A Back-Of-The-Envelope Calculation
Anyway, as a thought exercise, I figured it might be interesting to calculate how much boron such a scenario might be required to fuel all that consumption. From the Wikipedia entry on terrestrial fusion reactions:
8.6x106 eV/atom • 6.02x1023 atom/mol / 10.811x10-3 kg/mol •So that's almost eighty terajoules per kilogram of boron. Pretty sweet. Now, take a look at this:
1.602x10-19 J/eV = 76.7x1012 J/kg
1.041x1021 J / 76.7x1012 J/kg = 13.6x106 kgor about 13,500 tonnes of boron annually. (Of course, this doesn't adjust for inefficiencies in the process; just as a guess, assume the whole process is something like 25% efficient, so consumption is more like 54 kt.) According to Roskill, the world is lately using 1.6 Mt of boron annually, which would
Update 12/1/06: corrected for the error in Avogadro's number, which makes this look even more obscenely desirable. For a 1 GW power plant running at full capacity all year, that means
86400 s/day • 365.24 day/year • 1x109 W = 31x1015 JOne and a half metric tonnes per year. Now I'm all full of boron-lust... can we just get to fusion... please?
31x1015 J / 76.7x1012 J/kg / .25 = 1.6 t