9.5 – Fuel supply limitations on fusion power

Another problem is the fact that Fusion energy using the D-T approach is limited by the global stockpiles of Lithium. The (pro-nuclear) author Dr D. Mc Kay gives a figure for 10 kWh/person/day from current known stocks of Lithium (he also gives an unrealistically high figure from unconventional sources from sea water which would not be economic to extract). By comparison he gives similar figures of 0.55 kWh/p/day for Uranium and 4 kWh/p/day for Thorium (again he also gives a range of highly unrealistic figures for unconventional resources of both that essentially ignores economics and practical factors, see here). Mc Kay also gives a UK energy consumption rate of energy of around 125 kWh/p/day, thought there are some who say he got his sums wrong, implying a figure of 52 kWh/p/day would be more accurate. This would imply that D-T fusion can only supply 8% (if we use Mc Kay’s figures) or possibly 20% of global energy (using his critic’s figures). Where does the other 92-80% of our energy come from?

Chapter 9                                            Main Page

Advertisements