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Nuclear Fusion Reactor  (Source: The Institute of Telecommunications Professionals)
Could lead to an endless supply of clean energy

Researchers from Purdue University have found mechanisms that are vital to interactions between surfaces inside a thermonuclear fusion reactor and hot plasma, which could lead to the development of coatings capable of tolerating radiation damage and ultimately, fusion power plants. 

The inner lining of a fusion reactor often faces horrific conditions leading to radiation damage due to the hot plasma. With the use of nanotechnology, nuclear engineers are looking to "define" small features in the coating as a way to understand and develop a new material that can come in contact with plasma and not be harmed. Finding a material durable enough to withstand such harsh conditions has been difficult, until now. 

Along with researchers at Princeton University in the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Purdue researchers are using the National Spherical Torus Experiment to test materials, which is the country's only spherical tokamak reactor. They will also study materials in a special "plasma-materials interface probe," then transfer these materials to an "in situ surface analysis facility laboratory."

"We will bring the samples in and study them right there, and will be able to do the characterization in real time to see what happens to the surfaces," said Jean Paul Allain, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at Purdue University. "We're also going to use computational modeling to connect the fundamental physics learned in our experiments and what we observe inside the tokamak."

One of the tested linings is lithiated graphite, which consists of lithium being added to the inner graphite wall, and when it diffuses into the reactor wall. Then deuterium atoms and the lithiated graphite bind together in the fuel inside these tokamaks, which are what the fusion reactors are called. A magnetic field inside the tokamaks encloses a circular-shaped plasma of deuterium, which is an isotope of hydrogen. 

When a fusion reaction occurs, deuterium atoms hit the inner lining of the fusion reactor and can be sent back to the core and recycled back to the plasma, or they're "pumped," which causes them to bind with the lithiated graphite. 

"We now have an understanding of how the lithiated graphite controls the recycling of hydrogen," said Allain. "This is the first time anyone has looked systematically at the chemistry and physics of pumping by the lithiated graphite. We are learning, at the atomic level, exactly how it is pumped and what dictates the binding of deuterium in this lithiated graphite. So we now have improved insight on how to recondition the surfaces of the tokamak."

The use of a fusion power plant could cut exhaust completely because the deuterium fuel is in seawater. Also, it could produce 10 times more energy than a nuclear fission reactor. Plants like these would be an endless supply of clean energy.

This study was led by Chase Taylor, a doctoral student, Bryan Heim, a graduate student, and Allain. Two papers have been written on the topic, and one will be presented at the Fusion Nuclear Science and Technology/Plasma Facing Components meeting in August.

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By mkrech on 7/28/2010 3:03:19 PM , Rating: -1
…this technology will never be developed to commercial application. Our nation will be bankrupt and unable to fund this research due to the completely unsustainable (economically) green policies of the liberals.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/28/2010 3:11:33 PM , Rating: 1
clean energy is right in front of us, but it's too complicate for people to understand and thus it won't get the mainstream support crap like solar energy and wind farms do.

RE: Unfortunately...
By tng on 7/28/2010 7:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
No I think that you have something here. All of the initial fusion experiments have taken place here in the US, and even though that continues, the next big step in research into fusion is going to be somewhere in Europe I believe.

Problem is that even the Europeans are having problems funding the development. I think that most of the money that probably would have went to this project went to the LHC instead, the fusion research there got put on hold.

RE: Unfortunately...
By MGSsancho on 7/28/2010 3:14:04 PM , Rating: 5
Oh oh lets make vague assumptions with out backing up facts! We all love politics being injected into science.

If the conservative will stop funding wars and stop cutting taxes for the rich when the country needs the money the most, maybe we will not go bankrupt.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/28/2010 4:08:17 PM , Rating: 1
Oh oh lets make vague assumptions...

If the conservative will stop funding wars and stop cutting taxes for the rich...

Irony at it's best! lol. A true conservative isn't "funding a war" but will probably advocate for it (when necessary) in order to keep this nation safe (which is what the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is about, unless you feel like getting a car bomb at work tomorrow from your good ol' terrorist buddies, I suggest you keep you ignorant mouth shut about the war). It's funny how people like you can totally deject the current war in order to look like a "sophisticated and civilized person" ends up looking like an idiot because of the simple fact that you would NOT be saying such had you been over and TRULY seen what is going on over there. Have you been to the middle east recently? I bet not. Stop letting corrupt/agenda based media spoon feed you their crap filled headlines.

Cutting taxes for the rich? Are you serious? Do you understand micro and macro economics at all? I have not seen one single person calling themselves "conservative" that want to give the rich a free ride. Most "wealthy" pay at least %40 or more in taxes. The middle and lower class do live off the frivolities and investments of the rich any way you want to look at it. Rich is an opportunity in this Nation, not a right or guarantee.

Maybe you meant to use the word Republican? Even that doesn't apply without a stereotype. It's like me saying: "liberal democrat". Sure, it is most often synonymous, but to say that it's an automatic would be stupid.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Paj on 7/28/2010 5:45:14 PM , Rating: 5
Are you kurdish? That must explain how threatened you felt by Iraq.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Unfortunately...
By TSS on 7/29/2010 6:40:40 AM , Rating: 3
You can respect the men and women fighting without supporting the actual war itself yknow. I commend them for their bravery but that doesn't mean their orders make sense.

Yes terrorists should be faught. Saddam could've been dangerous if he really had those WMD's. But if i remember correctly i saw bush on an aircraft carrier in 2003 saying "we've won!". Well allrighty then. Still got to find saddam, that i understand.

9 months later, you've found him. Good. Now why are you still staying in Iraq and Afgahnistan? Iraq isn't going to have WMD's now for a long long time, and the taliban where at their weakest after the invasion. Last report i heard, they are as strong now as they where pre-invasion, having taken over half of pakistan where you can't get them (and they've probably been all along).

So what then? Invade Pakistan? They *do* have nukes. This probably won't be a problem since india's dieing to get rid of pakistan anyway, but what then? Iran's likely to harbor the taliban then just to spite the US for invading pakistan, if they don't try and attack US forces directly. Invade Iran then?

This is all still fine and dandy untill you look at what iraq and afgahnistan have cost you, and then consider that both iran and pakistan would be far more costly, drawn out conflicts.

How about you just retreat the armies and let the CIA do what it always does? It's their mess anyway since they trained the taliban to fight the russians.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Unfortunately...
By twhittet on 7/28/2010 6:26:12 PM , Rating: 3
Not really sure how some poor Sunni with a crappy car bomb is going to drive 8000 miles to my local market and hit me with a VBIED. And yes, I have been there, but maybe I should "keep my ignorant mouth shut".

Do I think we should still be in Iraq? Somewhat - yes. Am I dumb enough to think it's keeping my family here in the US any safer? Not so much. Tell that to the thousands of families who have lost someone that they're safer - maybe it will dull the pain a bit since they are safer from poor haji's with AK47's and 155 rounds.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/28/2010 8:44:54 PM , Rating: 1
Do I think we should still be in Iraq? Somewhat - yes.

Since you have been there, I sure you saw the overwhelming number of people there that thanked you for helping their country and fighting for their freedom. Did you happen to keep count of the number of people that came up to shake your hand or even try to hug you - just curious. The people of that nation need help from the tyrants in power; and we are basically the only country helping out. We are not "policing"; but more like liberating the people that are damn near slaves to their own country. But first and foremost; we are there do ensure that OUR freedoms are kept safe because that entire region is extremely dangerous to the entire world. So hell yeah, we need to be over there busting some ass.

Tell that to the thousands of families who have lost someone that they're safer - maybe it will dull the pain a bit since they are safer from poor haji's with AK47's and 155 rounds.

wow. Do you realize that we 100% of our armed forces are volunteer? I am VERY glad that those volunteers put their lives on the line; and if those families can't honor the fallen then they need a serious reality check.

Being angry or resentful is NOT going to honor those who died in the line of duty.

maybe it will dull the pain a bit since they are safer from poor haji's with AK47's and 155 rounds.

ROE is a moot point in this conversation.

RE: Unfortunately...
By MGSsancho on 7/28/2010 8:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
I put the space between the sentences to make the irony more obvious :)

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/28/2010 8:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why we need a universal symbol of sarcasm. Some simple squiggly would do just fine.

RE: Unfortunately...
By nafhan on 7/28/2010 4:12:58 PM , Rating: 3
Both major parties in the US are appear to be much more interested in pandering to their constituent demographics than in doing what's best for the country. Not saying I know what's best by any means, but sometimes it almost seems like the Democrats and Republicans are just trying to see who can screw things up the fastest, and sadly neither seems very interested in science.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/28/2010 5:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
Both major parties in the US are appear to be much more interested in pandering to their constituent demographics than in doing what's best for the country.

You got that right. Seems like no-one in a public office nowadays did any research on how we (as a nation) came to exist. GW said it best when he gave is farewell speech.

RE: Unfortunately...
By menace on 7/28/2010 5:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
If the conservative will stop funding wars

Congress holds the purse strings. Last time I checked they have quite a liberal majority in each house and have had so for four years. And in last two years, a president on their side to boot.

If they genuinely oppose the war(s) they would have cut funding off a long time ago. Likewise, the Libs can try to raise income taxes any time they want to if they had the guts to try. As it is the only taxes they appear to support are regressive sin taxes that hit the poor hardest. And wheelchair taxes, LOL.

RE: Unfortunately...
By knutjb on 7/29/2010 3:40:51 AM , Rating: 1
If the conservative will stop funding wars and stop cutting taxes for the rich when the country needs the money the most, maybe we will not go bankrupt.
I think you need to do a little homework on the "tax the rich" tripe.
Taxes aren't a simple math problem its all about emotions to what is perceived as fair. The wealthy are hypersensitive, they do have a lot more to lose, and will do all they can to hide THEIR money even when it costs them more money to do so.

When taxes are low the percentage of revenues received by the IRS grows substantially. Before Kennedy dropped the top rate down from 90% the rich paid about 4% of net revenues. Today they pay over 40%. If their rates go up revenues go down and GDP falters, further lowering actual IRS revenues. When the money doesn't show the politicians slam the middle and lower classes to make up the difference. Not knowing your history is a bitch.

Read up on 1921, 1930, 1946, 1978, 1981, 2001, and today to see what politicians did and their impact. Look at what's going on today and where it fits in history, you might even change party if you care about truth in spending.

RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/29/2010 10:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
100% of what you said is true, but unfortunately most folks out there stuck fingers in their ears and shouted: "LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!"

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