by Shepard Ambellas
March 29, 2013
NAKA, Ibaraki Prefecture — The new nuclear fusion test facility located about 89 miles south of the Fukushima Diachi Plant on the east coast of Japan is a state of the art cutting-edge testing facility that will encompass about 500 European and Japanese scientists and researchers. The facility is set for completion sometime in 2018.
However, the facility does draw concern from some as Japan has not yet fully recovered from it’s previous nuclear disaster and is already looking to play with even more powerful and deadly untapped technologies.
Nuclear fusion is believed to be the process that powers the stars and suns in our universe.
ENE-Newswire.com reports, “The experiments at Naka will support and optimize the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, currently building the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor at the Cadarache facility in France.
Michel Claessens, PhD, head of communication and external relations for ITER’s Office of the Director-General, told ENS that the new testing facility will also support the fusion power plants that are built after ITER.
ITER’s aim is to show that nuclear fusion could be used to generate electrical power, and to gain the necessary data to design and operate the first electricity-producing plant.
JT-60SA is an experimental device based on the tokamak concept, in which a hot gas is confined in a torus-shaped vessel using a magnetic field. The gas will be heated to over 100 million degrees, typically for 100 seconds every hour.
The plasma fuel will be hydrogen or deuterium. Deuterium mimics the behavior of a reacting deuterium-tritium plasma in a real power reactor or ITER, without generating large amounts of heat or neutrons.
The reaction produces some neutrons directly, plus reactions with tritium, a by-product of one branch of the reaction. JT-60SA thus slowly can become radioactive in use, and remote handling of systems near the plasma must be planned.”
Nuclear fusion has long puzzles physicists worldwide sparking countries to do their own research on larger scales.
France seems to be leading the pack with the largest research facility. In fact, SmartPlanet.com reports, “Ground is now breaking in Cadarache, France, for the 18-billion-euro research facility dedicated to determine if the process that powers the sun can be harnessed to power our future without creating nuclear waste, causing meltdowns or producing carbon dioxide emissions.
The first nuclear fusion experiment of this magnitude, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project promises to produce almost as much energy as the typical nuclear fission plant. Combining 28 years of research from nations representing 80 percent of the world’s GDP, ITER will be, by far, the largest international partnership to explore if the fusion of nuclei gives off bursts of energy that could more safely light Europe and beyond.
Today and tomorrow, SmartPlanet will discuss this project that has the research and investment of the European Union, the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, India and the Russian Federation, as we attempt to answer what fusion energy is, whether it’s safe and a feasible alternative to oil and gas, and how the public is reacting.
The seemingly endless search for an alternative to oil and a desire to stop greenhouse gas emissions has led to the founding of this multinational consortium to “find the way,” which is whatiter means in Latin. “ITER is just the way to find out if this is the next step in our energy mix,” says Aris Apollonatos, communications leader of the EU branch of the project, Fusion for Energy. Construction is set to end by 2020, with the first successful reaction planned for the same year. While figures seem to vary, as the ITER website explains, “”It’s impossible to be more precise in estimating the cost of the project,” it looks like the construction will cost about 13 billion euros, with another 5 to 6 billion to run the reactor and research.”
At the beginning of the 21st century scientists did not even know fusion was possible. Now with perpetual research things have changed.
Read more articles by this author HERE.
For media inquires, interviews, questions or suggestions for this author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This content was brought to you by Intellihub.com