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  • Oil's Future ? Cold Fusion Bodes Poorly For Oil & Countries Who Produce Only Oil

    Researchers say they built an economically viable fusion reactor
    By the University of Washington news staff

    Fusion energy almost sounds too good to be true - zero greenhouse gas emissions, no long-lived radioactive waste, a nearly unlimited fuel supply.

    Perhaps the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy is that the economics haven't penciled out. Fusion power designs aren't cheap enough to outperform systems that use fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

    University of Washington engineers hope to change that. They have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

    The team published its reactor design and cost-analysis findings last spring and will present results Oct. 17 at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Fusion Energy Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    "Right now, this design has the greatest potential of producing economical fusion power of any current concept," said Thomas Jarboe, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and an adjunct professor in physics.

    The university's reactor, called the dynomak, started as a class project taught by Jarboe two years ago. After the class ended, Jarboe and doctoral student Derek Sutherland, who previously worked on a reactor design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, continued to develop and refine the concept.

    The design builds on existing technology and creates a magnetic field within a closed space to hold plasma in place long enough for fusion to occur, allowing the hot plasma to react and burn. The reactor itself would be largely self-sustaining, meaning it would continuously heat the plasma to maintain thermonuclear conditions. Heat generated from the reactor would heat up a coolant that is used to spin a turbine and generate electricity, similar to how a typical power reactor works.

    "This is a much more elegant solution because the medium in which you generate fusion is the medium in which you're also driving all the current required to confine it," Sutherland said.

    There are several ways to create a magnetic field, which is crucial to keeping a fusion reactor going. The university's design is known as a spheromak, meaning it generates the majority of magnetic fields by driving electrical currents into the plasma itself. This reduces the amount of required materials and actually allows researchers to shrink the overall size of the reactor.

    Other designs, such as the experimental fusion reactor project that's currently being built in France - called Iter - have to be much larger

    This article woke up and too see Mr. Gates give a billion dollars to the Italian's thinking they'll beat the US scientists should show the world it's coming soon. We also see the US military already is using small fusion units and I think fear of global economics has slowed it's appearance on the world stage. But, the US and UN have declared was on fossil fuels and China has finally listened to her population and wearing masks in cities is in your face proof.

    fusion reactor

    University of Washington photo

    The UW's current fusion experiment, HIT-SI, is about one-tenth the size of the power-producing dynomak concept.

    because they rely on superconducting coils that circle around the outside of the device to provide a similar magnetic field. When compared with the fusion reactor concept in France, the university's is much less expensive - roughly one-tenth the cost of Iter - while producing five times the amount of energy.

    The researchers factored the cost of building a fusion reactor power plant using their design and compared that with building a coal power plant. They used a metric called overnight capital costs, which includes all costs, particularly startup infrastructure fees. A fusion power plant producing 1 gigawatt (1 billion watts) of power would cost $2.7 billion, while a coal plant of the same output would cost $2.8 billion, according to their analysis.

    "If we do invest in this type of fusion, we could be rewarded because the commercial reactor unit already looks economical," Sutherland said. "It's very exciting."

    Right now, the concept is about one-tenth the size and power output of a final product, which is still years away. The researchers have successfully tested the prototype's ability to sustain a plasma efficiently, and as they further develop and expand the size of the device they can ramp up to higher-temperature plasma and get significant fusion power output

    Dec 04 12:58 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Obama an youth unemployment ! And, it is on CNN. Horror might be the US's only hope to remove him !
    Have the youth given up on Obama?

    Editor's Note: Brad Chase is a partner with Capitol Media Partners, a Los Angeles-based communications and public affairs consultancy.

    By Brad Chase - Special to CNN

    In 2008, the youth vote helped sweep Barack Obama into office. Americans 18-29 spread the word on social media, energized fundraising and went to the polls.

    In 2012, the youth vote is moving on and throwing those omnipresent “Hope” bumper stickers and t-shirts in garbage bins.

    Not because of apathy. Not because another candidate generates more enthusiasm. Not because of his character. Not because they think voting is pointless. The 18-29 vote is up for grabs in 2012 because youth can’t afford cars to put bumper stickers on and those t-shirts are worn out from too many days sitting on the couch unemployed.

    The sobering reality: just 55.3 percent of Americans between 16 and 29 have jobs. And earlier this year, Americans’ student loan debt surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever.

    Rather than develop a lasting initiative to help young unemployed Americans, the President launched “Greater Together” – a campaign tool that offers community forums rather than jobs. Rather than provide a bailout to those crushed by the burden of educational loans, his student debt relief program was pathetic – only reducing interest rates by a measly 0.5 percent.

    No wonder less than half of Americans 18-29 approve of Obama.

    It’s no surprise the President is ignoring millenials. They’re too poor to donate to his campaign this election cycle. Older Americans are 47 times richer than the young – a striking generational gap in prosperity that has widened from a 10 to 1 ratio when Ronald Reagan was running for reelection in 1984. At the same time, Obama is ringing up donations from older voters. In the first 10 months of 2011, he attended 58 fundraisers – twice the number President George W. Bush attended during the comparable period before his reelection. That’s overkill when the GOP candidate is still TBD.

    Millenials haven’t embraced any of the GOP candidates yet, but there’s a huge opportunity for the eventual nominee to swoop in and win over the youth vote. They have a short memory, filled mostly with three difficult years under President Obama’s economic stewardship. The Center for the Study of the American Electorate reports that the youth vote won’t come out strongly this time around, but there’s little doubt the voting bloc is up for grabs to the first candidate who offers up viable policies – not themes and slogans – to address their issues.

    To win the youth vote in November, a Presidential candidate could start by:

    - Creating a limited student debt forgiveness program: It would be impractical and foolhardy to create complete debt amnesty. Instead, erase all federal student debt for those with more than $30,000 in federal student loan debt and cut the bill by 10 percent for those with debts under that threshold. That still leaves students accountable – no free rides – but it eases the crushing burden on millions of millenials. H.Res. 365 by Rep. Hansen Clark (D-MI) was a well-intentioned (albeit pie-in-the-sky) call for debt relief and it’s a good starting point for future efforts.

    - Controls on Predatory Lenders/Servicers: Most students need their parents to co-sign loans and then take care of the bills themselves. But private loan servicers like American Education Services (NYSE:AES) have no oversight and resort to bully tactics to threaten students’ parents with credit rating ruin as little as five days after a bill comes overdue for the first time. Not even credit card companies are that ruthless. There’s nothing more humiliating and stressful to students or parents than getting harassed for short-term delinquencies. There’s no need for a Credit Protection Financial Bureau, just more oversight on predators like AES.

    - Allowing Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy: In 2005, bankruptcy law changed to specifically exclude private student loans from being discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. Young adults don’t want the headache or stigma of going bankrupt, but sheltering private lenders at the expense of recent graduates is wrong. H.R. 2028 will restore pre-2005 terms – support for the bill would be huge in generating millennial votes.

    The ancillary benefit of student debt relief is a stimulus to the economy. Older Americans might say that giving money back to the young is an invitation to run up debt again, but millenials have watched their parents get underwater with mortgages and credit cards – it’s the pot calling the kettle black to deny young adults their own bailout. The stimulus will come in the form of solid and responsible purchases: a first couch, a first bed, a first set of dinner plates. This isn’t reckless spending, it’s the type of economic stimulus that Obama’s much-touted stimulus should have been.

    Without the youth vote in 2008, the President would have lost North Carolina and Indiana – a 26 delegate swing equal to nearly 10 percent of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. The 2012 election promises to be closer and the swing of the youth vote could be enough to tip the balance. It’s time the President did some soul searching on his feelings toward the youth vote. And he better do it soon, because the GOP candidate is waiting in the wings and won’t hesitate to take the youth vote.

    The views expressed in this article are the authors !

    Jan 01 12:44 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Why I tout Brazil's 10 year bond an other LA countries debt ! IMF says there ok too !
    Dec 31 4:35 AM | Link | 1 Comment
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