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Helium-3 Fusion Matt Treske 3/19/2012.

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1 Helium-3 Fusion Matt Treske 3/19/2012

2 Why is it important to look into nuclear fusion?
From 1980 to 2007, total world energy demand grew by 66% By 2030 it is projected to grow another 40% (1.5%/yr) Over 70% of demand by developing countries – Mainly China and India

3 Why is it important to look into nuclear fusion?
From 1980 to 2007, total world energy demand grew by 66% By 2030 it is projected to grow another 40% (1.5%/yr) Over 70% of demand by developing countries – Mainly China and India

4 Breakdown of Sources

5 Potential Solutions Renewable Energy
More responsible use of fossil fuels Nuclear Energy

6 Can these fears be alleviated?
Public Concerns about Nuclear Energy Radioactive releases Radioactive reaction products Proliferation of weapons-grade material Can these fears be alleviated?

7 What is Nuclear Fusion? Process by which two or more atomic nuclei are joined together to form a single, heavier nucleus Fusion of nuclei with masses lower than iron will generally release energy

8 Nuclear Binding Energy Curve

9 Binding Energy The difference between the mass of an atom and the sum of the masses of its protons, neutrons, and electrons is called the mass defect. The mass defect of an atom reflects the stability of the nucleus. It is equal to the energy released when the nucleus is formed from its protons and neutrons. The mass defect is therefore also known as the binding energy of the nucleus. The binding energy of a nuclide can be calculated from its mass defect with Einstein's equation that relates mass and energy.

10 Binding Energy Example: Helium Atom
Masses of Subatomic Particles Proton = amu Neutron = amu Electron = amu Predicated Mass of Helium 2 (protons) * amu = amu 2 (neutrons) * amu = amu 2 (electrons) * amu = amu Total Predicted Mass = amu

11 Binding Energy Example: Helium Atom
2 (protons) * amu = amu 2 (neutrons) * amu = amu 2 (electrons) * amu = amu Total Predicted Mass = amu Predicted Mass = amu Observed Mass = amu Mass Deficit = amu

12 Binding Energy in 1 kg of Helium atom
Binding Energy Example: Helium Atom Mass Deficit = amu = E-29 E = mc2 = ( E ) * ( E )2 = E-12 E = E = = 2.730E12 Binding Energy in 1 kg of Helium atom

13 Energy Density Comparison
Binding Energy of Helium = 6.821E14 28.3 Energy released by 235U fission = 1.921E12 Energy released from burning of gasoline = 4.72E7 Energy released from burning of coal = 3.1E7

14 How to perform fusion Need to force two nucleons to combine and create a new nuclei - Process known as Nucleosynthesis Takes immense energy to force nuclei to fuse – the positive charges of nuclei repel one another At thermonuclear temperatures, they can overcome electrostatic repulsion and get close enough for the attractive nuclear force to achieve fusion Result is an exothermic process with a very high energy barrier

15 Temperatures Necessary for Fusion
Deuterium-Deuterium fusion: 40E7 K Deuterium-Tritium fusion: 4.5E7 K Interior of the Sun: 1.5E7 K

16 How do we reproduce those conditions here on earth?
Reactor Types Magnetic Confinement - Tokamaks Laser Inertial Confinement Inertial Electrostatic Confinement

17 Tokamak – Magnetic Confinement
Confines plasma (ions and electrons) in the shape of a torus with magnetic fields Initial temperatures achieved through ohmic heating (resistive) Most mature method

18 ITER – International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
Experimental tokamak reactor intended to produce 500 MW electricity (50 MW input) for 50 minutes. Located in Cadarache, France First plasma expected ~2019 Funded by: EU India Russia China South Korea Japan United States

19 Inertial Electrostatic Confinement
Accelerates fusion material radially inward by applying a voltage difference between the grids Very simple design Can accelerate ions to high voltages with relative ease making it preferable for higher energy barrier reactions Has yet to produce anywhere near a breakeven point

20 Fusion Materials Deuterium (2H or 2D) One proton and one neutron
Stable isotope Abundant– 2D obtained from heavy and semi-heavy seawater Tritium (3H or 3T) One proton and two neutrons Radioactive isotope (12yr half-life) Rare on earth – US has about 75kg (2005) Helium-3 (3He) Two protons and one neutrons Extremely rare on earth

21 Fusion Reactions – 3 Eras
1st Generation: D-T Fusion 4He MeV 3T 2D n MeV

22 Fusion Reactions – 3 Eras
2nd Generation: D-3He Fusion 3He 4He MeV 2D p MeV

23 Fusion Reactions – 3 Eras
3rd Generation: 3He-3He Fusion 4He 3He Total 12.9MeV 3He 2 protons

24 Nuclear Energy Conversion Efficiencies
From NEEP533 Lecture 25 Fall 2001

25 Advantages/Disadvantages of First Generation Reaction
4He MeV 3T Can be run at lower temperatures Deuterium is common 2D n MeV High energy neutrons can damage reactor walls and create radioactive material High number of neutrons created Relatively low electrical efficiency

26 Advantages/Disadvantages of Second Generation Reaction
4He MeV 3He High electrical efficiencies (70%) Low radiological hazard and nuclear waste 2D p MeV Requires Helium-3 Higher operating temperature Side reactions create radioactive waste

27 Advantages/Disadvantages of Third Generation Reaction
4He 3He High electrical efficiencies (70%) No radiological hazard or nuclear waste Total 12.9MeV 3He 2 protons Requires Helium-3 Very high operating temperature

28 Research at UW-Madison
Fusion Technology Institute Two reactors in the lower floor of ERB IEC helium-3 fusion research First identified the existence of large amounts of obtainable 3He fusion fuel

29 Where is Helium-3 Found? Helium-3 is a non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron Primordial nuclide that escapes earth’s crust in extremely low concentration Product of Tritium decay (12yr half-life) If you knew how much 3He someone had, you knew how much tritium and how many nuclear weapons they had Remnants of nuclear weapons testing of the 1960s


31 γ-ray 3He

32 Video: http://videos. howstuffworks

33 Lunar Surface Regolith
Loose layer material covering the moon’s surface Result of billions of years of meteoroid impacts Estimated 4-5m thick in mare area (10-15m in highland) Concentration of helium-3 ~ 10 ppb as opposed to earth (5ppt)

34 There is 10 times more energy in the Helium-3 on the moon than in all the economically recoverable coal, oil, and natural gas on earth. 40 tonnes of 3He would have provided all of the electricity consumed in the US in Kulcinski 2004 Based on existing energy consumption, about 100 tonnes of helium 3 could potentially power the Earth for a year Discovery 2009 Can we mine it?

35 UW-Madison ideas for harvesting lunar 3He
Helium-3 evolves from regolith at around ~700°C Mark II miner

36 Applications of volatile by-products from lunar mining
Fuel Cells – H2 and O2 Life Support – N2 O2 H2O and CO2 Propulsion – H2 O2 and 4He

37 The United States Manned space program ended by current administration
Had intention of astronauts back to the moon by 2020 New focus on unmanned space programs ”I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth.  In order to do that we’re actually going to need some technological breakthroughs that we don’t have yet.”  Barack Obama, 2010 “Manned space flight is a spectator sport, having about the same relation to science that intercollegiate football has to education.” Steven Weinberg, 2010 [Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979]

38 “We are planning to build a permanent base on the moon by 2015 and 2020 we can being industrial-scale delivery… of the rare isotope helium-3” - Nikolai Sevasyanov, 2006 [head Energia space corporation] “China will make a manned moon landing around We will provide the most reliable report on 3He to mankind” -Ouyang Ziyuan, 2005 [head Chinese Lunar Exploration Program] "Helium-3 can be used in fusion reactors to meet the energy needs of the world in future. India will definitely have a claim over Helium-3 by virtue of Chandrayaan-1 mission“ - Prof G Yellaih, 2008 [Senior astronomer]

39 Future of Nuclear Fusion
Develop fusion technology to become net positive in energy return Eliminate one of the greatest barriers to public acceptance of nuclear power—the concern for radioactive waste, release, and proliferation of weapons grade material Space propulsion Hydrogen production

40 50 year comparison (well, 60)

41 Sources Fusion material properties: Allen Jiang, Allen_-_Moon_Fueled_Nuclear_Fusion.pptx PhD Student | King’s College London | Robotics Tritium Material Properties: Argonne National Laboratory, EVS China Helium-3: USA Helium-3: DiscoveryNews India Helium-3: Syed Akbar Journalist Design of a Lunar Volatiles Miner: UW FTI – NEEP 533 Lecture 14 Spring 2004 Fusion Fuel Cycles: Ben Harack, Vision of Earth Significance of Helium-3 Fusion: UW FTI – NEEP 533 Lecture 26 Spring 2004 Fly Me to the Moon: Timothy Birdnow, Canada Free Press Harvesting Helium-3 From the Moon: Nikolaos K. Kazantzis, WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE Race to the Moon for Nuclear Fuel: John Lasker, Wired Helium-3 Fusion: Danny Zaterman

42 Image Sources Net Energy Production Image OECD member states: World Energy Consumption by region: Energy Sources Pie Chart: Binding Energy Chart: Nuclear and Wind Intro Image: Fusion Basic Cartoon Image: Helium Atom Gold Image: Tokamak Cartoon: Inside Tokamak: ITER reactor: Simple IEC: Glow Mode IEC: Risk board game: Risk 2210: Solar System: Radioactive Barrel: Earth-Moon: Blue map background: Half Sun Image: Grey ITER reactor: Future ITER facilities: Lunar surface w/ earth in background: Astronauts Lounging: Lunar Hoist: Large red miner: Astronauts at Crater: Mark II Miner: Busy Mining: SR-71: Wright Brother’s First Flight: Earth/moon background: Inner Fusion: Tokamak thumbnail: EHall statue: Man on moon: Crescent Moon: %20waning%20crescent%20Moon%20l.jpg Moon movie image:

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