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Moon Power

If Climate Change Is a Problem Then Lunar Helium-3 Fueled Fusion Is the Solution (examiner.com) 267

MarkWhittington writes: With the Paris Climate Conference apparently ending in failure and experts such as Matt Ridley suggesting that, in any case, global warming is not a cause for immediate concern, the private sector is casting about to fund "green" energy solutions. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are starting a renewable energy research and development fund, for example. The Chicago Tribune pointed to a possible area of investment that Gates and Zuckerberg might look into if they would like to get out of the solar and wind box that many green energy enthusiasts find themselves in. The key to evolving from a fossil fuel energy economy, perhaps, is fusion energy powered by helium-3 from the moon.
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If Climate Change Is a Problem Then Lunar Helium-3 Fueled Fusion Is the Solution

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  • Lunatic (Score:5, Funny)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:15PM (#51053889) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like a lunatic's solution

    • That summary sounds like something you'd read in The Onion.

      • Re:Lunatic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @09:01PM (#51054439)

        That summary sounds like something you'd read in The Onion.

        That is where it belongs. Helium-3 is the dumbest, most impractical solution to our energy problems imaginable. Unicorn farts would be a more realistic power source. We don't actual have any helium-3, and even if we did, it is far harder to fuse, with far less energy out, than deuterium, and deuterium fusion still isn't anywhere near breakeven after 60 years of effort.

        • "Solar is the energy of the future, and always will be." And that was true in a very sad way for the last 30 years. But NOW solar and wind are actually happening. They are already more economical than the market replacement costs of coal and oil, and that's without including the externalized environmental costs of fossil fuels.

          So just at the moment when the joke is on fossil fuels for the first time ever, this joker suggest what? That we dump renewables for an unreachable and unproven fantasy? Yeah, th

        • ...deuterium fusion still isn't anywhere near breakeven after 60 years of effort.

          Define effort... in those 60 years, have we put as much "effort" into fusion development as we have in politically stabilizing the middle east in the last 12?

        • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @11:46PM (#51055005) Journal

          [the Onion is] where it belongs. Helium-3 is the dumbest, most impractical solution to our energy problems imaginable. Unicorn farts would be a more realistic power source. We don't actual have any helium-3, and even if we did, it is far harder to fuse, with far less energy out, than deuterium, and deuterium fusion still isn't anywhere near breakeven after 60 years of effort.

          If you're going for a harder-than-deuterium/tritium reaction as your one great hope, Helium 3 is not it.

          The logical candidate is p-B (Proton, i.e. light hydrogen, fusing with Boron 11). While it's even a bit harder to light than 2xHe3, and produces about 2/3 the power per reaction. But it's also aneutronic (i.e. 1% of the reactions produce a neutron - in this case about 0.2%). Nearly all of the fusion energy can be extracted as electricity - DC at several voltages in the vicinity of 2 kV - almost trivially, by decelerating and "catching" the reaction product alpha particles. The kicker, though, is that both H1 and B11 are common on Earth, so you don't have to import them from the moon.

        • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Friday December 04, 2015 @07:56AM (#51056059)

          That is where it belongs. Helium-3 is the dumbest, most impractical solution to our energy problems imaginable. Unicorn farts would be a more realistic power source. We don't actual have any helium-3, and even if we did, it is far harder to fuse, with far less energy out, than deuterium, and deuterium fusion still isn't anywhere near breakeven after 60 years of effort.

          Well said. Though you'll find yourself arguing with people who thought you said it's a dumb idea. It's a great idea --- good enough for practical old NASA to drop it into their distant-futurist visions of lunar colonies --- but a dumb solution for Earth right now, even directed research. There's an energy crisis happening down here.

          Lunar H3 mining along with the idea of solar energy collected in orbit are 'fails' in my book because both would place Earth society in the grip of the consortium that manages the infrastructure, and that infrastructure (though awesome) would become an absurdly simple single point of failure. These ideas lead directly to One World Government and it's probably not the one you want. Even if it works out it's lights out for mankind when the first Bad Thing, Who'da Thunk It happens.

          In order to ensure that nations can maintain their sovereignty, even to ensure there are nations at all, the fossil free energy solution we pursue should comprise power generated directly from elements that can be mined locally with a reasonable footprint, technology that can be manufactured and maintained locally. Mining is a 'given'. If you think wind and PV solar are mining-free solutions, you haven't looked into the process or run the numbers necessary to scale them. Wind and solar and the chemistry necessary for grid storage are environmental disasters waiting to happen.

          Grid electricity should become the universal medium of exchange and should be used for almost all ground transportation, and must be available in such abundance that we can use it to manufacture synthetic fuels for air and sea travel. Continental grids should consist of power plants pushing HVDC into regional 'loops' from which tuned HVAC is extracted from several points to power the legacy grids, which can then be separated into smaller islands than are currently used. Efficiently doing DC/AC conversion and the means to better switch and properly utilize HVDC should be a top research priority --- what ever the energy source.

          We are also approaching a time when the purification of ocean/waste water and its transport will become a top priority on a scale that exceeds any present oil and gas pipelines. Within fifty to a hundred years' time, additional terawatts of energy will be needed to bring fresh water into regions that are presently depleting water tables faster than they replenish. I'm not just talking tap water. Our food supply relies on massive irrigation [google.com]. If you think wind and solar could purify and move this much water, let alone power an industrial society, please think again.

          It's time to finish taming fire. Nuclear fission [slashdot.org] and specifically the two fluid molten salt reactor with active processing [slashdot.org] with it's "safe in 300 years" waste decay profile is the single best and most practical solution yet devised to produce energy on the scale necessary to survive and prosper.

          I'm not fond of these so-called "small scale micro-fission reactors" either, where conventional nuclear power manufacturers re trying to trump the safety issue (while aggravating the waste generation problem) by proposing a great many smaller light and heavy water reactors. Yes of course they want to sell one to every town, including yours. It's an absurd notion borne out of the an

    • Re:Lunatic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Megane ( 129182 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:56PM (#51054125) Homepage

      As long as we're nowhere near practical nuclear fusion, Helium 3 is indeed the domain of lunatics. (and yes, I see what you did there) Anyone who seriously suggests it be used as an energy source in any time scale less than 50 years from now is either completely clueless or batshit insane.

      3He isn't even a first-generation fusion fuel, so until we have any fusion at all, it's not worth spending a single penny on. Unless you want exceptionally light party balloons, I suppose.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "3He isn't even a first-generation fusion fuel, so until we have any fusion at all, it's not worth spending a single penny on. Unless you want exceptionally light party balloons, I suppose."
        Meh just use hydrogen, then light the birthday candles.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      Trust the man who built Facebook rather than learn how to socialize in person to be in agreement with a Rube Goldberg solution.

  • Oh, for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:18PM (#51053903)

    Well, golly, as long as we can discount the decades of research, engineering, and implementation that would be required to (a) establish a huge industrial presence on the Moon, (b) extract helium-3 in bulk from the lunar crust, (c) transport that He3 in bulk to Earth's surface, and (d) successfully fuse that He3 on an industrial scale to produce power, why don't we hedge our bets with giant space-constructed solar shades and thorough terraforming of Mars?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well, golly, as long as we can discount the decades of research, engineering, and implementation that would be required to (a) establish a huge industrial presence on the Moon, (b) extract helium-3 in bulk from the lunar crust, (c) transport that He3 in bulk to Earth's surface, and (d) successfully fuse that He3 on an industrial scale to produce power, why don't we hedge our bets with giant space-constructed solar shades and thorough terraforming of Mars?

      And if you accomplish all that, the flat-earth lobby will still hate you and keep filing baseless lawsuits against your projects. Instead, wait for the right point on the economic cycle where lack of jobs is seen by the public as a major issue, and then ram through a fleet of standardized latest-generation fission reactors. The hatred will be the same, but you will get usable carbon-free power a lot sooner.

    • by tsotha ( 720379 )
      Shades? What Mars needs is a giant mirror to concentrate sunlight. Shades is going in the wrong direction.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      If we get that far it makes a vast amount of sense to use that energy to do something on the moon.
      The gravity ignoring fantasy doesn't go far enough - if you are going to have delusions, they may as well be grand delusions. It's like seeing the solution to 19th century transport as being a cyborg horse with a motor instead of a better road+rail and things zooming about on wheels.
    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @08:31PM (#51054309) Journal

      Well, golly, as long as we can discount the decades of research, engineering, and implementation that would be required to (a) establish a huge industrial presence on the Moon, (b) extract helium-3 in bulk from the lunar crust, (c) transport that He3 in bulk to Earth's surface, and (d) successfully fuse that He3 on an industrial scale to produce power, why don't we hedge our bets with giant space-constructed solar shades and thorough terraforming of Mars?

      Plus, you think the Nazis on the moon are just gonna hand over all that moon helium?

    • Alsp, he's just a journalist, a winner of the Hayek prize. Gee, I wonder why he doesn't think it's a problem. Nice to put ideology before facts.
    • Or you do all that on the moon and beam it back via microwave accepting that the massive losses from using microwave transmission are still far better than the massive losses associated with moving mass.

      Moving mass requires lots of energy. Moving energy is free, it moves on its own, stopping it from moving is actually the problem.

      • Or you do all that on the moon and beam it back via microwave accepting that the massive losses from using microwave transmission are still far better than the massive losses associated with moving mass.

        That's gonna be one heck of a nuclear plant to outshine the Sun at 400,000 kilometers.

  • Moon (the movie) (Score:5, Informative)

    by DavidMZ ( 3411229 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:25PM (#51053945)
    It is the topic of the movie Moon [wikipedia.org], which I strongly recommend to all hard SF fans.
    • by glitch! ( 57276 )

      I liked "Moon", and for those others who also like that genre, I suggest "The Island", "The Thirteenth Floor", and "Dark City".

      • I don't understand why The Island is so hated. I thought it was a pretty good effort, especially for a Micheal Bay movie.

  • why couldn't we just use earth helium?

    • 1) the vast majority of earth helium is He4, which has some undesirable properties for fusion

      2) even if it was all He3, there's not a lot of helium. He is light enough that it simply floats away from the earth

    • by Jack9 ( 11421 )

      Helium on earth is rare (we have almost depleted our natural H2). H3 is not found on earth in abundant supply.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • Hum.. it's He ...
      • I used He3 in my lab (He4 also (refrigerators)). It cost a couple hundred $/liter.
        • by Jack9 ( 11421 )

          AFAIK, we extract/chemically produce a great deal of the Helium used.

        • Re:earth helium (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2015 @09:32PM (#51054541)

          I was paying ~$110/Liter STP in quantity a decade back; I got it from the Russkies. It's more expensive now, since they are running out of surplus Tritium.
          The thing is, it is vastly cheaper, by orders of magnitude, to simply make 3He here on Earth.
          First thing needed is an old Nuclear Reactor, and then a decent source of cheap Deuterium and 6Lithium. (~$18/gm for the Deuts from Chalk River, in the form of 2H2-18O. Pure 6Li is best, but Garden Variety will do- a few bucks a Kilogram.)
          Mix together, and start drawing off the Tritium. Let that start to decay, and draw off the 3He. The extraction is the easiest part.
          Half of the Tritium decays to 3He in toughly 12.3 years. Interesting things can be done with the accompanying Beta Decays in the meanwhile.

          Mining the Moon for 3He is the domain of Bad Science Fiction, and "Engineers" with a BS in BS. 3He is just about the most volatile Element that we know of; it simply doesn't hang around. The SS Cylinders that the Russkies sold us screamed Mass 3 under vacuum on the Residual Gas Analyzers. Even Implanted, straight 3He on the Moon doesn't hang around very long.
          We _know_ this. We did all sorts of Isotopic Analyses on returned Moon Rocks, including my favorite, a thin sintered disc probed for 136Xe.
          There was more Xenon than 3He, in terms of Parts Per Quadrillion. (Xenon freezes out in the Colder Lunar regions and adsorbs; 3He doesn't freeze out anywhere.)

          "In 1985, engineers from the University of Wisconsin discovered that lunar soil samples brought back to Earth by the Apollo missions contained unexpectedly high concentrations of it."
          "Unexpectedly high" meant barely measurable. They weren't expecting to see any at all. Now there can be reasons for this, and it involves the Chemistry of Helium.
          Normally, Helium has no Chemistry to speak of. A decade after the Wisconsin Experiments, it was discovered that Helium can form stable compounds in Ionic States. That is, Helium Hydride is ridiculously easy to manufacture as a +1 Ion in a thin Plasma, like those Plasmas found near the Sun. (I made some small contributions to this field.) If an Electron attaches, Helium Hydride dis-associates, but fairly slowly. In the conditions found in certain regions of the Moon, very slowly. It's all very Plasma Chemistry, and I wasn't involved in that aspect of it. I just found a way to make a lot, relatively, of the damn stuff, in what is known as an Electron Cyclotron Resonance Ion Source. (ECR-IS)

          Note that in the Sources for this all-too-familiar Timothy Jerk-Off, there is no mention of Gates or Zuckerberg and of their Mining the Moon for 3He, which is still a damn stupid idea.
          Timothy just felt that he had something Extra-Special to contribute yet again on a subject that he knows absolutely nothing about. Dammit Timmy!

          • And then a comment like this comes along, and makes me wish I had kept my mouth shut or posted anonymously, just for the privilege of modding it up. Interesting, Informative, Insightful, Underrated, take your pick...

      • what i would do is use electricity from fusion power plants to power facilities to make more He3... the supply is limitless once you have the electricity.

    • There isn't much Helium-3 on Earth. Most of it is Helium-4, produced through radioactive decay. Helium-3 is easy to fuse whereas Helium-4 is quite difficult.

      The moon has far more, collected from the solar wind over long periods of time. Still, not exactly tons, but enough that it might be worth going there to get it.

      • why would you think that the moon has a lot if the earth doesn't? on earth the helium rises to the top of the atmosphere then gets blown away. wouldn't that happen immediately on the moon as well?

    • Re:earth helium (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:57PM (#51054131) Homepage Journal

      3He is hard to find, but relatively easy to make. Pile up some tritium and wait. It decays to 3He with a half-life of 12.3 years.

      If we ever get fusion power plants at all we'll start with D-T reactors, which means we'll have to have enough tritium breeding capacity to fuel our reactors, which means we'll have enough production capacity to fuel our 3He reactors with the decay products.

      Cheaper than mining the Moon, I would guess.

      • Going to the moon is a really dumb way to get your He3.

        A far easier way is to use a Tritium Producing Burnable Absorber Rod [doe.gov]. (pdf link) Rather than putting UO2 in the fuel pellet, put lithium aluminate (LiAlO2) in there.

        This has been going on at the Watts Bar Unit 1 nuclear power station [wikipedia.org] since 2004. Sure, more tritium has leaked into the coolant than expected, but tritium is a pretty benign radioactivity source.

        Harvest the tritium, which decays into He-3. Voila. Far easier than going to the moon. S

    • There are 10 energetically positive fusion reactions [wikipedia.org], and He-4 is the product of most of them. He-3 reacts with itself to form He-4 and two protons, and most importantly, no neutrons, and it has a high energy yield and relatively low Lawson Criterion [wikipedia.org] so the ignition temperature is near current excitation methods. Deuterium-tritium reactions have a lower Lawson criterion and higher energy yield, but it generates most of it's energy as neutrons which leaves the magnetic confinement field and destroys the re

  • Easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The123king ( 2395060 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:27PM (#51053957)
    Build more nuclear plants
  • I'm having trouble finding any news on any network about the Paris climate talks. If someone has a link that actually covers what's been going on there in depth, I'd appreciate it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.npr.org/templates/search/index.php?searchinput=climate&dateId=0&programId=0

      NPR has had some decent coverage.

    • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday December 03, 2015 @10:49PM (#51054815) Journal

      Look at the website of any major media outside the US. Lots of coverage. BBC, CTV, CBC, The Globe and Mail, the Guardian ... or download their apps.

      Also, the first sentence of the summary, "With the Paris Climate Conference apparently ending in failure" is total BS. The summit is only 1/3 through, has 8 days left to go, and is making progress. But of course anyone listening to US media wouldn't know that. Same as the rest of the world knew Saddam wasn't making centrifuges when Colin Powell was lying in the UN.

  • by tsotha ( 720379 )

    Has anyone ever built a working H3 plant? That's a rhetorical question. It may be cleaner and easier to extract energy from H3 because it's aneutronic, but it's not going to be any easier to get to steady state fusion with H3-Deuterium than it is with Deuterium-Deuterium. We still don't know how to do this, and it's entirely possible it will never be something that's practical for commercial power.

    Let's get a D-D plant working first and then start thinking about whether mining H3 from the moon makes sen

    • There's progress on the materials front. But there's still tons of risk that needs to be retired.

      It's a bit concerning though that nobody's built a working tritium breeding blanket yet. And afaict, ITER's test blanket module program is going to be a bit half-arsed. This should be a top priority.

  • I laughed so hard I had to go change my shorts after I read that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jcr ( 53032 )

      Is having an incontinent detractor supposed to convince us that Ridley is wrong about something?

      -jcr

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps not, but he's been debunked [theguardian.com] repeatedly [skepticalscience.com]. I find it amusing that slashdot would label a politician with no background in science as an "expert" on climate change and the best guys like you can come up to defend this guy are lame dismissals.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by riverat1 ( 1048260 )

        The only thing I'd call Matt Ridley and expert in is climate science denial. But he has motivation because his family owns coal mines.

        • by careysub ( 976506 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @10:06PM (#51054675)

          The only thing I'd call Matt Ridley and expert in is climate science denial. But he has motivation because his family owns coal mines.

          He has also invested heavily in fracking, and is opposed to regulating same.

          Oh, and he is extremely hostile to wind and solar power.

          He must really be panicking about solar and wind since the deployment costs have plummeted, and expansion rates have been averaging 25% annually, year after year. Currently wind and solar 11% of the entire annual electricity production in the EU, yet Ridley keeps asserting that it is impossible for these to make any significant contribution.

          Anything to promote burning fossil fuels, which puts dollars directly into his pocket.

  • Humanity has struggled to create a deuterium-tritium fusion reactor for decades. We're not there yet.

    Getting helium-3 fusion to work is even harder [wikipedia.org] because of the higher Coulomb barriers presented by the helium-3 nucleus. The higher barriers demand higher temperatures to be overcome.

  • Oooh... who's been watching that great movie Iron Sky [wikipedia.org]?

    The Nazis have tanks of Helium 3 already stashed on the moon!

  • Gag me, thats so 19990's.

    How about something we can use now, and is much more abundant?

    I am of course talking about Thorium.

    • Could we use space Thorium?
    • Re:Helium-3 Solution (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @08:12PM (#51054237)
      One of the low points of the US nuclear industry was when they lobbied to get thorium research shut down during the Clinton administration. Nuclear fanboys should take note that the current players just want to collect the rent on 1970s technology and anything better than what they have endangers their cash flow - real progress is limited to military spinoffs. For anything better it's going to have to be government research opposing that lobby group or imported technology.
      India has been doing things with thorium but the promising efforts (eg. the accelerated thorium reactor that can also get a lot more out of used uranium fuel rods from other reactor) have been slowed down a bit due to India being offered a lot of the 1970s uranium technology from those same culprits in the US nuclear industry.
      • > One of the low points of the US nuclear industry was when they lobbied to get thorium research shut down during the Clinton administration

        Ummm, you mean the Nixon administration perhaps?

        Thorium power, the Bernie Sanders of energy. A bunch of people who have no idea what they're talking about love what they hear and defend the him/the-concept to the death while everyone around them rolls their eyes.

        > India has been doing things with thorium

        India has been working on thorium since the *1950's* and have

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          Ummm, you mean the Nixon administration perhaps

          Maybe then as well but I'm describing the more recent incident.
          As for "conspiracy", are you joking or are you just using that as an excuse for not being aware of the topic? It has been very overt, very public and even PR people paid money to get messages out FFS!

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          in the world stupid for not believing in your zero-for-a-thousand-tries energy source.

          Why do I keep getting these losers who think that there is only one other person on the internet? Different usernames imply different people FFS.

    • by tsotha ( 720379 )

      Gag me, thats so 19990's.

      Sadly, it might just be.

    • Gag me, thats so 19990's.

      How about something we can use now, and is much more abundant?

      I am of course talking about Thorium.

      How about uranium? We actually have plant designs ready to build that can use that stuff.

  • What are we waiting for? Let's hurry up and send a bunch of clones of Sam Rockwell to the dark side of the moon and get mining already!

  • This is stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:47PM (#51054079)

    Are the Ray Kurzweil and singularity fanbois / public masturbators off their meds again?

    Fusion: D-T fuel is the best fuel for any prospective fusion power plant on the horizon. Heating and confinement are solved problems. Materials that can withstand the massive heat/radiation loads of working reactors are the biggest problems right now. These machines weigh hundreds of thousands of tons. You're NOT going to ship a fusion reactor into space any time soon.

    Space: it costs tens of thousands of dollars a kilogram to ship stuff into LEO. And these stupid basement-dwellers are seriously talking about bootstrapping an ENTIRE industrial infrastructure in space to mine a resource which is actually an inferior fuel, for fusion plants that don't exist yet.

    It should be a criminal offense (or at least happy-slappable offence) to air such inanity and stupidity in public.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      Space: it costs tens of thousands of dollars a kilogram to ship stuff into LEO.

      Yeah, but this is helium! It'll float to Earth all on its own!

    • by tsotha ( 720379 )

      He3 is a far superior fuel if you can make it work. It only produces charged particles, which is exactly what you want.

      Clearly we can't build an H-T reactor any more than we can build a D-T reactor. But describing it as an "inferior" fuel is going a bit far.

      • > He3 is a far superior fuel if you can make it work ::rolleyes::

        It's ONE THOUSAND TIMES HARDER to make He3 generate electricity. We've been working on D-T fusion since 1948 and it's still not working. You can masturbate to your techno-fetish all you want, but the rest of us have actual problems to solve, now.

        • It's also not the only aneutronic fuel. If you can build aneutronic He-3 reactors that produce useful power, you can probably do the same with p-B11 or p-Li7, with the advantage of not having to scoop up continent-scale areas of lunar surface to find fuel.

  • On What Planet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by denissmith ( 31123 ) * on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:51PM (#51054101)
    Is Matt Ridley an expert?
  • The technology needed to mine the moon effectively and cheaply wil arrive much later than Energy storages which you can attach to renewable power plants to store the Energy.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @07:54PM (#51054113)
    The "one true energy" bullshit is the stuff of people who benefit from that form of energy production or cargo cult fanboys that know next to nothing about that form of energy production. Nothing covers every niche without having vulnerable points of failure. A few dry years and even hydro has trouble.
  • To get the Lunar Helium3 cheaply you need to use rockets powered by red mercury.
  • What Matt Ridley fails to recognise is that the Nazis are already on the dark side of the Moon and are hoarding all the helium-3 for their impending return to Earth, invasion, and subjugation of the inferior races... Did Matt Ridley watch Iron Sky http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10... [imdb.com] and think it was a documentary?

  • by AnotherBlackHat ( 265897 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @08:05PM (#51054197) Homepage

    OMG, not the stupid lunar He-3 myth again. - http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2834/1 [thespacereview.com]

    There are currently NO better-than-break-even fusion reactors.

    There are no He-3 fusion reactors.

    Any currently purposed theories/technologies which could (theoretically) use the difficult and rare He-3 + H-2 could instead use the far more common B-11 + H-1.

    Saying that there's a lot of He-3 on the moon is like saying there's a lot of gold in the ocean.
    Technically true, but practically useless.

  • WHAT BOX? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MountainLogic ( 92466 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @08:05PM (#51054199) Homepage
    From the Summary: "get out of the solar and wind box." Solar and wind is scaling-up very nicely. It is becoming more and more cost effective and is already cheaper than many incumbent solutions. Storage is coming on line with both substation batteries and large scale solutions like pumped hydro [wikipedia.org]. Pumped hydro in the US already has 25 GW built or in development. It is a very interesting way to store energy closer to where you need it such as SoCal storing Pacific Northwest hydro and wind energy that can be transported down at lower current rates off peak for later peak use. Peak power plants can be very expensive as they sit idle, not generating profit, most of the day just waiting for everyone to get home from work and turn on their AC for a few hours.
  • It gets crazy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @08:28PM (#51054303) Journal

    So, solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources are just pie-in-the-sky hippie fantasies because technological advances are just too far off, but energy from Moon helium is a solid, practical solution?

  • unicorn vomit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mschaffer ( 97223 ) on Thursday December 03, 2015 @10:37PM (#51054785)

    Gee, why not look at using unicorn vomit as a fuel. It is more easily obtained and utilized than using He3 from the moon as a fusion fuel.

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