Blake Shaw

First Presentation

Questions from the first presentation

  1. What keeps the magnets from melting?
  2. What prevents us from making tokamaks work? How much money is spent on MCF research? Would more money hasten the arrival of fusion power?
  3. How many places are working on MCF? Do they cooperate?
  4. How are the walls of the tokamak protected from the intense neutron flux? Does this flux prevent the construction of practical energy-generating devices?
  5. If ITER is not aiming to answer the questions and solve the problems to allow us to construct useful fusion reactors, what is it supposed to accomplish?
  6. How strong are the magnetic fields used in tokamaks?
  7. Is MCF dangerous? Could the plasma explode? Could radiation leak to the environment?
  8. What is the most optimistic estimate for economical energy production?
  9. How is energy added to the plasma?
  10. Why is the density requirement for MCF so much lower than ICF?
  11. What is the Lawson criterion?

Some further questions

  1. How does radio-frequency heating work? How does neutral beam injection heating work?
  2. What are the materials science challenges associated with ITER and MCF?
  3. Would fusion research proceed more rapidly with more funding?
  4. What are the primary differences between ITER and previous tokamaks?
  5. What is the density-temperature product for the interior of the Sun?
  6. In an eventual MCF power plant, how would neutrons be captured? How would adequate tritium be produced?
  7. The neutron flux from a working MCF power plant would cause surrounding material to become radioactive. How would this problem be addressed? Is the problem in fission reactors fundamentally the same or different?

~Peter Saeta 2010 March 10 at 10:28 PM PST

Magnetic Confined Fusion

  • What types of magnetized fusion are there?
  • What is Magnetized Confinement Fusion (MCF)?
    • How is this being pursued?
    • How was it pursued in the past?
    • What are the costs/resources involved?
    • In reality what is a good timescale for this as a viable significant (25% of total?) source of energy?
  • What is Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF)?
    • Same sub-questions
  • Possible sources:
    • "The Basis of Magnetized Target Fusion-A Fusion Primer" By Lindemuth and Siemon
    • Fusion edited by Teller
    • Fusion Energy by Gross
    • "Proposed Generation and Compression of a Target Plasma for MTF" by Kirkpatrick


  • How much (both as a percentage of the total and a specific value) energy goes to aviation?
    • How much is military and how much is commercial/private?
  • How much does the aviation industry cost?
  • How much is it worth?
  • What are some conservation methods that can be employed?
  • What are some energy alternatives to standard jet fuel (Jet-A, JP-8, etc)?