Lockheed Claims Breakthrough on Fusion Energy

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Can a power engineer comment on the power density of this unit? It seems to be incredibly high. I thought just generator capable of producing 100 MW would have larger footprint.
 
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That Sci-Am link is really just a Reuters-sourced reprint. Nothing substantial in it. The Aviation Week is an exclusive, with a discussion with Thomas McGuire.
 
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Also to summarize, they have developed <span style="font-weight: bold">plans</span> for a small fusion reactor using a new containment concept. Hopefully it will work, but that remains to be seen.
 
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Originally Posted By: IndyIan
Also to summarize, they have developed plans for a small fusion reactor using a new containment concept. Hopefully it will work, but that remains to be seen.
Hugely significant word you mentioned there!
 
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The way I see it: unless they can get the torus' superconducting magnet to cool in an efficient way and insulate it from the heated neutron released from the reactor, it is not going to scale to commercial level.
 
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Nope, they are careful to say "reactor", i.e. heat source. Then you need the cooling system, steam generators, which will at least double the volume, then a turbine, cooling system and towers. Then multiply the 100MW by 30-40% to get the actual power output. of 30-40MW. e.g. a coal power plant, the coal combustion and steam generating equipment is like 75x60 feet footpint, 200 feet high (most of that is empty space inside for combustion of coal), with a thermal output of nearly 2,000 MW.
 
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How many times have we been told that nuclear fusion generators are on the verge of being practical? Seems like I have heard that for at least 20 years.
 
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