Could The Green New Deal Work?
LPPFusion gave a presentation, hosted by the Greater New York MENSA in May, 2019, explaining why reaching fusion is a precondition for a successful Green New Deal. The slides and videos are embedded below. Slides are also available for download (PPTX, 114,445KB).
Why Aneutronic Fusion Energy Is The Necessary Solution
Aneutronic fusion—fusion power using hydrogen-boron fuel, without neutrons or radioactive waste–if successfully developed, would be by far the “greenest”, most environmentally friendly and socially beneficial of any energy source on the horizon. It shares the advantages of other “green energy” sources, but it also has major benefits beyond any others. Most critically it will be far cheaper than existing energy sources, so will be able to replace them swiftly. See summary for Focus Fusion benefits.
LPPFusion’s Focus Fusion – fusion running on aneutronic fuels within a plasma focus device, is safe and environmentally sound. No neutrons are produced in the main reaction. No neutrons produced means no nuclear waste is produced either. Secondary reactions between helium and boron nuclei do produce a few neutrons—1/500th of the total energy—but these neutrons are too low-energy to produce radioactive waste within the machine structure. An electrode that had been in the machine for a month would have no radioactivity above background level. A short-lived radioactive isotope, carbon-11, is produced by another secondary reaction, but it decays so swiftly , dropping by 50% every 20 minutes, that 9 hours after a fusion generator is turned off, it could be safely opened and serviced by someone with no protective gear. Again no radioactivity above background level would exist. And of course, there are no greenhouse gases, with the only by-product being useful helium gas.
Seven million deaths per year from fossil fuel air pollution. Fossil fuel burning produces tiny particles that damage lungs and ozone.
Air pollution deaths per 1000 square km per year from particulates due to burning fossil fuel.
Coal is not clean: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/coalnotclean.asp
Fission reactors, popularly called “nuclear energy”, operate by allowing neutrons to split or “fission” nuclei of certain elements such as uranium, plutonium or thorium. The fission releases more neutrons to drive a “chain reaction”. Fission reactors have some inherent drawbacks. First, they are expensive—they must be relatively complex to run safely and they produce heat to run large and expensive steam turbines and generators, as fossil fuel plants do. Second, they are liable to serious accidents because they store years worth of fission fuel within the reactor, so an accident can cause the reaction of that fuel, sometimes producing a melt-down of the fuel and relapse of radioactivity to the environment. Third they produce radioactive waste—radioactive material whose radioactivity is at a high enough level to endanger human life and which lasts for many years.
In contrast, Focus Fusion stores very little fuel within the generator and only a tiny bit of that fuel is heated to the billion of degrees needed for fusion reactions in each pulse. A complex sequence of events is needed to generate the next pulse, so that an uncontrolled release of energy is simply impossible. If something happens to the generator, it just stops.