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The Thorium Cycle And Carbon Fusion


Vmedvil
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Anyone that know anything about Fission Nuclear Reactors has heard of the Thorium Cycle which is a closed loop nuclear reaction that produces energy in the form of heat. 

 

 

Liquid-Fluoride-Thorium-Reactor-Design.p

 

 

Which goes through this nuclear decay reaction, which is a closed loop Nuclear Fission reaction being the thorium cycle as the products through the cycle produce the original reactant releasing energy at each stage, which burn forever using this process. 

 

 

 

Now, let's bridge this into Fusion to begin let us start with a fusion reaction that does not work like the thorium cycle. Hydrogen Fusion which is the process currently being worked on by most of the nations of earth that have the resource and technology to research it as a "Clean" nuclear reaction but works in the opposite way as Fission which is splitting of atoms, Nuclear fusion is binding of atoms that generate energy. 

 

 

 

Which I am going to use the European model for Fusion reactors given that it confines plasma to simulate the conditions in the core of a Star which is about 100 million degrees Kelvin when fusion starts as the atoms are forced together.

 

tkm_cplx_final_plasma2013-07.jpg

 

Which in stars the Plasma is confined by Gravity and not the Electromagnetic Force but is still the same process. 

 

 

 

This is the fusion cycle of our stars but we find there are many types of Fusion reactions that stars undergo as different elements below Iron are fused into heavier nuclei which is based on the Temperature of the Star's core and the elements present each heavier element requiring a higher temperature to cause fusion of because of the increase Electric Repulsion present as more protons are inside the nucleus more average kinetic energy or "Temperature" is required to push them together. 

 

Evolved_star_fusion_shells.png

 

 

 

 

There is a classes of stars that use different Nuclear Fusion cycles as the elements are transformed into the higher forms of themselves in any case, the type of star has very much to do with temperature.

 

 

Now we will be talking a Fusion reaction for a B and O type Stars which is Carbon Fusion which has a Thorium like cycle for fusion or the CNO Cycle for Carbon Fusion which requires a vastly increased temperature to maintain being a much hotter star type at 600 million degrees K for core temperature for Carbon Fusion, but I think this would require around 1 to 10 billion degrees Kelvin for CNO cycle.

 

 

Which is a closed loop Fusion cycle like the thorium cycle is for fission which gives of Electron neutrinos, Gamma Radiation and Antimatter in the form of Positrons (Antimatter Electrons) in an infinite loop requiring non-isotope Hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, to maintain the CNO cycle.

 

 

"Our ancestors harnessed the power of a sun, and so again shall we."

 

I want to remind you that there are even more powerful sources of energy than this though and to continue if this point is reached, but they are no longer Nuclear Fission/Fusion based.

Edited by Vmedvil
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  • 5 months later...

I wanted to continue the design on CNO Cycle Fusion or Carbon Fusion by explaining actually how to achieve a temperature of 4 Billion Kelvin and the confinement of the Plasma.

 

The heating of the plasma can be done by fission, The Carbon Fusion reactor unit will have a initiator of fission, In order to achieve a plasma temperature of the desired amount, the plasma will go through a fission reactor before entry into the Fusion reactor, the materials that are going to be used for Fusion will act as the coolant to the fission reactor usually water is used for the coolant for a fission reactor but in this case hydrogen mixed with Carbon 12 will be used to cool the fission reactor, the fission reactor will overheat the coolant to near 4 billion kelvin. The Fission reactor itself contained in Superconductors as well to achieve temperatures equal to that of a Nuclear explosion instead of Concrete which standard fission reactors are encased in which would melt at 4 Billion Kelvin.

 

350px-Magnox_reactor_schematic.svg.png

 

The hot gas in this case will be replaced by Plasma from a nuclear reactor which will be magnetically confined and circulated through the fission reactor until reaching the critical CNO cycle temperature of 4 Billion Kelvin through Nuclear Fission. This is greatly cheapen the cost of heating the Carbon Fusion reactor's plasma by traditional means by using nuclear fission reactors to start the Fusion reaction, such as a standard thorium cycle reactor. Nuclear explosions hit billions of degrees Kelvin thus Nuclear fission reactors can hit this temperature by continuous circulation of the same material through the reactor every-time getting closer to that temperature.

 

 

The magnetic confinement will be done by Iron superconductors (oxyprincides) which can achieve field strengths of 150 Teslas which is 10x that of normal Cuprate Superconductors which have a field strength of 15 Teslas under the same current which will greatly increase the pressure put upon the preheated 4 Billion kelvin Carbon 12 and Hydrogen to achieve CNO cycle as oxyprincides are a much more efficient superconductor than Cuprates.

 

tokamak.jpg

 

This makes a Carbon fusion reactor with a Fission Initiator which should not really need a power source as the primary cause of energy loss heating of the plasma is done by a fission reactor with more efficient superconductors than standard Cuprates.  

Edited by VictorMedvil
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  • 1 year later...

Never saw your first account and post there. I like the idea of a thorium cycle as general plan. There SHOULD be thorium reactors dotted around every couple hundred KM IMHO.  That being said...

first off: Thorium isn't "forever" cycle, It can take a couple paths and most likely goes to U 232 IIRC "depleated" uranium and U233 "dirty" uranium, then down the normal decay chains for the U. It's probably not going to decay back into useful thorium, though the idea is that the freed neutrons and the ocasional free proton from those chains kick the other stuff up to "burn" grade.

Second off, even the hottest reactors barely peak at 700 C IIRC. There's MAYBE the option of a lead-cooled U-thorium hybrid fast-reactor running around 8-900, but even that isn't going to get you plasma via the thermal route, it's an order of magnitude too low at only "around" 1000-1100kelvin. You're not getting any "plasma" out of that. Well, you could do some several-stage magic with existing turbine designs to power some induction heaters and forcibly strip the electrons that way, but direct heating to "cool" the reactor core ain't going to cut it without those extra measures.

There's other problems with "only" 15 Tesla being your goal with the torus. AFAIK we see fusion events from zeta pinch at around 10,000 Tesla.

Few order of magnitude problems if I read you correctly and happen to not be completely wrong about useful densities and temperatures in fission events and fusion events.

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Never saw your first account and post there. I like the idea of a thorium cycle as general plan. There SHOULD be thorium reactors dotted around every couple hundred KM IMHO.  That being said...

 

first off: Thorium isn't "forever" cycle, It can take a couple paths and most likely goes to U 232 IIRC "depleated" uranium and U233 "dirty" uranium, then down the normal decay chains for the U. It's probably not going to decay back into useful thorium, though the idea is that the freed neutrons and the ocasional free proton from those chains kick the other stuff up to "burn" grade.

 

Second off, even the hottest reactors barely peak at 700 C IIRC. There's MAYBE the option of a lead-cooled U-thorium hybrid fast-reactor running around 8-900, but even that isn't going to get you plasma via the thermal route, it's an order of magnitude too low at only "around" 1000-1100kelvin. You're not getting any "plasma" out of that. Well, you could do some several-stage magic with existing turbine designs to power some induction heaters and forcibly strip the electrons that way, but direct heating to "cool" the reactor core ain't going to cut it without those extra measures.

 

There's other problems with "only" 15 Tesla being your goal with the torus. AFAIK we see fusion events from zeta pinch at around 10,000 Tesla.

 

Few order of magnitude problems if I read you correctly and happen to not be completely wrong about useful densities and temperatures in fission events and fusion events.

It's a work in progress, I think this is the first time that anyone tried to make a CNO reactor.

 

A) It may not make a difference but heating the plasma requires a lot of energy which is a problem we face with fusion currently something I don't know exactly how to fix but the idea is that you could burn it hotter using more Thorium and increase the temperature which would make it generate even hotter temperatures within the system by not cooling it as fast.

B ) that's why the oxyprincides post was added to increase it to 150 Teslas but even with superconductors you run into that max being 150 teslas per meter, you could of course coil it or increase the surface area of the device however we need better superconductors as explained in the (http://www.scienceforums.com/topic/36334-chemistry-of-superconductor-magnetic-field-strength/?do=findComment&comment=380669) thread. It would require layers and layers of superconducting wire. In the example in (http://www.scienceforums.com/topic/34451-building-a-spaceship-that-can-travel-out-of-the-solar-system/page-3?do=findComment&comment=382470) thread a 10 meter reactor was used which would be above 10,000 Teslas which if surface area of a sphere is A = 4πr2  then following that logic if we had a 1 meter radius reaction chamber with 9 meter radius of superconducting coils with 15 teslas per meter then you would get ‭15,260.4‬ Teslas in that chamber if ‭‭1,017.36‬‬ meters of superconducting wire was used, which would sustain fusion, however would make the Carbon Fusion reactor huge, if 150 Tesla per meter oxyprencides were used with that same chamber size of 1 meter and ‭2.846 meter radius of superconducting coils making the entire device ‭3.846‬ meter radius which is still pretty large using only ‭101.28 meters of superconducting wire.

 

Overall, Carbon fusion reactors are a futuristic dream of mine that someday will happen when stronger superconductors make it viable but its like the thorium cycle.

Edited by VictorMedvil
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The Physics Forums discussion on CNO Cycle Carbon Fusion, Link = https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/cno-cycle-carbon-fusion.985803/

 

The Sciforums Discussion on CNO Cycle Carbon Fusion, Link = http://www.sciforums.com/threads/carbon-fusion-review.162953/

 

Included points from Physics forums from phyzguy

 

"Try calculating the bremsstrahlung losses from your plasma and compare that to the energy generated by the CNO cycle. I think you will find that it is a net loss. Unless your reactor is large enough that the bremmstrahlung radiation cannot escape (like in a star), your reactor will have net loss of energy. Don't take my word for it, do the calculation."

 

Untitled.png

:innocent: P.S. The thing I don't get about the people of the physics forums is they just discuss menial stuff all day, stuff that has been discussed over and over again, seriously thankfully other forums have a more enlightened attitude, I would contemplate suicide everyday if I was one of those people on that forum that did just discuss menial **** all day.

 

Included Points from Sciforums Discussion from Billvon

 

 "1) Temperatures for carbon fusion are effectively unreachable in any terrestrial reactor. We can barely get to D-T fusion temperatures/pressures.
2) Shielding will be incredibly difficult. At those temperatures the plasma would be radiating in the hard X-ray band."

 
 
 
Edited by VictorMedvil
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The Physics Forums discussion on CNO Cycle Carbon Fusion, Link = https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/cno-cycle-carbon-fusion.985803/

 

The Sciforums Discussion on CNO Cycle Carbon Fusion, Link = http://www.sciforums.com/threads/carbon-fusion-review.162953/

 

Included points from Physics forums from phyzguy

 

"Try calculating the bremsstrahlung losses from your plasma and compare that to the energy generated by the CNO cycle. I think you will find that it is a net loss. Unless your reactor is large enough that the bremmstrahlung radiation cannot escape (like in a star), your reactor will have net loss of energy. Don't take my word for it, do the calculation."

 

 

Included Points from Sciforums Discussion from Billvon

 

 "1) Temperatures for carbon fusion are effectively unreachable in any terrestrial reactor. We can barely get to D-T fusion temperatures/pressures.

2) Shielding will be incredibly difficult. At those temperatures the plasma would be radiating in the hard X-ray band."

 
 
 

 

The Conclusion from these posts are simple that the Carbon Fusion reactor's plasma's electromagnetic radiation must be harnessed to get meaningful amounts of energy from the reaction.

Edited by VictorMedvil
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  • 10 months later...
  • 5 months later...

I am now adopting Dubbelosix's equations for Gravimagnetism to plasma physics(https://www.colorado.edu/physics/research/plasma-physics) for this reactor to explain the behavior of plasma turbulence in the reactor, link = https://www.scienceforums.com/topic/38262-torsion-and-the-dirac-equation/. A understanding of these equations with applications to plasma in the reactor should show how to minimize turbulence allowing the reactor to have a longer run length by understanding the forces that act on the plasma within the reactor(https://www.psfc.mit.edu/research/topics/plasma-turbulence).

Torus Fusion Reactor's Fusion Chamber.

tokomak-mcf.jpg

Plasma Flow Torus In a Uniform Magnetic Field

big1-00485.gif

 

Plasma Turbulence Cross Section

ne-pol-cut.jpg

 

Edited by VictorMedvil
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