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Additional info for Feasibility of Hydrogen Production Using Laser Inertial Fusion as Power Source
Both involve nuclear processes carried out in highly specialized equipment and require a significant capital cost investment. Fission reactors have been commercialized for several decades, so their capital cost and operating characteristics can be estimated with some certainty, even for new, advanced designs such as high temperature gas-cooled reactors. The same can not be said, however, for Laser IFE, which still faces years of development before commercialization. However, many of the technical and economic considerations that make generating hydrogen (by water-splitting) or generating electricity equally viable conduits for nuclear fission energy can be applied to the use of nuclear fusion in general, and Laser IFE in particular.
In general, the higher the temperature, the better, subject to materials constraints. 2 Heat Transfer Considerations Laser IFE blanket coolants can achieve sufficient temperatures to supply heat to a high temperature water-splitting process like HyS or HTE. However, with the exception of helium coolants, they are not suitable for direct heat transfer because they contain molten Li metal that reacts violently with water and other compounds. A leak between a Li metalcontaining coolant and the H2O-containing process stream in a heat exchanger could have disastrous consequences.
G. 23 V. 3C/ eq) Here z is the number of electron equivalents transferred per mole of reaction and F is Faraday’s constant. Since heat can not be used directly to split water at low temperatures, but must first be converted to electrochemical work, this implies an inherent conversion loss or inefficiency. That is one of the reasons why the effective net thermal efficiencies for hydrogen production via electrolysis in Table 4-2 were lower than the estimated efficiencies for high temperature water-splitting.