staunchest advocates admit a
power-producing fusion plant is still decades away at best, despite
forty years of hard work and well over $20 billion spent on the
research. But the new paper, personally backed by the journal's
editor, issues a strong challenge to the entire fusion programme,
arguing that the whole massive endeavour is never likely to lead to
anything practical or useful.

"The history of this dream is as discouraging as it is expensive,"
wrote William Parkins, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan
Project during the second world war, who later became the chief
scientist at US engineering firm Rockwell International.
[...]
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8827


andiamo
-het


PS.
For those who might wonder...
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is
possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something
is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - Arthur C. Clarke's First Law



--
"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for
our wits to grow sharper." -Eden Phillpotts

Energy Alternatives: http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/energy/energy.html
H.E. Taylor http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/
Back to top
Hans
science forum beginner


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

LongmuirG schreef:

Quote:
Graham Cowan wrote:
When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?

Good question! It would be tempting to point to the Manhattan Project,
where the people solved the problem. General Groves insisted on cheap
& nasty buildings at Los Alamos because the laboratory was going away
after the war was won. The lab is still there, and now the buildings
are quite nice. Maybe the message is that bureaucracies will outlive
their original goals.

Another example might be NASA's Apollo Program -- again, the original
participants solved the problem and met the goals. And again the
bureaucracy is still there many years later, spending lots of money
doing something.

Fifty years ago, the Brits were working on something called ZETA --
Zero (net) Energy Thermonuclear Apparatus. Obviously, they never got
to zero. Controlled fusion seems to be one of those projects that is
always 50 years away from completion -- and it might not be because the
malingering scientists are spinning things out. It might be because,
genuinely, commercial controlled fusion is really beyond our grasp with
current technology.

Controlled nuclear fusion is definitely worth studying -- but it is not
clear that a new international bureaucracy like ITER is the way to
study it. You can just imagine the board meetings, grappling with the
key issues -- how many female handicapped lesbian Palestinian single
parents do we have in Team Leader positions? Perhaps something
equivalent to the space X-Prize would be a better way to spend whatever
the taxpayer wants to throw at the problem?

In the meantime, controlled fusion is like photovoltaics or synthetic
photosynthesis -- worth continuing research but should not be counted
upon to rescue us from our approaching energy woes.
Back to top
Hans
science forum beginner


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

LongmuirG schreef:

Quote:
Graham Cowan wrote:
When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?

Good question! It would be tempting to point to the Manhattan Project,
where the people solved the problem. General Groves insisted on cheap
& nasty buildings at Los Alamos because the laboratory was going away
after the war was won. The lab is still there, and now the buildings
are quite nice. Maybe the message is that bureaucracies will outlive
their original goals.

Another example might be NASA's Apollo Program -- again, the original
participants solved the problem and met the goals. And again the
bureaucracy is still there many years later, spending lots of money
doing something.

Fifty years ago, the Brits were working on something called ZETA --
Zero (net) Energy Thermonuclear Apparatus. Obviously, they never got
to zero. Controlled fusion seems to be one of those projects that is
always 50 years away from completion -- and it might not be because the
malingering scientists are spinning things out. It might be because,
genuinely, commercial controlled fusion is really beyond our grasp with
current technology.

Controlled nuclear fusion is definitely worth studying -- but it is not
clear that a new international bureaucracy like ITER is the way to
study it. You can just imagine the board meetings, grappling with the
key issues -- how many female handicapped lesbian Palestinian single
parents do we have in Team Leader positions? Perhaps something
equivalent to the space X-Prize would be a better way to spend whatever
the taxpayer wants to throw at the problem?

In the meantime, controlled fusion is like photovoltaics or synthetic
photosynthesis -- worth continuing research but should not be counted
upon to rescue us from our approaching energy woes.
Back to top
Hans
science forum beginner


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

LongmuirG schreef:

Quote:
Graham Cowan wrote:
When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?

Good question! It would be tempting to point to the Manhattan Project,
where the people solved the problem. General Groves insisted on cheap
& nasty buildings at Los Alamos because the laboratory was going away
after the war was won. The lab is still there, and now the buildings
are quite nice. Maybe the message is that bureaucracies will outlive
their original goals.

Another example might be NASA's Apollo Program -- again, the original
participants solved the problem and met the goals. And again the
bureaucracy is still there many years later, spending lots of money
doing something.

Fifty years ago, the Brits were working on something called ZETA --
Zero (net) Energy Thermonuclear Apparatus. Obviously, they never got
to zero. Controlled fusion seems to be one of those projects that is
always 50 years away from completion -- and it might not be because the
malingering scientists are spinning things out. It might be because,
genuinely, commercial controlled fusion is really beyond our grasp with
current technology.

Controlled nuclear fusion is definitely worth studying -- but it is not
clear that a new international bureaucracy like ITER is the way to
study it. You can just imagine the board meetings, grappling with the
key issues -- how many female handicapped lesbian Palestinian single
parents do we have in Team Leader positions? Perhaps something
equivalent to the space X-Prize would be a better way to spend whatever
the taxpayer wants to throw at the problem?

In the meantime, controlled fusion is like photovoltaics or synthetic
photosynthesis -- worth continuing research but should not be counted
upon to rescue us from our approaching energy woes.
Back to top
Hans
science forum beginner


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

LongmuirG schreef:

Quote:
Graham Cowan wrote:
When, in all history, have smart people with reliable long-term
employment studying a problem, and with every reasonable anticipation
of *redundancy* if they solve it, solved it?

Good question! It would be tempting to point to the Manhattan Project,
where the people solved the problem. General Groves insisted on cheap
& nasty buildings at Los Alamos because the laboratory was going away
after the war was won. The lab is still there, and now the buildings
are quite nice. Maybe the message is that bureaucracies will outlive
their original goals.

Another example might be NASA's Apollo Program -- again, the original
participants solved the problem and met the goals. And again the
bureaucracy is still there many years later, spending lots of money
doing something.

Fifty years ago, the Brits were working on something called ZETA --
Zero (net) Energy Thermonuclear Apparatus. Obviously, they never got
to zero. Controlled fusion seems to be one of those projects that is
always 50 years away from completion -- and it might not be because the
malingering scientists are spinning things out. It might be because,
genuinely, commercial controlled fusion is really beyond our grasp with
current technology.

Controlled nuclear fusion is definitely worth studying -- but it is not
clear that a new international bureaucracy like ITER is the way to
study it. You can just imagine the board meetings, grappling with the
key issues -- how many female handicapped lesbian Palestinian single
parents do we have in Team Leader positions? Perhaps something
equivalent to the space X-Prize would be a better way to spend whatever
the taxpayer wants to throw at the problem?

In the meantime, controlled fusion is like photovoltaics or synthetic
photosynthesis -- worth continuing research but should not be counted
upon to rescue us from our approaching energy woes.
Back to top
Hans
science forum beginner


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: No future for fusion power, says top scientist Reply with quote

Right you are!
Physicist have their dreams, but those stupid mechanical engineers are
not able to make their dreams come true. Let us stick to the
steamengine technique with water moderated and steam generating nuclear
power plants that already for half a century has been a proven concept.
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