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ITER Fusion Reactor - Was Excited, less so now.

Illustration for article titled ITER Fusion Reactor - Was Excited, less so now.
Photo: Cliff Watkinson (Other)

As per usual I went down a rabbit hole and found only the skeletons and poops the weasels leave behind. Dammit.

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As a disclaimer: I like ICE vehicles and own several, I like EV’s and currently own none but am considering converting one 9or maybe HEMI it). I think we should be greener individually and as a society, and that we need to pick up the pace and make some sacrifices to do so. I’m also fairly in-compassionate towards humanity at large, and think we’re a plague... but I like stuff, fun, eating meat, and come from a coal mining/logging town in the Rockies from Canada. I like shooting guns, but hate the idea of public guns in general. I’ve owned a Jeep (even in a Jeep club), own a dirt bike, like being in nature and think we should both protect it AND use it. I’m both left leaning and right leaning, sometimes on the same topic. There you go. I’m a standard hypocritical person. Now you know some stuff about me and can carry on without thinking I’m a card carrying member of some particular group or another.

Illustration for article titled ITER Fusion Reactor - Was Excited, less so now.
Illustration: ITER (Other)
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I was pretty jazzed by ITER’s current progress and then started to question some stuff, the how’s, the why’s, the what-isn’t-being-said’s. ITER itself doesn’t really discuss a lot of the inherent downsides to using a Tokamak design; no surprise really. Nobody really does that. Here’s two pretty coherent (AKA light on the super tech talk) articles. One from a someone who designed fission reactors, and studied fusion processes, and another who worked in the Princeton Fussion Lab.

Fusion Research: Time to Set a New Path - circa 2015

ITER is a showcase … for the drawbacks of fusion energy - circa 2018

Turns out there a quite a few considerably large downsides, AND they aren’t even going to pump energy into France’s grid. Like at all. Like ever. It’s all just a giant proof of concept project. It’s cool and all, but ITER definitely slides a lot of PR crap around. I’ve watched plenty of videos on it, and I’ve just started to scrap past the glorious icing and get into the blasé cake underneath it all.

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Basically another giant, overpriced, underproducing boondoggle. We should just make fission fast breeders like Bill Gates’ company designed and get over a “forever” fix and do something “doable” now. Science is rad, but don’t pretend it’s something it’s not.

Oppo-inions? I’d like to hear thoughts for sure.

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