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Topic Title: BBC ban on Engineers visibly commenting on ITER Nuclear Fusion continues
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Created On: 07 August 2013 02:48 PM
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 07 August 2013 02:48 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
Joined: 05 September 2004

BBC journalists show the true nature of ITER Nuclear Fusion. It has managed to write 5 articles on fusion not interview even one UK engineer, and with only one quote from a physicist mentioning engineering, engineers have now become almost completely invisible in our society.

Our society is collapsing and if our politicians continue to favour the impossible dreams of fantasists and lunatics in the scientific and cultural elites this will only continue...we cannot allow our leaders to lie, cheat, steal and deny reality any more...This has to stop.

" 'Critical phase' for Iter fusion dream"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23408073

"Iter: The world's most expensive scientific gamble?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16170550

"UK joins laser nuclear fusion project"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14842720

"Deal finalised on fusion reactor"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10793883

"Is fusion power really viable?"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8547273.stm

At least one physicist speaks up for engineers in this last article from 2010...

"Dr Michael Dittmar, a physicist at CERN working for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology thinks this is a comforting folly, a process fraught with problems in physics, mathematics and engineering.

"You put 20 kgs of this tritium in and then you start to operate a kind of chain reaction. Even to come to the chain reaction there are so many fundamental problems that cannot be addressed at a single place in the world."

He says the vast expenditure on experimental reactors should be halted until that basic problem is resolved."


James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 07 August 2013 05:10 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
Joined: 05 September 2004

"Nuclear fusion is the 'perfect energy source' "

by Professor Steven Cowley, Director of the Culham Center for Fusion Energy (CCFE), the UK's national laboratory for fusion research.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03...nuclear-energy-future

"Construction will complete in 2020 with a fusion burn expected by 2030."

Seemingly rational physicists tell me to my face that ITER needs to be a physics led project because the physicists do not understand enough about plasma physics yet to make the engineering design calls.

Lets now go to the ITER website to see if such statements pan out....

http://www.iter.org/proj/iterandbeyond

"On to DEMO

The projected design for the next-step demonstration fusion power plant, or DEMO, designed to produce 2000-4000MW of power.
ITER is not an end in itself: it is the bridge toward a first plant that will demonstrate the large-scale production of electrical power and tritium fuel self-sufficiency. This is the next step after ITER: the Demonstration Power Plant, or DEMO for short. A conceptual design for such a machine could be complete by 2017. If all goes well, DEMO will lead fusion into its industrial era, beginning operations in the early 2030s, and putting fusion power into the grid as early as 2040."


Therefore the conceptual design of DEMO will be finished before ITER starts up!!! Within 5 years of ITER producing its first "fusion burn" (on a very optimistic timetable) DEMO will be up and running!!!!!! Then we are told they will be "putting fusion power into the grid as early as 2040" ten years after the first fusion burn at ITER!!!!!!!!!

It is not an understatement to call these people that write this stuff fantasists and/or lunatics!

It will be very hard to get molten salt thorium fission reactors on to the grid by 2035, not because engineers will find it hard to get them going; the hard bits are getting new groups of scientist and engineers to collaborate, negociating a new regulatory regime, sorting out the waste problem, and all the ongoing developments necessary to keep them going reliably and cheaply.


Demonstating that a new technology can work is the easy bit! By 2040 fusion reactor technology may well just be in the same position that molten salt thorium fission reactors were in the late 1960's.

Trillions of pounds over many decades will then need to be spent on fusion to make it reliable and dependable, perhaps all to no avail.

Remember I only want £100 million over 4 years to start a molten salt reactor and waste management research and development programme in the UK to explore viability and train up new people. Is that too much to ask?

Like most people I am not that clever and I don't normally succeed first time in what I attempt to do; but at least I am not a lunatic and/or a fantasist, who denies the fundamental realities of life.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 11 August 2013 08:49 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
Joined: 05 September 2004

David Shukman, Science editor, BBC News wrote

" 'Critical phase' for Iter fusion dream"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23408073

His longer TV package is now on iPlayer on the "Reporters" program

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e...Reporters_11_08_2013/

5 minutes and 27 seconds in this fusion news item begins. Later on in Professor Steve Cowley, UK Fusion Director says

"What we've learnt is that it's scientifically feasible to generate energy from fusion. What we haven't yet learnt is whether we can do that a commercial rate you want to pay for your electricity?"

I would add:

What I haven't yet learnt is how much money JET, MAST and ITER teams needs to spend, before we find out that we will definitely not be able to generate electricity from fusion at a commercial rate?

Now I have a sneaking suspicion, that with an expense budget of a few hundred pounds, a group of very talented final year undergraduate engineering students, say from Imperial College, could actually determine what say £100 per MWh buys you in terms of fusion capital infrastructure, operation and maintenance and then eventually decommissioning.

In fact Professor Steve Cowley happens to be a professor at Imperial College, so he could act as a mentor or secondary supervisor to help support the primary engineering supervisor in helping this go forward.

A band of intellectually courageous free radical undergraduates could at least begin to sketch out to us all, under what conditions spending £13+ billion on ITER, JET and MAST etc can lead us to obtain an answer to the affordability question.

My feeling is that the scientists have already decided, via the method of rigorously unspoken groupthink, that we will inevitably need to spend another £20+ billion on DEMO or K-DEMO or what ever else, before we can get close to answering the make or break critical engineering questions surrounding affordability. The summit forever lies in the mist, so to speak.

The reason I mention Imperial College is that I did study there in 2008 and 2010. However the humanities department I was studying at decided that it was best for them to drop out of the university, and relocate to Kings College London. Inviting me along or letting me stay were both suddenly found to be against the deparmental and university rules. (just in case you think you misread this - the university department left me rather than me leaving the university department - I know, I know this is always supposed to happen the other way around).

As part of the uniquely designed Imperial College, UCL and Wellcome Trust education I experienced, I sustained two mental breakdowns, and a mental disability I never knew I had before.

Imperial College were powerless to stop all this, because a department at Imperial College is fully entitled to do as they please and leave the university when they want to. The authorities kept me informed of the situation and kindly returned my money in full.

It is amazing what academic endevour can achieve in the face of adversity.

Although mental illness is normally a taboo subject, I have to admit to all this openly just in case there are engineering students who on examining the fusion issue for themselves start trusting my judgement and understanding of the real world, more than Professor Steve Cowley's. If you feel tempted to appoint me as your project mentor/secondary supervisor you should realise that my observations on the fusion issue have not sprung forth without ignition.

Also I must warn you in advance that inter-institutional barriers may be put in your way to stop such things from happening. Just try it and see all the strange behaviours that can emerge in the face of known mental disability.

"Don't let the bu**ers grid you down", as another Imperial College Professor helpfully reminded me recently. ( ** stands for ff perhaps, he didn't say; I think the sentiment is that professors don't change their mind they just get pensioned off when the absurdity of their position becomes overwhelming)

If you don't trust my judgement and understanding of the real world, then that's fine, just enjoy this as an eccentric and satirically written piece instead.

James Arathoon

P.S. If you want to join the existing fusion research and development programme as a neutral or agnostic, then take care not to end up on camera spouting groupthink absurdities, if your boss has long since given up the intellectual fight.


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James Arathoon
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