On Deuterium Fusion
Robert Swartz

 

The most practical source of inexhaustible energy is D-D-T fusion.

D-D-T fusion requires the abundant, non-radioactive isotope of hydrogen, deuterium,
which has one proton and one neutron in its nucleus.  Deuterium occurs in the seas
at a rate of 1 part in 6500 of hydrogen.  It can be transported to the fusion power
plant as heavy water (D2O).

 

Fusion power plants consist of a reactor and an AC generator.  The reactor is a
magnetic confinement torus known as a tokomak.  The tokomak confines deuterium
plasma at 400 million degrees kelvin in order to fuse deuterium as per the
following reactions:

(1)     D + D —> He3 + n + 3.27meV

(2)     D + D —> T + H + 4.03meV

The first reaction releases the non-radioactive isotope of helium, He3, whereas the
second reaction releases standard hydrogen.  The tritium reaction product in equation (2)
is reabsorbed by the plasma, and reacts with the deuterium as follows:

(3)     D + T —> He4 + n + 17.6meV

It is possible to regulate the reactions so that Eq.(2) occurs more often.  This is called
autoflux fusion.  The result is that Eq.(3) occurs more often, resulting in a significant
power upgrade.

 

The tokomak requires extensive computer controls in order to confine a deuterium plasma.
High-speed supercomputers are used here.  One of the reasons why D-D-T fusion wasn’t available
in the past was because these computers weren’t available.  These computers are petaflop
computers, meaning 10^15 calculations per second (quantum computers).  In order to reach the
Lawson criterion for D-D-T fusion, such computers are needed to model the deuterium plasma.