Of Coconut Futures and Thermonuclear Fusion Power

Tagged: Thermonuclear Fusion Power, Technology
Source: hplusmagazine - Read the full article
Posted: 4 years 51 weeks ago

There may soon be a run on coconut futures. Vintage 2002 Indonesian coconut-shell charcoal is being used to help build what may become the first commercially viable Tokamak fusion power electrical generating facility near Cadarache in the south of France – about 38 miles from the Mediterranean. Tokamak (from the Russian for “toroidal chamber with magnetic coils”) is a type of magnetic confinement device for producing controlled thermonuclear fusion power. The coconut charcoal is an environmental sponge that “adsorbs” the helium and hydrogen byproducts of the thermonuclear fusion reaction.

In what sounds like it could be the beginnings of a Star Trek-like Federation, the United States has joined the European Union, Japan, the Russian Federation, China, Korea, and India in negotiations for the establishment of the burning plasma prototype facility called ITER, which in Latin means "the way."

The fusion power produced by ITER will be at least 10 times greater than the external power delivered to heat the plasma. It’s not quite a Starship warp drive, but it does harness the power of the sun.

ITER is expected to cost more than $10 billion. Skeptics point out that ever since the idea of fusion power was first touted in the 1950s, fusion's promise of clean power has receded endlessly into the future. Here’s a short video on the promise of ITER: