Green Genocide or Nuclear Power

 

Murdering the future of mankind

Rolf A. F. Witzsche


Lukipuk

The dividing line between 
the human (science)
and the subhuman (empire)
 the moral line 


Let's look at what takes us below the moral line 

 

What is Green?

Windmills and solar collectors have nothing to do with producing pollution-free renewable energy for a sustainable future. That's the cover story. The goal is to push mankind into an energy-lean world in which it has no future, powered by the most unreliable, the least efficient, the weakest, and the most expensive to build and operate,  energy resource, with which it lacks the power to survive. The color green thereby becomes synonymous with the color of the lawn of the graveyard. The very term "green energy" is an admission of defeat, the mark of a society being defeated by smallness. Nobody is thinking in terms of power anymore. It's like wishing for enough energy for one to make it through the day, rather than seeking power to create a new world. And so society collapses and dies in a New Dark Age, because the primitive energy is too weak for the current population to survive on. The survival of mankind depends on advanced modes of power, with a power flux density that is so great that mankind's food production can be put into indoor facilities when the cold of the coming ice age cycle begins anew and disables the global agriculture. And to get there, requires the greatest scientific, technological, economic, and cultural development that has ever been seen on this planet. In fact, without this development into a new and powerful renaissance, few of mankind will survive long enough to see the ice age coming, but will die in the poverty of an energy-starved world.

The key is nuclear power development on a vast scale, because no other power source is capable of the needed power flow that would enable us to rebuild our world from its collapsed state to what is minimally necessary to sustain human life, and then to build us up into a richly human world. Without nuclear power the world goes green and the graveyards win. It has evidently been recognized in Asia that it is necessary in the present timeframe to step away from the green of the graveyard and to make up for lost time when nuclear power was kept small and vilified. Thus, the move is on to create a nuclear renaissance in our time, starting with nuclear fission while developing fusion power.

Asia's Nuclear Renaissance - (special video)

Historically, human development could be observed as unfolding in states and stages that are strikingly similar to the four states that exist in the physical environment, where all matter in the physical Universe exists in four different states that are defined by different energy levels in a given environment.

Matter exists either in a solid state at low energy levels, or in a liquid state at a higher energy level, or as a gas when the heat goes up, or as a plasma in a super-high-temperature environment. Water, for instance, takes on a solid form as ice, at low energy levels, corresponding to a low temperature environment. However, when the energy level is increased, it becomes a liquid, until at still higher temperatures, or higher energy levels, water turns into steam and becomes a gas. But there is a fourth state of matter possible, which physicists call the plasma state.

The plasma state of matter is rare on Earth. It exists only at extremely high temperatures, like the temperatures that we find on the Sun, or exceeding them. At this super-high-energetic stage the shape of matter changes into yet another totally different state from all the others, with its own unique characteristics, called plasma state, in which the particles that make up the atoms become disconnected and become free-flowing. This can be artificially achieved at very high temperatures. It is a state in which the atoms of the elements of matter themselves 'vaporize' at it were. It is a state in which the atoms fall apart so that the electrons in atomic structure become so intensely excited, or intensely alive as it were, that they become disassociated from their specific atomic nucleus and become associated with the entire plasma 'soup.' If the temperature in the plasma becomes high enough the thereby 'exposed' nuclei begin to fuse together into larger structures. They 'melt' into each other. This typically happens with hydrogen at temperatures in the fifty-million-degree range. When the 'melting' takes place, that enables the fusing of two nuclei into one, a heavier element becomes born. But in the process of fusing, not all of the constituent building materials get used up. A tiny bit is left over, that then splits away at enormous speed in a super-energetic fashion. We can utilize the excessive constituents in the form of physical energy, to drive power-generating systems. That's how we 'harvest' vast quantities of energy from nuclear fusion.

None of that is new, of course, nor is it rare in the Universe. In fact 99.999% of all mass in the Universe is understood to exists in the plasma state. Not all of it is hot enough to allow fusion to occur, but some of it is. The plasma fusion process is happening on every sun in the Universe, in its outer layers. The plasma fusion state is only rare on Earth. It is rare here, because it is technologically extremely difficult for us to artificially create the energy levels that are needed to 'melt' atoms into the plasma state, such as generating temperatures in excess of a hundred million degrees. Of course, once we can do this, we face the added challenge to keep the high-energy plasma contained in a bottle that won't melt itself. Those are the kind of challenges that we face to be able to utilize nuclear fusion for nuclear power development. Towards solving these problems truly gargantuan efforts are already being made. The goal is to develop nuclear fusion power.

Why do we do this? Well, we do this for three reasons. The first reason is that we are human beings, and as human beings it is natural for us to develop the potential we have to create new resources for our existence on this planet. The second reason is that we need this power resource, because oil and coal are running out, and uranium-powered nuclear fission may not be efficient enough to replace coal and oil and meet the additional future needs of a growing world population. The third reason is that we require enormously increased power levels that are needed for a rapidly intensifying economic environment that we must have to redevelop the world into a livable place four seven billion people with enough food and resources, and beyond that to meet our needs in the coming Ice Age world.

With the Ice Age soon coming up, perhaps in a hundred years, according to the most common estimates in the scientific community, we need vast amounts of power to be able to shift much of the world's agricultural production into indoor facilities. Nuclear fusion power would enable us to do this. Fusion power is ideal, because it is extremely energy-intense. It is also extremely safe, pollution free, and virtually free of radioactive waste products. But most importantly, we have a near infinite fuel resource available to drive the fusion power process. Unlike coal, oil, or uranium, the fusion power resource cannot be exhausted within the life span of our planet. Fusion power therefore promises boundless life for mankind and a rich future, where the alternative is death. It literally stands as the pivot today on the life-death balance. We either prepare our world to enter the Ice Age, or in failing to do so, we would be killing our children.

The big question is, whether we can get nuclear fusion power ready in time. My perception is, that we can meet the challenge. In fact, the leading edge labs in America are pursuing two different technology-options simultaneously. Both options involve enormously large efforts, and I mean really big efforts, almost gargantuan. Let me give you an idea of the scale of the work that is already being done.

The presently leading technology is centered on magnetically confined plasma, for fusion. It has already been proven that it is possible to keep superheated plasma in magnetic confinement, in a torus type vacuum bottle, and to hold it there, and to heat it up further until fusion temperatures are reached. The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL) in the USA, has reached temperatures in excess of five hundred million degrees in its Tokomak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR), which is but one of its landmark achievments.  

The technological hurdles that mankind is facing in this arena are larger than any hurdles ever encountered in basic research. We are talking about the need for a seventy years research effort that takes three generations of scientists and engineers to carry through, before we can get anything back in expected benefits. Also the physical scale of the effort is huge. The Princeton Lab's Tokomak Fusion Test Reactor is not a little tabletop device that researchers play around with between coffee breaks. The TFTR is a machine the size of a five-story house that took a decade to built, and became obsolete in 1997 after fifteen years of its use. However, before it became obsolete, it demonstrated a ten-megawatt fusion burn (1994), thereby proving that mankind has a limitless energy-rich future to look forward to, with a possible intensity in humanist development, and economic development, that would render the coming Ice Age a non-event, whenever it happens.

Towards this end, a number of other leading edge research efforts were started. As new principles have been discovered for the magnetic containment of high-energy plasmas in vacuum environments, the building of the next generation experiment was begun, to test the physics of spherical plasma confinement. The National Spherical Torus Experiment was the outcome, named the NSTX, operational in 1999 at PPPL. It has to date contributed excellent progress in exploring the characteristics and effectiveness of the spherical configuration and in resolving scientific issues relevant for the international test reactor and future fusion devices. In order to build on the accomplishments a 5-year upgrade is in progress, that will likely be completed in 2013 if the funding is forthcoming ($170 million), which is presently in doubt.

 The NSTX machine is just as large in size as the TFTR machine. However, even the NSTX machine, including its upgrade, won't be sufficient to take us all the way to practical power development. Before we get there, more and new questions will need to be answered. In order to answer these questions still another large experiment has been started, on the drawing board, that is designed to explore the characteristics of a still different plasma shape that may be extremely valuable for compact reactors. The resulting project is named the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX). As a compact machine, the NCSX machine would still be a huge machine of course, as these things tend to be. It is expected to be several times as large as the size of a house. But in the age of the great financial collapse, universal looting, bank bailouts, and a accelerating collapse of the economy and the entire nation the NCSX project was canceled, and with it the future was put on hold. The project would have cost $107 million - a minuscule amount in comparison with bank bailout of $24-36 trillion so far, depending on what one counts. With the funding cuts, that might kill all of its projects, the future of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, which was once the leading research institution in the world, is now in doubt. It may suffer the same kind of fate that America's premier, and only, Fast Flux Test Facility, for advanced nuclear fission power research, and America's only medical isotope production facility, has suffered, which was decommissioned (May 2005) and was in the process effectively demolished. A national treasure of great value was thereby effectively destroyed. The replacement of the facility would cost in the neighborhood of $5 billion.

Korea has a better story to tell. It has an innovative approach in progress that will be utilizing superconductor magnets in its design, and other design advances, in order to eventually explore steady state operation. The advanced experience gained from the Korean KSTAR machine, called the Korean Superconductor Tokomak Advanced Research Project, added together with all the American discoveries and experiences, will eventually shape the even larger project, the International Tokomak Experimental Reactor project, named the ITER, meaning in Latin, 'the way.' 

Construction of the ITER is expected to begin in 2010. The platform for it has been built. When operational in the 2015 to 2020 timeframe it is expected to produce a 500-megawatt power output, at a ten-fold power gain. If the venture succeeds, it could be opening the door to a possible operational power plant in the 2050 timeframe.

A commercial demonstration power plant (DEMO) is presently envisioned to start producing two gigawatt of power in the 2040 timeframe, to be build on the experiences drawn from the ITER experiment, if all goes well and the funding continues.

All this adds up to a Herculean effort with some remarkable success stories attached. It illustrates to some degree the enormously large efforts that are required to enable us to face the coming Ice Age without being devastated by it. 

Also, there is more progress than this to report. As I stated earlier, the nuclear fusion power development project is carried forward on two different fronts simultaneously and with equal intensity and commitment of resources.

The second front-line research effort utilizes a totally different principle to cause nuclear fusion. This process is equally promising. The objective in this case is to compress a tiny pellet of fusion fuel so hyper-intensively that it heats up in the process to the required 50-100 million-degree temperature at which fusion begins to occur.

It has already been proven along this line that the super-high temperatures that are needed for fusion ignition can be obtained by means of thermal compression, utilizing intense laser beams as thermal drivers. In this field the USA was also leading the world, and may still be so. The research is well under way. It started out 'small' with the NOVA laser facility (1984-1999) of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California.

Actually the NOVA facility was huge in size. It operated ten giant 70cm laser beam lines that together delivered 16 trillion watts of energy, all focused onto a tiny target, smaller than a pea. The facility was housed in a giant building the size of a large factory. The target chamber alone, for the pea-sized experiment, is three stories high. However, the 16 trillions watts of energy turned out be not enough to achieve fusion. This means that the entire giant facility was nothing more than just a stepping stone towards the next stage, America's National Ignition Facility is 50 times more energetic and and twenty times larger in size. It is by far the most gigantic research facility in the world, for a single type of experiment. The facility is the size of a stadium. It gives researchers 196 super intense laser beams to work with. Construction was started in 1997 and completed in May 2009. Fusion experiments will be being in 2010.

The entire huge facility is built essentially for one single purpose, which is to focus up to 750 trillion watts of energy unto a single hollow capsule the size of a thumb, with a pea size fuel target inside. The intense laser-created heat will cause a compression wave inside the capsule that superheats the fuel target into a plasma and compacts it still further to create the condition for a fusion burn. A practical power generating plant based on this principle is theoretically possible. It would be powered by a continuing stream of laser ignited super-minuscule hydrogen bomb type explosions. A demonstration power plant might be operating as early as the 2030-2040 timeframe if the experiments succeed.

Does this sound like science fiction? We are talking about magnetic test reactors five times the size of a house, of which we may need half a dozen, or more; and other facilities the size of a stadium to ignite a single target the size of a pea. Well, that's not science fiction my friends. Those are the practical projects that our future depends on, not the windmills, which the windmills endanger with the insane thrust towards primitive energy resources for power-lean future. Fortunately, the windmills have not yet won. So for, the human spirit has succeeded in keeping the necessary projects for its future alive. Nevertheless, the projects are also being starved in many respects, as the funding for them is being whittled away and redirected to other uses, like making war, or helping the financial pirates to increase their profit levels. In pursuing this scaling back, in dragging its feet, society is truly embarked on a commitment to literally 'devour' its children's future and prepare a place for them in green of grave yards.

I am presenting all this in order to give you an idea of the enormous commitment that is required to harvest the boundless energy resources that are available with nuclear fusion, and how much the future existence of mankind will depend on its development. With this consideration in mind, we may want to seriously ask the question at what point the required effort will become too great for society to bare it.

This question must never be asked. It must be deemed an invalid question, because to ask at what point the required effort to assure the continuity of civilization, and mankind as a whole, will be too great for society to bare, we have lost the will to survive. Therefore, can such an effort ever be too great, no matter how large, when the future existence of mankind hangs in the balance?

The greatest challenge that mankind has ever faced in its entire history lies now before us. We need to be facing this challenge today, and not aim to avoid it. The challenge is to create an energy-rich high-intensity humanist world that enables mankind to protect its agriculture in indoor facilities in the near future age when the return of the Ice Age reduces the global average temperatures by as much as twenty degrees. This future may only be a hundred years distant. I am also talking about our future in terms that affect us immediately, and that of our children. If we were to choose to drift into the Ice Age unprepared, as many rulers would have us do, our immediate world would collapse into a New Dark Age long before the Ice Age came even near. In the current imperial environment, our future presence on this planet might be reduced in numbers by 90%, and this would hit us even before the Ice Age begins, so great are the present problems that we face. In addition, once the Ice Age does begin the northern countries would all loose their agriculture totally to glaciation, and eventually their territories too, while the rest of the world would experience large-scale crop failures.

Our entire world is presently geared to the warm environment that we had for the last 12,800 years. We simply don't know how far-reaching the impact of the global Ice Age cooling will be and how severely the change in weather pattern would affect the global food crops, if they remained unprotected. Nor can anyone forecast how many people might survive the food wars and the wars over living space that would likely erupt under present conditions, and how many of those who survive, would find themselves locked into an energy lean semi-starvation environment with a low-level civilization. That's not a world that most people would want to live in, especially with the world's oil resources having been used up by then, and nuclear fission power becoming too complex for them to be operated in a starvation torn world that is struggling to survive in primitive environments. In addition, a lot of the current natural resources would become increasingly inaccessible by glaciation. The bottom line is that mankind wouldn't have much of a future if it faced the Ice Age empty handed, and with empty hearts, as society presently aims to do.

In this sense we live in an ice age already, in a solid frozen humanist world ruled by the insanity of empire. That is where the greatest breakout will have to be achieved. The technological challenges, as huge as they are, are ultimately secondary to this one most fundamental challenge. When this challenge is met, and the horizon of science expands to encompass what is already known about the Universe and our solar system with it, mankind will scrap the notions of squeezing electric power out of sunlight in the form of solar panels, bio-fuels, and windmills, but will choose the far more-direct and more efficient path of simply tapping into the galactic flow of electric power that powers the Sun. 

When this happens, the term Absolute Power - Solar Power will take on a new meaning.

 


 


 


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