The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 1, 1997 · Page 11
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version
December 1, 1997

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 11

Publication:
Location:
West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, December 1, 1997
Page:
Page 11
Cancel
Start Free Trial

Page 11 article text (OCR)

THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1997 11A New fusion idea A new concept for a compact fusion reactor would produce no radioactivity, and would use boron and protons as fuel instead of hydrogen used by most designs. Iraq weapons standoff 'has eased,' U.S. to consider more oil for food! Q Making Electricity Q Fusion Reaction Boron Alpha particles Proton Moving at different velocities, protons and boron (with five protons and six neutrons each) hit each other hard enough to fuse together. Each reaction makes three new, high speed helium nuclei, or alpha particles, of two protons and two neutrons apiece. a The alpha particles, each with a positive electric charge, stream from the ends of the reaction chamber. There, generators called inverse cyclotrons slow them down by transforming their energy into electric power. Additional energy may be captured by using heat from the plasma to run steam turbine generators. The designers believe the reactor would produce more than four times as much energy as it takes to operate the fuel injection accelerators. with America" and parading 100 small wooden coffins through the streets in a government-spork sored "funeral procession." Iraqis claim the sanctions, which have devastated the country's economy, are killing children. : Even so, arms inspectors in! Iraq reportedly continued their! work Sunday without incident or interference from the Iraqis. Ten inspection teams visited 21 sites and conducted an aerial inspection by helicopter, the official Iraqi news agency said. Hussein to readmit the U.N. Special Commission inspectors through "diplomacy backed by force ... has worked." But disagreements continue, especially over inspections of 63 presidential palaces, he said. If diplomacy "doesn't work, we're not ruling any other options out," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. Iraq, which precipitated a standoff with the United Nations when it kicked out weapons inspectors a month ago then allowed them back on Nov. 22, has demanded an end to all U.N. economic sanctions. But Washington has insisted U.N. weapons inspectors be allowed "unfettered access" to suspected arms sites in order to certify that all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have been eliminated. Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad on Sunday, shouting "Down The Washington Post With the return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq, "the situation has eased a little" and the United States would "very seriously" consider letting Iraq sell more oil to buy food and medicine, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said Sunday. "We're going to look at the program" of oil for food "this week, and we're ready to improve it," Richardson said on CNN's Late Edition, noting that Iraq's petition for U.N. permission to sell oil to buy food is up for annual renewal now and is not linked to the recent controversy over weapons inspections. "If it takes an increase" in the amount of oil allowed for sale, he said, "we'll consider that very seriously." Richardson said the U.S. effort to get Iraqi President Saddam PERFECT INVESTMENT - CD Alternative GUARANTEED 1 monthly income plans -f tQ Fuel Injection Accelerators shoot beams of protons Rhoades Financial Group 966-8633 and boron nuclei into the chamber as fuel where they form a plasma at about 100 million degrees. Electric coils around the reactor generate magnetic forces to help confine the fuel. The motions of the charged ' particles in the superhot plasma contribute further to the magnetic bottle effect. u if '!' ;?v Inverse cyclotron generator Source: Science Magazine Special to the Palm Beach PostJohn Blanchard, The Chronicle j i jr.. tf Israeli physicist may want to finance controversial design fusioN from 1A . )t'r "y . -ty-,A mm mmwm 1 . 7M '4 i fit' Z IM ' r- XVvit'.i TMt'i nTTrr't f isn't the one (researchers) would pick up and do first." Which is precisely why Science decided to step into the debate, said P4iil Szuromi, the senior editor who handled the article, which was reviewed by five experts. "The reality is, in terms of actively delivering fusion energy, the tokamak isn't delivering," he said. Science isn't pushing Monkhorst and Rostoker's design, which they call a Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor, but alternatives, Szuromi said. "We're not in the business of selling fusion reactors," he said. It's not the first time Science has ignited debate. In December 1996, the journal published an article by two University of Texas scientists raising doubts about the success of the $11 billion ITER. National media picked up on it, including The New York Times ("Cold Calculations Chill the Hot Pursuit of Cheap Fusion Power"), USA Today and Business Week ("A Mighty Fusion Reactor Or A Mighty Fizzle"). The article, which sent ripples around the globe, eventually prompted the project's advisory committee to respond that they were satisfied with the research on the project. Still, it proved the point that fusion remains hotly contested. "You found a bee's nest" in the debate on fusion, Szuromi said. And that debate, which advances science, is just what the project is missing, colleagues say. "It hasn't been subjected to the scientific community and frankly, the three or four people I showed it to are having trouble understanding the paper," said Stan Milora, head of the technology section for fusion energy at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratories. "This is a pretty gigantic community for something like that to pop up." That review, Princeton lab's Goldston suggests, could ultimately strengthen the concept. "We all want fusion to work. Rostoker and Monkhorst ought to get themselves into the queue and see how they can do' in a fair and open exchange." on fission research) on the tokamak design in which magnetic fields trap the hot plasmas that when compressed induce fusion. Indeed, a collaboration of governments the U.S., Europe, the former Soviet Union and Japan are now working to build the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor for $11.4 billion, based on tokamak findings. A final design is expected in July. These designs, like Princeton's tokamak, call for mixing deu-trium and tritium, to make helium. But because of turbulence and temperatures, the problem has always been controlling the reaction and sustaining it. Structures to contain such a reaction would be enormous. Monkhorst and Rostoker have suggested using different ingredients, hydrogen and boron the plentiful mineral used to kill cockroaches in a configuration that has atoms colliding. The reactor would be small, about 30 feet long and 6 feet high, and safe enough to place in neighborhoods or on ships, they say. Both designs, however, share the problem of money. "Energy is not the issue it has been," said Tony DeMeo, a spokesman for the Princeton lab, which plans to have another experiment up and running by mid-1999. "Right now, people are out buying sport utility vehicles." Private industry continues to rely on fission nuclear energy, said Steve Unglesbee, spokesperson for the Nuclear Energy Institute. "Fusion power certainly holds long-term promise. But right now, the emphasis in tight budget times should be on the technology that has proven itself in the marketplace," he said. The Department of Energy, the sole source of government financing for fusion research, tends to put its money where the most support is, said John Willis, the agency's division director for science in the fusion energy program. "It's actually one of the innovative areas that we support," he said of Monkhorst and Rostoker's idea. "But there's a range of possibilities for fusion energy and this the Princeton Plasma Laboratory where the recently retired Toka-foiak Fusion Test Reactor hurdled Jmajor physics barriers in fusion Jcnergy over a 14-year career. "There's a very large community of people who do this research !and Norman is one of the founders, so he is respected," he jsaid. "He's really hoping for something that would be wonderful if it could happen, but the technologi- r' al basis is shaky." Shaky or not, Rostoker, 73, Sand Monkhorst are forging ahead. 1 This month, they meet with sponsors in Gainesville and then ftravel to Israel to visit former Minister of Science and fellow "physicist Yuval Neeman, who is interested in financing their de-; 'sign, Rostoker said. They "plan to complete experiments proving the concept in three years. By 2000, a steady state reactor experiment should be under construction at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, l. Within four years, experimen-j tal energy production should be tiiigh enough to build a prototype Ijor commercial use about 50 &ears ahead of other leading physicists' predictions. "It's not there yet . . . but we ire very confident we are on the iVoad to catch the holy grail," cvlonkhorst said. Si The first breakthrough in fusion energy occurred nearly four decades ago when the Russians j.built an early tokamak, an acronym pr the term that describes its doughnut shape. In the 1960s, Russian Luv Arsimovich perfected ijhe confinement, drawing scientists especially Americans to the concept. ': Simply put, fusion is the safe lister of fission, the more controversial form of nuclear energy that powers our 107 plants by splitting ;etoms and creating radioactive Jvaste. Fusion joins together at-ms under extremely high temperatures hotter than the sun to create energy. The U.S. has sunk most of its meet artist Keith Stefan Polonaise, tree ornament 1997 signing noney, (including Sl million Jthis year compared to minion k Monograms For Holiday Gifts Now through Saturday take 50 OFF our deluxe custom embroidered monogram on every towel. i Wednesday, December 3 Noon to 4 pm Holiday Trim North Palm Beach Thursday,, December 4 11 am to 3 pm Holiday Trim Boca Raton Handcrafted in Poland, these collectible glass-blown tree ornaments feature traditional old world themes. Mr. Stefan will be available to sign your purchases. A 1 1 f - .... 1 t , ; v.vV i C- 1 r- L . . .f Just in time from the gift giving season, Pioneer Linens offers this personalized gift that will be treasured for years to come. Choose from the largest variety of monogram styles and colors, and the largest in-stock selection of deluxe towels many at sale prices. Regularly SALE Single Letter Large $12 $6 . Medium $9 $4.50 Triple Letter Large $18 $9 Medium $14 $7 Pioneer Linens GIVE GUEST TOWELS Our faufous assortment is unique Jacobsons "11700 U.S. Highway 1 North Palm Beach (561) 626-5800 Mizner Park Boca Raton (561) 394-4122 Est.1912 tar,.. 210 Clematis St. West Palm Beach, Downtown at the Fountain. 655-8553 1-800-207-5463 FREE attendant parking lot at the front entrance. C?or tAose wfio Ziaue a passion for Iiiyli quality wens . Complimentary Gift Box Wrap Open a Jacobson's charge or purchase a gift certificate for $100 or more and receive your special gift

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page