In light of the unfolding Nuclear reactor disater in Japan.
Is Muon Catalysed Fusion the
NEXT NEW, SAFE, GREEN, CLEAN, EFFICIENT energy solutuion...
Is it the new Energy Saviour?
The Fusion Messiah?
Is it more safe, less toxic?
A Global Energy Renaissance?
Or just more of the same?
Lets have a quick run down on this "process"
According to Wikipedia
Muon-catalyzed fusion (μCF) is a process allowing nuclear fusion to take place at temperatures significantly lower than the temperatures required for thermonuclear fusion, even at room temperature or lower. Although it can be produced reliably with the right equipment and has been much studied, it is believed that the poor energy balance will prevent it from ever becoming a practical power source.
However, if muons (μ−) could be produced more efficiently, or if they could be used as catalysts more efficiently, the energy balance might improve enough for muon-catalyzed fusion to become a practical power source.
If muon-catalyzed d-t nuclear fusion were able to be realized practically, it would be a much cheaper way of generating power than conventional nuclear fission reactors because muon-catalyzed d-t nuclear fusion (like most other types of nuclear fusion), produces far fewer harmful (and far less long-lived) radioactive wastes, and hardly any greenhouse gases
But, there has been some issues with the reliability of this fusion for practical purposes:
One practical problem with the muon-catalyzed fusion process is that muons are unstable, decaying in about 2.2 µs (in their rest frame). Hence, there needs to be some cheap means of producing muons, and the muons must be arranged to catalyze as many nuclear fusion reactions as possible before decaying.
and the other problem lies in the Alpha stickng procsess which means that not all of the muons are recycled, and too many bond with other debris emitted following the fusion of the nuclei removing the muons from the catalytic process. This gradually and ultimately chokes off the reactions (end snip)
SO? how can this process become a sucsessful alternative....MONEY and the situation to institute it...
Star Scientific Australia:
According to thier website;
Star Scientific is working towards overcoming these hurdles by perfecting a world-first technique to economically and constantly produce pions, which immediately decay into muons - an innovation that would finally make sustained, controlled muon catalysed fusion a reality.
Muons are the decayed products of a particle called a pion, and are the catalysts in the fusion of two hydrogen isotopes, a process which releases copious amounts of energy.
The beauty of the muon is that it acts very much like an electron whose job it is to bond atoms together into molecules. Since a muon is 207 times heavier than an electron, it bumps the electron out of the way and replaces it.
Because the orbit of the heavier muon is much closer, it causes the atoms in the molecule to draw closer until the natural repelling force is overcome and a strong nuclear force brings the atoms together - causing them to fuse.
his fusion gives us energetic neutrons, which are easily converted to heat in a pressurised water reactor - resulting in steam which can be harnessed to create electricity. (end snip)
Ok, Sounds simple
But there is the unreliability..and there is also a reaction process.
This company thinks it has solved the unreliabity factor.
"Star Scientific has remained focused on overcoming the notorious "alpha sticking problem" (whereby 1% to 2% of the muons in a muon catalysed reaction bond with by-products rather than catalysing, reducing the number of muons available to liberate energy) by developing a method to efficiently and consistently produce pions - and hence muons - in their hundreds and thousands, meaning the loss of some muons is of no consequence".
they also report that they are perfecting a world-first technique to economically produce pions, and hence muon catalysed fusion, in a CONTROLLED and SUSTAINED way.
muon catalysed fusion will deliver huge benefits to mankind since it will be the world's first abundant energy supply that is:
Clean Green Efficient and Affordable!
Oh and also SAFE...especially after the fukushima nulclear plant disaster...this could be the next big thing!
This one energy source has the potential to end the world's reliance on fossil and fissionable fuels - thereby combating climate change. Check 1
The ONLY fuel muon catalysed fusion uses is deuterium - a naturally occurring isotope of hydrogen which is abundantly available in sea water, and can be easily and economically extracted without harming or polluting the remaining water. Check 2
Unlike current fission nuclear reactors, no fissionable materials - such as uranium or plutonium - are used in a muon catalysed fusion system - so there is NO POSSIBILITY of an accident, leak or meltdown. (a solution!) Check 3
In a conventional nuclear power plant, 75% of construction costs relate to safety precautions.
As muon catalysed fusion uses no fissionable materials, there is no risk of meltdown, leak or explosion - so power plant construction costs would fall by 75%.
The roll out of this technology would drive a new green economy, with industries being created and struggling sectors rejuvenated through access to cheap, clean energy.
This is virtually a free source of energy...and it has all these benefits..
The roll out of this technology....I bet you it will be pretty soon..maybe they need one more disaster to get everyone onside to this rollout.
Or A New Green Economy...based on so called carbon emissions? when all this process emits is Helium?
So why am i suspect on this?? When it is such a positive advancement in energy creation.
Is It beause big money is backing it?
Is it because if and when they decide to "roll it out" it will cost us, yes, the people..more?
Can muon catalysed fusion be Weaponised?
"NO. One of the reasons this technology is so ground breaking, and is of such global significance, is its safety and its total incompatibility to weaponry of any type.
Unlike current nuclear reactors, there are no fissionable materials - such as uranium or plutonium - used in the muon catalysed fusion process. "
"Fissionable materials are required to make nuclear weapons."
The only fuel used to generate energy through muon catalysed fusion is deuterium - a naturally occurring molecule which is abundantly available in sea water and can be easily extracted without harming the remaining water in any way.
IT is still Nuclear power..
Just a different process..
Japan has also been working on this too..what a good idea to get rid of those terrible nuclear fission power plants...
In Light of the unfolding tradgedy in Japan, and the knowledge that it could also happen anywhere, this source of energy needs to be widley known.
It also needs to be brought out into the public arena and transparently looked at in detail to aviod confusion.
I am all for the end of Destuctive Nuclear Energy as we now know it, and any safer alternative would be better than the mess that has been created.
It could be used for good, but i'm concerned that the Money Powers who FUND this new technology, and who also have vested interests in, as well as invested so much money already in Mining, and "traditional" power generating facilities, maybe do not want a change until they figure out how to make EVEN more money out of it..I wouldn't put that past them.
I just hope all the scientists working in this field are decicated and wise enough to know that too.
Please See Star scientific for more information: