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Helium-3 Fusion Matt Treske 3/19/2012. Why is it important to look into nuclear fusion? -From 1980 to 2007, total world energy demand grew by 66% -By.

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Presentation on theme: "Helium-3 Fusion Matt Treske 3/19/2012. Why is it important to look into nuclear fusion? -From 1980 to 2007, total world energy demand grew by 66% -By."— Presentation transcript:

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 -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 Why is it important to look into nuclear fusion?

4 Breakdown of Sources

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

6 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 binding energy of a nuclide can be calculated from its mass defect with Einstein's equation that relates mass and energy. 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.

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

12 Mass Deficit = amu = E -29 E = mc 2 = ( E -29 ) * ( E 8 ) 2 = E -12 E = E -12 = 28.3 = E 12 Binding Energy in 1 kg of Helium atom Binding Energy Example: Helium Atom

13 Energy Density Comparison Binding Energy of Helium = E 14 Energy released by 235 U fission = E 12 Energy released from burning of gasoline = 4.72 E 7 Energy released from burning of coal = 3.1 E

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: 40 E 7 K Deuterium-Tritium fusion: 4.5 E 7 K Interior of the Sun: 1.5 E 7 K

16 Reactor Types How do we reproduce those conditions here on earth? 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 ( 2 H or 2 D) -One proton and one neutron -Stable isotope -Abundant– 2 D obtained from heavy and semi-heavy seawater Tritium ( 3 H or 3 T) -One proton and two neutrons -Radioactive isotope (12yr half-life) -Rare on earth – US has about 75kg (2005) Helium-3 ( 3 He) -Two protons and one neutrons -Stable isotope -Extremely rare on earth

21 Fusion Reactions – 3 Eras 1 st Generation: D-T Fusion 2D2D 3T3T n MeV 4 He MeV

22 2D2D 3 He 4 He MeV p MeV 2 nd Generation: D- 3 He Fusion Fusion Reactions – 3 Eras

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

24 Nuclear Energy Conversion Efficiencies From NEEP533 Lecture 25 Fall 2001

25 Advantages/Disadvantages of First Generation Reaction High energy neutrons can damage reactor walls and create radioactive material High number of neutrons created Relatively low electrical efficiency Can be run at lower temperatures Deuterium is common 2D2D 3T3T n MeV 4 He MeV

26 Requires Helium-3 Higher operating temperature Side reactions create radioactive waste High electrical efficiencies (70%) Low radiological hazard and nuclear waste 2D2D 3 He 4 He MeV p MeV Advantages/Disadvantages of Second Generation Reaction

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

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 3 He 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 3 He 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 3 He

32 Video: helium-3-fusion-video.htm helium-3-fusion-video.htm

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. Can we mine it? 40 tonnes of 3 He 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

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

36 Applications of volatile by-products from lunar mining Fuel Cells – H 2 and O 2 Life Support – N 2 O 2 H 2 O and CO 2 Propulsion – H 2 O 2 and 4 He

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 “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] ”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

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 3 He 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) Questions?

41 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: 2006/assignments/helium3_fusion.pdf seminar-fusion-and-plasma-physics-spring- 2006/assignments/helium3_fusion.pdf Danny Zaterman Sources

42 Net Energy Production Image Annual_electricity_net_generation_in_the_world.svg.png Annual_electricity_net_generation_in_the_world.svg.png 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 %20waning%20crescent%20Moon%20l.jpg Moon movie image: Image Sources

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