Saturday, December 04, 2004

An engaging letter on nuclear fusion

Jerry Pournelle's site this week features a letter from Ken Burnside who has some cogent and readable things to say about nuclear fusion power generation. A sample:
The same Luddites who screech about fission power plants will screech about D-T (Deuterium - Tritium; heavy hydrogen) fusion plants...and will have fairly reasonable cause to, to be honest. They will be more expensive to build, and for the lifetime of the plant, will probably produce more radioactive waste per unit of energy released to the grid. This is, in the words of some of the fusion researchers I've talked to, one of the reasons why they're "in a funk". Even if they can make a D-T reactor produce economically viable and significant amounts of power, the environmental regulations will probably keep one from being built for commercial development.
Pournelle's site is full of intelligent commentary on space technology, nuclear power, computers, and politics. Do give it a try.

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