Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another crummy Science Press Release?

Seems the recent "good news" about fusion power isn't:
The actual news behind the recent fusion press release is no cause for rejoicing. NIF isn’t be something we should be lionizing in the press; it’s a national embarrassment. The people who made the press release certainly know this. Unfortunately, the people who read the press release couldn’t be bothered to understand anything about it.
I'd love to see commercial, cost effective fusion power.  But I'm not at all surprised to find a Government Laboratory sending out "don't worry, be happy" pressers trying to cover up a multi billion dollar screw up.

7 comments:

Comrade Misfit said...

Commercially viable fusion power has been "twenty years down the road" for the last forty years.

deadmandance said...

We really need to build up the fission plants before we could even hope to get fusion working in the real world.

Dave H said...

Research isn't a screw up. Having to lie through your teeth about what the project will do and what it'll cost just so you can get funding, and having to continue lying to keep it, is what's screwed up.

I face the same thing every day.

Ken said...

Probably wishful thinking on my part, but my money, such as it is, was always on Bussard (RIP) and his outfit...and d'you notice how quiet Polywell has been since the Navy got involved?

Paul, Dammit! said...

My father worked on MIT's Alcatore Tokamak-style fusion reactor back in the 60's. Just doesn't seem like we've made any inroads since.

scipioamericanus said...

We've made a lot of progress on solving the technical barriers to fusion energy. The main problem is that every time we break down one of those barriers we discover an exponentially greater one. That's been the pattern pretty much since the 1950's.

A lot of the difficulty is down to how important turbulence is to maintaining control of the plasma - turbulence being one of the great unsolved problems of physics. If we ever gain a theoretical, predictive understanding of turbulence all sorts of wonder-technologies will become feasible.

Ted said...

Shhhhhhhh............

Cambridge still believes we are a nuke free zone.....