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starship-design: Re: debate

Re: debate

Kelly writes:

>>>No we have had runing fusion reactions that produced more power then they
>>>took to run, and have other systms that could work efficently at those scales.
>>Huh?  Give me a hard reference!  This would be very exciting news!
>Why?  It hardly made the evening news at the time, and isn't that big of a
>milestone.  Its not like they were comercially usable systems, or even
>adaptible to such things.  Even if they were, they certainly wern't adaptable
>to commercial operation in our power grids at competative prices.  Even the
>DOE is grdgingly admiting their tours fusion systems, even if capable of
>producing power competativly, could not be used in any power market now

I think you're referring to the recent JET results, which didn't reach the 
break-even point... quite.  They broke 50%, I think.  Of course, you could 
never make a workable power plant from a device that didn't reach fusion 
ignition (a self-sustaining reaction), even if it does break even.

As for your statement about no fusion system ever being competitive, you're 
forgetting that there will be another oil shock one day, and one other day 
coal is going to be a lot more expensive than it is now.  True, fusion may 
never be cheaper than a fission breeder reactor, but it still may be 
competitive if current sentiments about fission don't change.