Category Archives: Science

My Problem with Fusion Power

One of the mainstays of science fiction is is the existence of a energy source like fusion. Most science fiction believes that fission power will be moved when we go to the stars. That may be the case, but that does not mean that there is no problem with fusion. I can see a lot of problems with fusion power as it is currently being developed.

Currently fusion power operates with small amounts of fuel. They achieve fusion measure the result and then the fusion goes out. I wonder if anyone is thinking about a sustained fusion reaction. In orders to sustain fusion reaction fuel must be introduced at regular intervals into the fusion reaction chamber. My problem is this what if by accident or design the mechanism that introduces fuel into the fusion reaction chamber were to become ungoverned. I can foresee such an incident happening. And on governed amount of fuel being introduced to the fusion reaction chamber would lead to an immense reaction that might not be contained by the chamber or even the power plant itself. This ungoverned reaction has a name called thermonuclear detonation.

At least with fission we have a controllable reaction that is self regulating. When producing more power the reactor allows more fission. When the demand for power goes down, the reactor reduces the number of fission. Fission reactors cannot be made to explode in a nuclear manner.

The scientist finally announce complete mastery of fusion I hope they come up with a way to control an uncontrolled reaction. Otherwise we will be able to see a thermonuclear explosion near us, and it will not be a bomb sent by our enemies. The accident that I’m speaking of maybe no accident or may actually be a true accident. Whatever the cause it will be a true thermonuclear bomb.

I do have an idea of how containment might be able to be achieved. I can envision a monitoring system was in the reaction chamber itself. This monitoring system when at the tax and unbridled fusion reaction could open ports to a vessel containing liquid helium. The Jets of liquid helium entering the reaction chamber would cool down the fusion heat and might dilute the hydrogen fuel to such a degree that fusion is impossible. After such an event occurs the liquid helium would have to be replenished and the fusion reaction chamber would have to brought up the temperature slowly.

I am voicing my concerns here not in the hopes of stopping development, but in the hopes of shaping development. I do believe that fusion will be the long-term solution to our energy needs. We have much more hydrogen than we do in the other fuel source. I just want it to be done in a safe fashion.