Interior of the Alcator C-Mod tokamak at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Two Ion Cyclotron Range of Frequencies (ICRF) antennas are visible to the left of the central column. A new magnetic field-aligned ICRF antenna is visible to the right of the central column.
An October 2014 report from Technology Review describes Lockheed Martin’s announcement that it had “secretly developed a promising design for a compact nuclear fusion reactor” has encountered skepticism over the basic feasibility of its approach.
Tom McGuire is the project lead of the Lockheed effort to develop the reactor at the company’s ‘Skunkworks’ in Palmdale, California. No data has yet been released after having done 200 firings with plasma. However McGuire said of the plasma, “It looks like it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.” He added that with research partners Lockheed could develop a completed prototype within five years and a commercial application within a decade. The company is even talking about how fusion reactors could one day power ships and planes.
Tom McGuire, project lead of the Lockheed effort, said in an interview that the company has come up with a compact design, called a high beta fusion reactor, based on principles of so-called ‘magnetic mirror confinement.’ This approach tries to contain plasma by reflecting particles from high-density magnetic fields to low-density ones.”
“The challenge is to confine hydrogen plasma at conditions under which the hydrogen nuclei fuse together at levels that release a useful amount of energy.”
Tokamak confinement of a nuclear fusion plasma: The twisted magnetic field lines (green) required to confine the high temperature plasma (purple) are created by the currents in a set of planar coils (red) and a current flowing in the conductive plasma itself.
Tokamak: a doughnut shaped device
“Most research efforts use a method that tries to contain hot plasma within magnetic fields in a doughnut-shaped device called a tokamak. Three research-scale tokamaks operate in the United States: one at MIT, another at a lab in Princeton, and a third at a Department of Energy lab in San Diego. The world’s largest tokamak is under construction in France at an international facility known as ITER, at a projected cost of $50 billion.” The projected cost of only one of these research efforts is $50 billion, I would suppose there is more than skepticism involved.
Magnetic Confinement Fusion
WIKI: Magnetic confinement fusion is an approach to generating fusion power that uses magnetic fields (which is a magnetic influence of electric currents and magnetic materials) to confine the hot fusion fuel in the form of a plasma.
Magnetic confinement is one of two major branches of fusion energy research, the other being inertial confinement fusion. The magnetic approach is more highly developed and is usually considered more promising for energy production.
… Magnetic confinement fusion attempts to create the conditions needed for fusion energy production by using the electrical conductivity of the plasma to contain it with magnetic fields. The basic concept can be thought of in a fluid picture as a balance between magnetic pressure and plasma pressure, or in terms of individual particles spiraling along magnetic field lines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_confinement_fusion
The ‘doughnut’ shaped Torus
The Tokamak is a doughnut shaped device, which is essentially a Torus.
“In geometry, a torus (plural tori) is a surface of revolution generated by revolving a circle in three-dimensional space about an axis coplanar with the circle. If the axis of revolution does not touch the circle, the surface has a ring shape and is called a ring torus or simply torus if the ring shape is implicit.” [WIKI]
Physics of Electric Propulsion [published 1968, 1996]
by Robert G. Jahn, Professor of Aerospace Sciences, Princeton University
…electro-cyclotron heating…the basic difficulty of a pure electrothermal mode is the collisional transfer of energy from the electrons to the heavy particles…if the magnetic field constraining the electron orbits is axially nonuniform, the swarm of gyrating electrons will tend to drift towards regions of lower field intensity, thereby establishing a space-charge electric field to accelerate the ions in the desired axial direction. …
Devices of this type, called cyclotron-resonance thrusters, typically operate in the microwave frequency bands…
A circularly polarized microwave beam of sufficient intensity to ionize the incoming gas flow is launched from a conventional wave-guide into an axially symmetric, divergent magnetic field… Optimum conversion of microwave power to plasma energy occurs near the cyclotron resonance frequency…
Cyclotron: an apparatus for accelerating with an electric field, charged atomic particles revolving in a magnetic field.
Resonance (in physics): a condition in which a particle is subjected to an oscillating influence (an electromagnetic field or another particle) of such frequency that energy transfer occurs or reaches maximum.
North of Antarctica & south of Madagascar/Africa (above)
Between Antarctica & Macquarie Island (two above) / Critters…a pig and a duck?
This one really is beginning to look like a fractal.
The Bohai Sea (two above) or Bo Sea, also known as Bohai Gulf or Bo Gulf (Chinese: 渤海; literally: “Bo Sea”), is the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea and Korea Bay on the coast of Northeastern and North China. It is approximately 78,000 km2 (30,116 sq. mi) in area and its proximity to Beijing, the capital of China (PRC), makes it one of the busiest seaways in the world.
The Bohai Bay contains significant oil and gas reserves, providing much of China’s offshore production. The main field in the region is named Shengli and has been exploited since the 1960s. It is still producing about half a million barrels a day, but is declining. Production is dominated by Chinese majors (China National Offshore Oil Corporation was mostly created for this region) but foreign companies are also present, like ConocoPhilips, Roc Oil, and others.
The Gudao Field, located in the Zhanhua sedimentary basin, was discovered in 1968, based on gravity, magnetic and seismic surveys between 1963-1964. The reservoir includes the Guantao (Miocene) and Minghuazhen (Pliocene) geologic formations within the dome-like anticline. The Suizhong 36-1 Oil Field was discovered in 1987, and produces from Oligocene fluvial-deltaic and lacustrine sandstones.:459
Oil spills have been reported frequently in this region: three spills occurred in a two-month timeframe in 2011.
Caspian Sea Nov. 23, 2016 (above)
Nov.22, 2016 http://go.nasa.gov/2gfwhDs
The Caspian Sea (two above) is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded to the northeast by Kazakhstan, to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan, to the south by Iran, and to the southeast by Turkmenistan.
The Caspian Sea lies to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the vast steppe of Central Asia. Its northern part, the Caspian Depression, is one of the lowest points on Earth. The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and large size.
The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (not including its detached lagoon of Garabogazköl Aylagy) and a volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi). It has a salinity of approximately 1.2% (12 g/l), about a third of the salinity of most seawater.
The Volga River, the largest in Europe, drains 20% of the European land area and is the source of 80% of the Caspian’s inflow. Its lower reaches are heavily developed with numerous unregulated releases of chemical and biological pollutants. Although existing data are sparse and of questionable quality, there is ample evidence to suggest that the Volga is one of the principal sources of transboundary contaminants into the Caspian.
The magnitude of fossil fuel extraction and transport activity in the Caspian also poses a risk to the environment. The island of Vulf off Baku, for example, has suffered ecological damage as a result of the petrochemical industry; this has significantly decreased the number of species of marine birds in the area. Existing and planned oil and gas pipelines under the sea further increase the potential threat to the environment.
The Vladamir Filanovsky field in the Russian section of the body of water was discovered for its wealth of oil in 2005. It is reportedly the largest discovery of oil that they have had in 25 years. It was announced in October 2016 that LUKOIL would start production in this region.