Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Secret Of The Tokamak

As many of you know I'm not fond of the Tokamak/ITER approach to nuclear fusion. I do not believe we will ever get an economical fusion plant out of those experiments. Congress has basically cut ITER out of the US Federal budget.

Here is the dirty little tokamak secret - "The last one didn't work, shows no promise of working, and new difficulties have been encountered. I have a plan. We will make the next one 3X bigger." For 40 years.

Eventually the marks wise up.


J Carlton said...

a long time ago now I worked at Doe's Jefferson lab down in VA. One of the cool things they had there was a series of speakers come in every month or so. One of the speakers was the head of Plasma Physics at Princeton(the Tokamack people.) In the Q & A after his presentation I asked him point blank when the would be a working fusion Tokamack and he said fifty years. I also asked if having more money would make any difference and he said that it would not.

M. Simon said...

If more money will not speed things up it means they are shooting totally in the dark.


I do think a lot has to do with semantics. When plasmas get kinky we say they have "instabilities".

The proper term is "self organizing".

J Carlton said...

But the pictures were pretty and the video was cool. This was in 1998, when they had been running TFTR for almost 20 years.

M. Simon said...


I'm having another try: instead of "instabilities" how about "reaction".