Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Replace "light" with "sausages" and this may work...

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Fusion bomb pumped storage

Because controlled fusion is difficult
  [vote for,

This was inspired by comments from [8th of 7], [FlyingToaster] and [DIYMatt] about nuclear fracking.

Heck with trying to sustain a fusion reaction. Let's just harness the energy from an uncontrolled fusion reaction.

The first possibility that comes to mind is putting an H-bomb near the bottom of a large tube in the ground filled with water. When the bomb goes off, some water is vaporized, and this launches a large amount of the water upwards where it goes into a reservoir. Standard hydroelectric equipment is used to convert it to electricity as it flows back to the bottom of the pipe at a moderate rate. When the reservoir is empty, top off the tube with fresh water and, repeat.

The tube would need to be designed so there is enough water around the bomb to absorb the energy without damaging the walls of the tunnel. The upper half of the tube would be designed to optimally convert the compressed steam into potential energy in the form of water at high altitude. Whether the water is launched such that it flies through the air and lands in a lake at the top of a mountain, or if it directed through a large pipe, are design decisions that will need to be explored.

Obviously there are some problems that would have to be resolved before various regulatory agencies would approve this...

scad mientist, Jul 27 2012

Project Orion http://en.wikipedia...nuclear_propulsion)
[theircompetitor, Jul 27 2012]

Explosives-nuclear-weapons-underground http://articles.chi...weapons-underground
[sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 27 2012]

Nuclear Geothermal Power Nuclear_20Geothermal_20Power
Another Idea with some similarities and differences. [Vernon, Jul 28 2012]


       Exactly this idea was proposed seriously in the real world by my good friend Dr. Abraham Szoke of Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California in 1991. See link. So [+]

To quote from the link (if that's allowed here):
"Writing in a recent issue of Technology Review, the alumni publication of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, they propose dropping small-yield nukes into a huge underground chamber and tapping the heat from the explosions to generate electricity.

       Their scheme entails excavating a large cavity out of solid rock, roughly half the width of a football field and deep enough to contain a 20-story building. To prevent the rock from collapsing into a pile of radioactive rubble from the shock of repeated atomic blasts, they propose to line this vast underground bubble with a half-inch-thick layer of steel.   

       The tremendous heat and the intense burst of neutrons that accompany a nuclear explosion would eventually crack the steel lining. They deal with this problem by injecting streams of molten salt into the chamber. The salts absorb the neutrons and buffer the steel from the searing heat of the explosion. Moir described the resulting explosive forces on the steel lining as about the same as those in a diesel engine.   

       The super-heated salt, in turn, is pumped out of the chamber to a heat exchanger, where the energy absorbed from the atomic blast is turned into electricity. In addition, the highly radioactive materials thrown out by the blast are extracted from the steamy salt soup to make more explosives."
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 27 2012

       Is this one of those "You expend more energy to create the process than you can get out of it" kind of things? Not that that's a problem for the Halfbakery mind you.   

       Suggested alternate summary: "Because controlling confusion is difficult".   

       Pay no attention to me, it's one of those kind of days.
normzone, Jul 27 2012

       What if the nuke was buried in a very deep, narrow hole with a very heavy lead weight on top of it. The top of the weight would be attached to a rope running to a generator thousands of feet above it. The blast would shoot the slug up to surface level (or a couple thousand feet above) leaving the weight at the top of this tall tower with the rope coiled around the generator. Simply release the weight and as it falls it generates a large amount of electricity. I like the idea of using lead rather than large amounts of water which would quickly be contaminated and might spill.
DIYMatt, Jul 27 2012

       If Dr. Szoke could build 4 of his devices in a line, then the lead weights that [matt] proposes could be connected to a crankshaft, for a nice 4-cylinder internal Orion engine.   

       Not sure whether it would be better to try and ttach the worlds biggest generator to the end of the shaft, or to run driveshafts all over the world.
pocmloc, Jul 28 2012

       If you worked about halfway between the idea as posted, and what [sqeaketh] said, you could set off fusion bombs in a bloody great tank of water and run a steam turbine off the top.   

       You'd want to re-condense the water and push it back in, if it is contaminated.
baconbrain, Jul 28 2012

       //you could set off fusion bombs in a bloody great tank of water and run a steam turbine off the top. // Lake Superior?
DIYMatt, Jul 28 2012


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