About nuclear power, fission (uranium and plutonium) produces highly radioactive wastes that will need to be watched for hundreds of thousands of years. There is the danger of terrorism and fickleness of fuel costs (jumped by a factor of ten from 2004 to 2008):
When I worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the 70's on laser fusion, it became clear to me that no one had the faintest idea what laser would be used and how long it would take for success. The National Ignition Facility has had a rollercoaster of a ride, from nearly giving up two years ago to last year suggesting that, perhaps, progress is being made. I would bet that laser fusion will get to break-even (producing as much as, and hopefully a lot more, than the energy inputted) before any Tokamak (ITER--that donut--to come).
- the cost has tripled to $20 billion
- experiments will be pushed back from 2016 to 2020, maybe even 2023, and if the delay is to 2025, the project will never survive...and that is just the first experiment having nothing to do with breakeven
- the U.S. Senate proposed a budget to pull out of ITER, even though we really cannot until 2017 or later
- it is difficult to coordinate seven countries separately building pieces of the puzzle, Japan suffered a major setback because of Fukushima and the political turmoil with Russia is hurting the effort
- Their concept is heavy ion fusion (HIF).
- The research was essentially completed in the 1970's
- Will fuse deuterium and tritium.
- Will be driven by known accelerator technology.
- The expectation is a delivered cost of less than 3 cents/kWh.
- Capital cost for a gigajoule system will be around $50 billion, and he shifted gears on me, but 1 gj/hour is equal to 3.6 MW (megawatts).
- Output products will be hydrogen, synthetic fuels and water.
- Only available in California (and that's because Southern California has hydrogen filling stations).
- Sticker price of $57,500, but with incentives from the state of $13,000, the cost will be $45,000. However, somebody needs to learn subtraction.
- There is some rumor that the fuel will be FREE!!!
Rinaldo Brutoco has his Hydrogen Clipper, promising to travel at 350 MPH (all dirigibles today move at much lower than 100 MPH), making a day trip from the West Coast to Honolulu possible. However, airships, like travel to Mars, remain mostly a vision. While I am a member of Rinaldo's World Business Academy, and am rooting for him, others are also entering the picture, for the Aeroscraft (266 feet long) of a San Diego company has taken flight: