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Fusion Ignition announcement

Some quick notes on the "Fusion Ignition" announcement.

As defined elsewhere (wikipedia) ignition is:

E_fusion_output > E_fusion_input

E_power_plant is the energy at the input of the facility.

According to the news report there was a gain of 3.15/2.05=1.54.

But E_power_plant_input is not the same as E_fusion_input:

laser input: ~300MJ
laser output: 2.05MJ
fusion output: 3.15MJ

To breakeven we will have to increase gain by a factor of 300/3.15=95.

A typical large power plan produced ~350MW. In a 24hr period it can produce 350*60*60*24=30.24TJ. In order for this technology to be considered a replacement it would have to generate at least this much energy, an increase of 9.6 MILLION times. This would not need to be generated via gain. You could consider a multitude of solutions to increase output. For example:

- parallelization: 8x
- #pellets/day: 240x
- larger pellets: 25x
- gain: 200x
total: 9,600,000

This does not include energy required to produce the fuel and also neglects to include how the power plant input energy got there.

Fusion plants are interesting in that they require two power plant inputs making sustainability and calculation more interesting.

This also ignores the transfer of that energy out of the plant and onto the grid, a process that could be anywhere from 10% to 90%. However this is a shared problem that all power plants have.

This also conflates energy breakeven with cost breakeven. Even if this plant could be produced it is unknown how much it will cost to build the plant, produce fuel, operate and maintain the facility.

https://www.llnl.gov/news/national-ignition-facility-achieves-fusion-ign...

https://astronomy.com/news/2022/12/why-fusion-ignition-is-being-hailed-a...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_ignition

https://ourworldindata.org/scale-for-electricity

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