Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nuclear Fusion to Harness Power of Sun

Nuclear fusion is currently only occuring on the Sun--at least in our solar system--but with these new reactor lining materials the containers capable of unlimited energy production on Earth may be possible too. Look for fusion reactors to finally be perfected by the end of the decade. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

Chase Taylor, left, and Jean Paul Allain are developing coatings capable of withstanding the grueling conditions inside nuclear fusion reactors.

Here is what Purdue says about it fusion research: Researchers have discovered mechanisms critical to interactions between hot plasma and surfaces facing the plasma inside a thermonuclear fusion reactor, part of work aimed at developing coatings capable of withstanding the grueling conditions inside the reactors. Fusion powers the stars and could lead to a limitless supply of clean energy. A fusion power plant would produce 10 times more energy than a conventional nuclear fission reactor, and because the deuterium fuel is contained in seawater, a fusion reactor's fuel supply would be virtually inexhaustible. Research at Purdue University focuses on the "plasma-material interface," a crucial region where the inner lining of a fusion reactor comes into contact with the extreme heat of the plasma. Nuclear and materials engineers are harnessing nanotechnology to define tiny features in the coating in work aimed at creating new "plasma-facing" materials tolerant to radiation damage, said Jean Paul Allain, an assistant professor of nuclear engineering...
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