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Kevin Jacobson

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Could you use controlled reactions in a thermonuclear core to produce electricity? Would it be worth the possible meltdown consequences?

Think of a hydrogen bomb. Many people know that intense gamma and x rays from a fission bomb inside the device compresses and heats a fission/fusion explosive. What if you could take a thermonuclear core and control its fission/fusion reactions to still produce large amounts of heat to create steam and drive a turbine without causing a nuclear explosion. Would having thin layers of lead between the layers of the core control the reactions, acting as a sort of control rod but still allowing a lot of heat to be produced without melting the reactor vessel? If this were to work, it could provide a lot of energy that didn't produce nearly as much waste as a normal fission reactor and it would run longer. Would it be worth the risk?

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    Jun 29 2012: Hi Kevin.

    I don't know much about the subject. But what you are proposing isn't what is happening right now with the nuclear plants? They produce energy. And the risk of them are really high, let's see what just happened in Japan, or Chernobyl for that matter.
    Trying to resolve one problem with the chance of creating a major one is a great risk, specially if we have another sources of power that doesn't represent a risk for human kind, and that can be easily used.
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      Jun 29 2012: My idea isn't the same. Modern reactors use uranium 235 and a neutron emitter to spark fission which, once the uranium is spent, leaves radioactive waste. My idea uses the thermonuclear device inside a hydrogen bomb which uses Lithium Dueteride as a fusion fuel and a little bit of uranium or Plutonium to help jump start fusion. This would be cleaner and, actually safer since layers are added to the core to act as control "rods". So, the nuclear reaction would be automatically controlled without electricity or human interference.

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