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Giant International Fusion Reactor Draws Nearer

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the down-to-the-wire dept.

Science 967

nnnneedles writes "BBC is reporting that scientists are deciding on where to build the world's first big fusion reactor. The international effort is described as the boldest nuclear initiative since the Manhattan Project, and holds promise for future unlimited, clean energy. The choice on where to build the reactor currently stands between Japan and France, but apparantly, the U.S. is opposing a french site because France opposed the war in Iraq." There's also an AP story.

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967 comments

My wish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774350)

I wish there was a way for me, as a Christian, as a human being, to sit down with some of you and have a pleasant, civil discussion without bitterness or sarcasm. I don't force people to believe what I believe. I don't mock others with different beliefs. I hope I can find the words to explain myself, as my life goes on. I hope I can help people to see.

GIVE IT A REST ALREADY (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774432)

You can't have a civil discussion with an atheist. Atheists like to think of themselves as rational, but if you observe their behavior you'll find they are anything but. They are full of anger and bitterness, and react with frightful outrage whenever they encounter someone with different views from their own. Even people who think that atheism is a reasonable philosophy must admit that most atheists did not arrive at their point of view through anything resembling a rational process. Rather, they are poorly socialized individuals who are lashing out angrily at anything which they perceive to be valued by "mainstream" society. You really shouldn't take it personally. It is the result of an angry and profoundly unhappy psychological condition on their part, not due to you or your Christian beliefs.

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OMG GNAA IS RACIST!1 LOLRORLF (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:OMG GNAA IS RACIST!1 LOLRORLF (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:OMG GNAA IS RACIST!1 LOLRORLF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774378)

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ANAL ANUSES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774353)

Is there any other kind?

Even Donald Rumsfeld..... (5, Funny)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774354)

is eating at French restaurants in DC these days.

Time to move on.

Re:Even Donald Rumsfeld..... (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774412)

yes, because french restraunts in the US are not actually owned and run by french nor do they employ french..

I am all for a French Reactor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774355)

They can use the Eiffel Tower as fuel....

not in france ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774358)

right, so let me get this clear, because a country is peace loving it can not be the site for a fusion reactor ?

Re:not in france ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774375)

Algeria certainly knows about peace loving France. As do many other African nations that France tried to destroy to maintain their franco-phone "empire".

Re:not in france ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774401)

well, France is not peace loving, it has weapons exports far above its weight, but it dislikes this to be in the open.

Re:not in france ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774416)

Just like the United States.

Re:not in france ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774442)

yes. except the US is not as two faced about it.

Re:not in france ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774469)

Sure they are. When was the last time you heard public praise from any modern politican regarding Ronald Reagan aiding Saddam back in the 80's? Where is the recognition that America knew that Saddam gassed the Kurds but the government decided to ignore that little fact?

Re:not in france ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774501)

i disagree. selling weapons in the 80s (the US) and being 2 faced is less 2 faced than selling weapons in the 90s (France) and being 2 faced. plus all the dodgy African governments France likes to support weapon wise in the 90s (and it is emerging in the 2000s) where as the US, despite hypocriticism, stopped this business in the 80s on the whole.

The US is no angel and commited many humanitarian crimes, but France is also no angel either and gave up direct support later.

*snort* (1, Flamebait)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774407)

There is a huge difference between "peace loving" and "cowardly." "Peace loving" would be a moral stand and it is darn hard to claim a moral stand when you are selling someone war materials forbidden under UN treaties. The opposed the war to hide their own guilt, not out of some moral stand.

Don't be stupid (5, Insightful)

FredFnord (635797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774413)

It's not because they are peace-loving (France doesn't exactly qualify, historically), and it doesn't even have much to do with them not supporting the war in Iraq, though that made a good litmus test.

Basically, the current US administration wants to hurt, as badly as is conveniently possible, and as often as is conveniently possible, any county that does not cooperate fully with the whims of the US government. Regardless of the convictions and ideals of the populace or the government.

So, since France's people overwhelmingly did not want to be a party to the war in Iraq, and because France's government actually listened to its people, instead of listening primarily to the US and only secondarily to its people, it is clear that France is not sufficiently in thrall to the US, and therefor must be punished.

Iraq was just a test. France failed.

Or passed, depending on your viewpoint.

-fred

Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (4, Informative)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774360)

Last time I checked, Canada, Russia and China preferred the Japanese site. And I seem to recall they all opposed the Iraq War.

The site selection has nothing to do with anyone's position on Iraq or else France would have the support of the other countries as well. As it stands, they only have the support of the EU for typical reasons.

Re:Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (4, Insightful)

Ataraxy Oyez (729472) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774382)

Everyone opposed the Iraq war, even Britain. The only difference is a handful of chicken countries (Britain being the largest) cow-towed for financial or political reasons because the U.S. wields the biggest stick.

Re:Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774396)

fuck you. you baathist motherfucker

Re:Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (1, Insightful)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774406)

Or, those handful of countries acted out of principle and learned the lessons from WW2 while other nations tried to politicize an issue for other esoteric reasons (US geo-political containment, concealment of violations of UN orders, etc.)

But your worldview is very intellectual so perhaps it is right.

Re:Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774457)

What principle? The US and other countries aided Iraq for years before turning their back on Saddam. Then 9/11 happened, Bush decided to tie that event to Saddam the best he could (which was all nonsense to begin with), and you have the current quagmire.

I oppose Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774458)

Looks like they were in favor of the war in Iraq.
Besides they already received sufficent radiation during WWII. It's fair to share among all countries.

Re:Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774464)

...yeah, that and when it comes to nuclear stuff, I would trust the japs over the french anyday. They should build it on Hiroshima, that way there would never be a nuclear accident. Seriously, what are the chances of having two nuclear catastrophies in the same city.

The OS was a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774468)

The original submission was just trolling for reaction.

Re:Why is this About US Opposing French Site ? (5, Informative)

c_oflynn (649487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774482)

Umm... perhaps time to RTFA?

It SPECIFICALLY says this (after saying that Canada et al. support the Japan site):

The US, in particular, has raised objections to the French option, citing its opposition to the Iraq invasion.

Indeed, the EU favors France over Spain (4, Interesting)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774493)

The site selection has nothing to do with anyone's position on Iraq or else France would have the support of the other countries as well. As it stands, they only have the support of the EU for typical reasons.
The Spanish opposition disagrees-- they say that the EU selected the French site because of politics. The NY Times mentions here [nytimes.com] that the Spanish political losers think Spain's support of the war in Iraq killed the chances of the reactor being built there.

Okay! (3, Insightful)

haxor.dk (463614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774361)

"So now we know where to build it, and who will help in doing it. But how do we make the darn thing WORK?"

Re:Okay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774392)

And, more to the point, how do we stop it from going bang?

Re:Okay! (0)

Koualla (704483) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774456)

I think they're working on the principle that "If we build it, they will come (together)". Referring, of course to protons, not baseball players.

waiting for Godot... (5, Insightful)

endoboy (560088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774362)

Fabulous concept, but we've been 20+ years from having fusion power for about 50 years now... Of course, "we can do it in 20 years" is bureaucrat speak for "we don't have a clue, but why don't you give us some money anyway...."

Re:waiting for Godot... (1)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774470)

That's because we were supposed to have run out of oil by now but haven't. Therefore, the technology will remain "in safe hands".

Figures... (2, Funny)

Mondoz (672060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774364)

Never underestimate the power of politically motivated stubborness.

Cart Before The Horse? (2, Insightful)

Surak_Prime (160061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774365)

Wouldn't fusion have to have been made practical for terrestrial power generation before anything like this should be started on? Or did I miss a memo?

Re:Cart Before The Horse? (2, Informative)

psifishdot (699920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774433)

ITER is not for practical power generation. The article says:

"Its goal will be to produce 500 megawatts of fusion power for 500 seconds or longer during each individual fusion experiment and, in doing so, demonstrate essential technologies for a commercial reactor."

It's only a demo. Fusion won't be practival for some time to come, if ever.

Re:Cart Before The Horse? (1)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774437)

Wouldn't fusion have to have been made practical for terrestrial power generation before anything like this should be started on?
Um, that is precisely the point of this station...to prove the essential technologies necessary for useful fusion power. You did read the article, yes?

Re:Cart Before The Horse? (1)

FrankoBoy (677614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774447)

The fusion plant they are talking about will be the ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, so it's designed to make fusion power a reliable reality. Check out ITER's web page [iter.org] for more info on the project.

Re:Cart Before The Horse? (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774473)

Agreed.. They should be building a Fusion power plant which is capable of proving that long duration, high output reactors would be possible to build.

Lets call it ITER -- we can make it an international thing. Now we just need a location to put it in ;)

Re:Cart Before The Horse? (3, Informative)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774503)

Wouldn't fusion have to have been made practical for terrestrial power generation before anything like this should be started on?

Indeed, but this project is explicitly designed to be the next "scale up" towards that goal. A design goal of 500MW of fusion power output is nothing to sneeze at....

On the other than, practical fusion is much further away than is advertised, since it requires fusing helium 3, which doesn't produce neutrons, but is a lot harder to fuse. Otherwise your reactor's atoms are slowly transmuted into other (frequently radioactive) elements as it runs. We also have to get a good source of helium 3 ("They're going to strip mine the moon!" the enviros are already whining).

As far as site selection, why not go with the Japanese? After all, back in 1979 Tomino did the first Gundam anime series, and part of its background was small fusion reactors running on helium 3, allowing for a) lots of power, b) big explosions if one can't shut down properly (this is explicit from the beginning), and c) a Jupiter Energy Fleet for the helium 3 (modeled on the petro-rich Arabs --- remember that Japan has to import all of its oil, and I think most of that comes from the Middle East) which is always behind each war, pulling the strings (with the exception of Zeta Gundam where one of them actually showed up; get it when it comes out next year in the US, it's very good)).

Oh man... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774367)

Another superb move by the US. What a bunch of idiots.

I wonder if they realise that every time they do stuff like this, the REST OF THE WORLD thinks that they look like spoiled little children who just threw their teddy out of the pram.

GROW UP - not everyone gets the same kick out of war that you obviously do.

McDonalds? (-1, Flamebait)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774374)

The French just want the reactor to leap frog our french fry technology.

I'd go with France as the site. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774376)

Tha way when the terrorists hit it or it melts down, the whole country is fucked.

Childish behavior (4, Insightful)

nempo (325296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774379)

The choice on where to build the reactor currently stands between Japan and France, but apparantly, the U.S. is opposing a french site because France opposed the war in Iraq.


Not to sound like an ass or something but this seems like a really childish behaviour.

Re:Childish behavior (0, Flamebait)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774409)

this seems like a really childish behaviour

Since the current leader has displayed all the qualities of a petulant child throwing his teddy out of his pram, on a number of occasions, your point is what exactly?

Re:Childish behavior (2, Flamebait)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774499)

Reading the related material Japan does seem the better choice, and its an opinion shared by russia and other non EU contributors to the project. This is especially true if you consider the fact the Japanese have been generating the cleanest high temperature plasmas for some time now.

Putting aside the merits of locating the project in Japan. I would love to know how not rewarding financially and ally that caused us considerable trouble is childish ?

If you think that France and Germany were operating on a purely moral plain, your'e missing the fact that they had the largest financial stakes in Saddams Iraq. Holding them accountable for their choices is just good sense.

Re:Childish behavior (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774411)

Not to sound like an ass or something but this seems like a really childish behaviour.

I propose using thermonuclear warheads to build a fusion reaction in various parts of the middle east. I think it'd be perfect... lots of sand and tons of hostile people to get rid of.

Childish behavior? (-1, Flamebait)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774435)

It is childish behavior to make sure that technology that could easily be adapted to war be kept out of a country that harbors more support for terrorism than any other western nation on the planet?

You are going to have to explain that one to me......

Re:Childish behavior? (1)

Jon Chatow (25684) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774487)

Yes, but no-one ever suggested building the tokamak in Northern Ireland.

Re:Childish behavior? (4, Insightful)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774488)

How do you reach that conclusion exactly? Other than not supporting a war without a second resolution I haven't noticed the French supporting much terrorism. You never hear people in Camp X-Ray breaking down and saying "okay, I give in. M. Chirac made me do it."
France does have a large muslim population due to its old (fairly disastrous) colonial association with Algeria but, as many people have pointed out, muslim != terrorist. I'm sure France is making every effort to root out any terrorists that may be hiding there.
There is far more evidence for active terrorist cells in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Birmingham than France. That doesn't make Germany an untrustworthy country, either.

Re:Childish behavior? (4, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774490)

Can you back up the accusation that France harbors support for terrorism?

Also, can you consider that there is no "need" to adapt fusion power to weapons, it is called the H-bomb and I'm pretty sure France already has them.

Re:Childish behavior? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774497)

a country that harbors more support for terrorism than any other western nation on the planet

No western country that I know of (except possibly a few conflicted South American states) supports terrorism in any form. If you really mean harbors support for terrorism, I'd say the US probably harbors more terrorists (knowingly or not) than a good deal of other nations combined.

Re:Childish behavior (2, Interesting)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774439)

Is it childish behaviour on the part of the Canadians and Russians and Chinese to punish France for opposing the Iraq war?

Wait a minuite...

The Canadians and Russians and Chinese were on France's side of that conflict !!

So why are they not supporting France now ?

Could it be that they honestly believe that Japan is a better site because

a) the site would be 3 miles from the sea where deuterium is plentiful
b) Japan is a model nation that would benefit form this technology (Japan lacks natural energy resources)

Or could it be that they are under the thumb of the US, as they showed during the UN debates ?

You decide.

Re:Childish behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774489)

I'm just curious... isn't Japan kind of lacking in land space... and if so, do they really want a massive reactor on their land?

Re:Childish behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774479)

really childish behaviour

what is? the statement itself or the fact that Michael has to make every story a political jab at the US or Bush?

Michael, you gonna censor this post too like my last one?

Re:Childish behavior (1)

segmond (34052) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774494)

sounds like a really childish behaviour to you.
sounds like real politics to me.

French Reactor... (1, Funny)

Robert Hayden (58313) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774388)

We wouldn't want them to surrender it two two drunk germans on a weekend bender, after all.

Re:French Reactor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774426)

LOL

Freedom Reactor (3, Funny)

akpoff (683177) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774393)

The choice on where to build the reactor currently stands between Japan and France, but apparantly, the U.S. is opposing a french site because France opposed the war in Iraq.

Not to mention the French sensibly rejected calling it the "Freedom Reactor".

Japan is the obvious choice! (5, Funny)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774395)

What, with their obvious tectonic stability, vast distance from any faults and subduction zones, and lack of volcanic activity, they are the perfect choice for building a big, expensive, multinational fusion reactor.

Personally, my preferred choice would be Canada, somewhere on the Canadian Shield.

Re:Japan is the obvious choice! (1)

Hays (409837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774419)

You do realize that fusion power isn't dangerous?

Re:Japan is the obvious choice! (2, Insightful)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774472)

But it is expensive. Having your multi-billion-dollar reactor destroyed in an earthquake or typhoon would be embarrassing.

Re:Japan is the obvious choice! (4, Funny)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774421)

don't forget godzilla attacks.

Re:Japan is the obvious choice! (5, Informative)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774463)

Interesting point. Although intraplate quakes are much more powerful (and much rarer) than your typical subduction quakes. They tend to originate much deeper and pack a tremendous amount of power. Look at the Lisbon quake that basically caused the collapse of the Portugese Empire. So Montana might not be as tectonically safe as some would think.

Sorry, I took a Natural Disasters class last semester and it was awesome. You can get back to your topic now.

Re:Japan is the obvious choice! (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774481)

hehehe...tho I'm not terribly worried about an earthquake trashing the reactor. Granted it would destroy a zillion dollar building, but the radiation wouldn't last very long so I don't think there would be long term damage.

Then again, maybe a physics major can answer what the after-effects are of a big nuclear reactor imploding on itself after an Earthquake are exactly...

Assuming it works... (1)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774398)

Assuming this works, yeah, let's build it on an island chain!!! A nice spot isolated from the rest of the world, where it would take a massive effort to get the power to other useful places, like oh, say, continental Europe...

I do so hate political BS like this. Hey, Japan has contributed quite a lot of tech to the world since WWII, and use a lot of energy, and perhaps deserve something like this. But really, let's not ignore the realities of power distribution in selecing a site for such a huge project.


Oh, wait, our cowboy-in-chief doesn't understand the realities of power distribution, or any of that other nasty scienceish-stuff. What could I have had in mind, posing such a silly thought?

Oops, gotta go, time for my 6:00 cloned liver transplant in Vanuatu, soon the wealthiest nation on Earth for not letting fictional morality dictate reality...

Re:Assuming it works... (1)

Hays (409837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774436)

what?! you think this plant is going to be wasted on Japan because it's going to generate more power than they can use? Uhh.. no.

Re:Assuming it works... (1)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774443)

I think this is a *test* reactor, not one meant to be put into actual large-scale operation.

Much like the *test* reactor near Atomic City, Idaho... it only powered Atomic City, not half of Idaho.

Seriously, would you want the first one built to be the one powering your country?

Re:Assuming it works... (5, Informative)

rhakka (224319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774455)

You might have a point, if this reactor were intended to SUPPLY energy for a large area.

It's not. This is apparently an experimental reactor. We haven't made this work yet; this reactor is being built so we CAN make it work through experimentation. After that, I would imagine all the countries will simply build their own reactors to supply their countries (and neighbors who wish to purchase energy and/or share in the construction costs) with energy.

What did you think, we'd build one reactor and supply the whole world with energy? Please. At the very least each country will want their own simply so their energy source simple to guarantee the existance of their own energy in case of war or natural disaster.

If this technology WORKED, you think the US in particular wouldn't drop $10bil on it in a heartbeat to build it ourselves? It doesn't work yet, and that's why we all want to build this experimental reactor.

Re:Assuming it works... (1)

jimmer63 (651486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774471)

In the grand scheme of things Europe is small potatoes. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is. So is North and South America. Asia is the new superpower continent. With China and India coming in at 2.2 billion people or so. Asia is estimated at 3.7 billion people, over half of the world's population. Japan seems like a much more logical choice if it's based on "useful" places, whatever that really is.

World Populations [nationsonline.org]

Power figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774399)

What the article doesn't mention is that the reactor requires large amount of energy to operate. Yes, it could produce approximately 500 megawatts but it would also need about 50 megawatts for starting up and other operations - the amount of a small fission reactor.

If it succeeds it will be the largest achievement in science and engineering ever (perhaps) but it won't be easy or cheap..

In my opinion, France would be in ideal location and the stability of the area is good also (both geologically and politically).

Obscure reference (2, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774400)

They should build it in the northeast US, like in "Infinite Jest." Then, if/when the entire region becomes uninhabitable, we can force the Canadians to accept the "gift" of our land, and they, in turn, can "cave" to separatist Quebecois demands and give them that region.

Cheap reliable energy forever and ever, and everybody wins, except the would-be French. =)

Re:Obscure reference (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774434)

I suppose before I get modded down as Flameworthy or Trollish, that I actually support the French view on American imperialism.

Mod this one down as Flamebait, and mod the other one up as funny, please. Karmic balance, pun intended.

Re:Obscure reference (1)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774466)

Mod this one down as Flamebait, and mod the other one up as funny, please. Karmic balance, pun intended

In order for someone to mod up your previous post as funny, it would actually have to be funny.

Re:Obscure reference (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774507)

Shhhhh...you're going to ruin my scam!

This is relying on the obsolete Tokamak design... (5, Informative)

ikewillis (586793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774408)

which uses enormous power hungry electromagnets to compress hydrogen to the point at which it fuses. Unfortunately, this means that even if it is actually capable of producing more power than it consumes (like they claim on the web site) it will be monumentally inefficient compared to more modern fusion reactor designs, like the zMachine [sandia.gov]

Re:This is relying on the obsolete Tokamak design. (4, Informative)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774491)

excuse me but why is this modded +5 informative? The Z-machine is no more modern than 10 years more modern than the tokamak and it sure as hell isn't efficient (in terms of fusion production) by any means. It's barely producing a million neutrons in its implosions; billions of times less than the energy input into the implosion.

Argh, stupid Liberal government (2, Interesting)

Phantasmo (586700) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774422)

Our crappy Liberal party decided that we didn't deserve the fusion reactor and dropped Canada out of the race. It's too bad because we were thought to have a pretty good site lined up.

They talked about it in a recent Quirks and Quarks [radio.cbc.ca] episode (available in Ogg Vorbis!) Really sad. :(

I've seen this movie... (4, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774424)

Ive seen this one... Japan gets it. They gain ulimited energy, use it to fuel their great cities, only to have their robotic servants rise up and enslave them, all the while unleashing a great evil upon the world, that only a perky, well-drawn, female scientist and a guy with pointy hair can stop... meanwhile the villain is secretly planning to use the mega energy device as a weapon to destroy the world... Then Godzilla comes from the Island of Monsters and smushes everything... and we turn them away thanks to the loveable japanese children who sing to Gamera and those two twins that dance for Mothra... and umm... um... and just when Ultron's energy is about to give up, Skippy says, "Ultron I believe in you!" Then half the characters die in a horrible holocaust, while one or two tokens who might've drawn close together to each other in the conflict end up going away to pursue profitable careers in archeaology...

Sure... (1)

Stalyn (662) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774425)

holds promise for future unlimited, clean energy

the same promise that politicians will stop lying, no more taxes, bosses wont be incompetent jerks, women will make sense and life will stop hurting?

god i love the holidays.

What's the french for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774428)

"holy shit run away we're all going to die in a blazing inferno of our own incomptence"

If it's in France, then France and southern England will be depopulated; and it leaves portions of Germany and Spain unhabitable aswell. Where's the problem there?

What's wrong with the US (-1)

splinterBR (452234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774429)

Not to be arrogant, but we're the greatest nation on earth. Build it here. :)

Hot fusion is not "clean" nuclear power. (4, Interesting)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774431)

I worked at the General Atomic D3D facility in San Diego, the 1980s. The biggest limitation on the rate at which they could explore the experimental parameter space was the number of neutrons that the machine would create. The ultimate end of all modern tokamaks is to be turned into low-level radioactive waste when the machine itself becomes activated by the free neutrons liberated by the fusion process.

The more conventional gamma rays, alpha radiation (helium nucleii), and beta rays (fast moving electrons) are dangerous enough but at least they aren't infectious: you can irradiate food with gamma rays and it doesn't turn radioactive. Neutrons get absorbed by nearby nuclei, which then themselves become unstable and radioactive. Ick.

That's not to say we shouldn't explore nuclear fusion as a power source -- just that it is not the perfectly clean energy source that it is often made out to be.

If the reactor was placed in France... (-1, Flamebait)

CodeGorilla (691535) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774441)

we'd have to call them the "cheese-eating, fusion-reactor-running, surrender monkeys" and that just doesn't roll off the tongue quite right. Let's stick with calling them the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and put the reactor on Japanese soil.

BTW, I think real estate around Chernobyl is pretty cheap, we could always put the reactor there....

us is wrong (-1, Troll)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774444)

i think the site should be in france. I mean, if there were an "accident" no one would really care either. All in all i think it is a win-win situation. works= we get energy. explodes= french die.

because of the war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774445)

Oh come ON. Grow the fuck up already. This reactor and the science behind it are a different thing separate from any political differences.

Energy conservation ????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774448)

Can someone explain on how does thermodynamics
explain the energy gain in a fusion reaction?
The same law that is always quoted in
cold fusion or other renewable energy discussions.

Shouldn't we build it AWAY from cities? (0)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774450)

Both Japan and France have a ton of cities... shouldn't the reactor be in some really remote location, like either a desert, or up in Alaska? The world's biggest fusion reactor has the potential to cause the world's biggest reactor disaster... so it should probably be far away from everything. Of course, let's not all forget that it will still only be a fraction of the size of THE SUN, which is already a working fusion reactor, spewing a virtually infinite amount of energy at us all the time. We should just make giant solar cells everywhere, and be done with it.

Ah, Politics (4, Insightful)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774451)

Who in the US administration actually stated that the US opposed a French site because of their opposition to the war in Iraq? What does this have to do with Iraq!? Wouldn't France be the obvious choice? The French have the most experience, e.g. keeping a whole country full of fission reactors humming along.

one thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774453)

I'm waiting for his the microwave power beaming from outerspace.

Waaaah! Scotty thats that, that *melts*

All your base belong to US (4, Interesting)

photonic (584757) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774459)

From the article:
The Japanese site of Rokkasho-mura has the advantages of proximity to a port, a ground of solid bedrock and a nearby US military base.

Why is that relevant? What are they going to do, recharge their battery powered Humvees?

Five years away? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774460)

I thought fusion was always ten years away, not five years away.

Earthquakes (2, Interesting)

psifishdot (699920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774478)

I had thought that the international community was hesitant to build ITER in Japan because of earthquakes. But, I found this article [jaeri.go.jp] that seems to say that earquakes will not be a problem for this cite, for anyone who is interested.

NIMBY, all over again? (1)

blankmange (571591) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774483)

Hell yes -- put it right here. There plenty of open space right across the street. There used to be a Wal-Mart there, but they left and the building is just empty...

Wait a minute, what the hell am I saying???

Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774485)

Fuck America.
Fuck Bush.
Oh hell, fuck everyone.

"Unlimited"??? Oh, come on... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774486)

Don't exaggerate.

They said _ALMOST_ limitless.

Get it right next time.

Let me get this straight. (3, Funny)

Daikiki (227620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774498)

The Americans are against building a huge, experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France because they don't like the French? I'd demand it be built smack dab in the middle of Paris. What could possibly go wrong?

Not in the U.S... (1)

morelife (213920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7774504)

Little wonder there's no talk of having the site in the U.S. -- if the international community were to look at the current condition here for nuclear reactor safety and security, and the stance on public disclosure in this regard -- heck, the U.S. shouldn't even be part of the proceedings. Especially after the French Fry ban in the Rayburn Building Cafeteria.

Why not New Zealand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7774508)

Why not New Zealand?
They are far away from everything. An accident there wouldn't kill too many people (relatively).
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