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The impact of fusion power

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:28 am
by Graham Kennedy
Lots of interesting points here that had never occurred to me. Could fusion power bring us an age of abundance?



It's interesting, because I have said myself more than once that "almost every problem we face boils down to a lack of energy, and could be solved if we could just throw enough energy at it."

But a lot of the factors he brings up are things I never would have thought of myself. Like... fusion power means unlimited gasoline. Unlimited plastics. Unlimited fertiliser. Unlimited water.

Those last two alone would potentially end famine on this planet forever, almost regardless of the population. Not to mention reshaping a good deal of the planet's politics.

Re: The impact of fusion power

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:43 pm
by stitch626
Almost makes the Federation existing without money plausible. If all the basic needs (and some basic wants) can be 100% covered, then fusion would bring us such an age.

If we didn't find a new way to kill ourselves first...

Re: The impact of fusion power

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:10 pm
by mwhittington
stitch626 wrote:Almost makes the Federation existing without money plausible. If all the basic needs (and some basic wants) can be 100% covered, then fusion would bring us such an age.

If we didn't find a new way to kill ourselves first...

Oh, I'm sure once fusion is feasible someone will weaponize it somehow. As I once read in a book, "technology itself is neutral, it's people who determine whether or not it has a military application".

Re: The impact of fusion power

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:17 pm
by Graham Kennedy
mwhittington wrote:
stitch626 wrote:Almost makes the Federation existing without money plausible. If all the basic needs (and some basic wants) can be 100% covered, then fusion would bring us such an age.

If we didn't find a new way to kill ourselves first...

Oh, I'm sure once fusion is feasible someone will weaponize it somehow. As I once read in a book, "technology itself is neutral, it's people who determine whether or not it has a military application".

It already has been; it happened in 1952 when Ivy Mike detonated.

But a fusion power station is difficult to weaponise. That's one of the great things about it, actually; if you give a country fission power and they industry to support it, then you have also given them about 90% of the technology and industry they need to create nuclear weapons. It's why everyone is freaking out over Iran's nuclear program, because although there's no evidence that they want or are trying to build a bomb, they're certainly developing industry that would let them do so if they ever wanted to. Same with Japan, who could probably run a bomb off in a few months if they wanted to.

But there's nothing about fusion power that has any unique weapon application. The only way it contributes to the military is the same way it contributes to everything else - by making inordinate amounts of electrical power available.