Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Critics

Critics are a very valuable resource if the criticism is based on reason. All designs should be thoroughly reviewed by their harshest reasonable critic. You get better designs that way. Or you kill bad investments before they get too big.

I have to say that right now just from an engineering perspective (assuming the physics works) the challenges of building a 100 MWth BFR are daunting. Not all of them have answers at this time.

2 comments:

Brock said...

MSimon, for the non-engineers in the room, is there a summary of what the challenges are and discussion on which are "doable but hard" or "unknown if doable at all."?

M. Simon said...

The "first wall" problem is the hardest of the "we have very little idea" problems. A B11 coating has been tried for ITER. That would be ideal if it works. However, ITER is now looking into diamond coating. No mention of Boron these days.

Cooling the coils from alpha impingement is hard. But we do know where to start and we do have some tricks.

Some other lesser problems: design for compactness and energy extraction. Power converter designs. Control of reactant flows. Superconducting magnets. Integrated reactor controls. POPS enhancement.