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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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RE: Unfortunately...
By Quadrillity on 7/29/2010 7:54:19 AM , Rating: 0
You can respect the men and women fighting without supporting the actual war itself yknow.

So you support the people that fight for freedom, but not the idea of freedom? That is plain dumb.

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).

WMD's, really? You are going to bring up WMD's as an example? So it has to be MASS killings for you to be interested instead of just a few groups of 50 or more a day being killed? Like I said earlier, there is way more going on behind the scenes that does not get the attention of major news corps, so you don't hear about it. We are fighting a limited war with complete BS rules of engagement. If congress would let the generals fight the fight, then we would have been able to stomp them in the ground and leave years ago. Do you know that we still have huge active bases in Japan and Germany after WW2? Do you also disagree with that? Maybe we should have stayed out of Germany's business during the 1930/40's.

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?

It's obvious that you know nothing more about foreign politics than what is passed off to you by CNN and the kind. Go find some officers, enlisted, and NCOs and ask THEM what is really happening.

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.

....HAHAHA! You think just because we passed a few small arms to a group of men with sand in their vagina's, that they would bring them to the massive Islamic extremist problem that we have today? When in doubt, just blame the US government. Afterall, it's always our fault right?

You know what? I'm starting to wish that we never would have decided as a nation to protect the innocent. Like Canada, we should have just kept an extremely small and limited army, so that no-one pays us any attention. Then, instead of being accused of war hungry world police, we would be totally dismissed as a legitimate country. (sarcasm if you couldn't tell)

But people like you want to have cake and eat it too. You can't have freedom without paying the price for it. If you don't like your God given freedom, then I will gladly pay for your plane ticket to some other crappy 3rd world country. Voicing an opinion is completely different from dismissing what our soldiers are truly fighting for overseas right now. It is a complete slap in the face to essentially say: "Well, thanks for dying for me so that I can enjoy my morning coffee, but I don't think you should be over there killing people."

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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