Did you get an answer from Adam yet ?
FYI, fusion reactors are expected to produce electricity in the same way as other thermal plants with, as you say, steam turning turbines & generators.
Of course the steam would not be INSIDE the reactor -- as with our CANDU D2O / H2O primary and secondary heat transfer circuits, fusion reactors would (most likely) use liquid lithium metal to transfer heat from the tokamak torus (in which it cools the outside "first wall" of the plasma vacuum chamber) to a steam generator. The lithium would have a dual function, both as heat transfer medium and tritium breeding material (not sure if designs call for an intermediate heat exchanger to avoid the possibility of water contamination with radioactivity in the steam generator.... Adam ?).
Some more futuristic conceptual designs also call for fusion reactors to use a magnetohydrodynamic topping cycle, in addition to the steam plant (although I seem to recall that this type of design is only feasible with mirror machines - not tokamaks..... Adam ?).
From: English, Michael [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday January 06, 2003 12:20 PM
To: 'Adam McLean'; 'cdn-nucl-l (E-mail)'
Subject: RE: [cdn-nucl-l] Iter fusion reactor bid needs more funds?
All this talk of fusion, etc., and this article that got everyone started on this topic has me wondering a few things.
First of all, how do you generate electricity from fusion? Because, and correct me if I'm wrong, I'm assuming that's the ultimate goal of ITER (to demonstrate that a sustainable reaction is achievable and, later, that electricity generation is possible). Obviously the conventional steam turbines won't cut it (we can't even contain the plasma with conventional materials, so how could we use the heat to make steam?) Would TEGs work at those temperatures?
Secondly, the article that Jerry posted stated that "Darlington produces 20 per cent of Ontario's electricity. " The IMO lists available capacity in Ontario at 29939MW, which may or may not include available imports. So let's consider OPG alone. OPG's website indicates them to have ~24600MW installed capacity, including Pickering A. Darlington can produce ~3500MW, which by my calculations is at best 14% of OPG's capacity. Since there are other generators in the province, notable Bruce Power, there's no way Darlington produces 20% of Ontario's electricity. Any idea where the Star came up with this figure? Would this be based on actual energy produced?