Reaction paper: Moon gas could meet Earth's future energy demands

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our professor required us to do a reaction paper on any environmental advancement topic from a journal or article. I found an interesting topic (from the many topics I've researched).. Here's the paper I made:

Moon gas could meet earth's future energy demands
In the late 90’s it had been discovered from the space exploration to the moon that there is a gas prominent in the moon’s atmosphere that can be an alternative source of a cleaner and safer source of fuel.
Helium 3 is a light, non-reacting isotope of helium which has 2 protons and 1 neutron. Many researches and testing’s have been made in order to prove that helium-3 can be an alternative source of energy when it undergoes nuclear fusion. Scientists have proven that when a helium-3 proton is reacted with a deuterium, it can produce an enormous energy, enough to power the whole United States, the country that consumes a lot of energy in one year.
With that enormous amount of energy, enough to solve the energy crisis of the world, how come it has not been fully developed? In a nutshell, although space explorations have been back and forth from earth to the moon, there are some restrictions that constrict the full development of helium-3.

The development of the reactor to be used in nuclear reaction of helium-3 and deuterium has just started and has not been fully functional. Laboratory experimentation has been made, but then the reactor design has not been made. The efficiency of the reactor has been determined but due to lack of funding and supplies, the project cannot push through. The project is estimated to be complete in about thirty years, but with proper support and funding from the government and other organizations, the reactor plant may be fully functional in about 10 years.
Though the idea seems quite brilliant, there are still scientist and officials who question the feasibility of the project. They say, that it is not feasible to replace fuel from coal to fuel from helium-3 because the extracting and transportation of helium-3 from the moon to the earth is quite questionable.
For me, I think it would be a great idea to go to the transition of replacing coal from fossil fuel to helium-3 from lunar soil for fuel. Experts have told that it is safe to put up a nuclear plant even in the middle of the city because the nuclear fusion of helium-3 and deuterium does not yield further neutrons that when radiated, can be chemically harmful. The cost of helium-3 would be much cheaper than coal if ever it were to be marketed without the danger of extinction of fossil fuels. The production cost of producing energy from helium-3 would include lower capital and operating cost, higher conversion efficiency, smaller size, the absence of radioactive fuel, no air and water pollution, and only low level of radioactive waste disposal requirement. Also about 30 tons of helium gas can be extracted from a million tons of lunar soil, seems like we would consume much lunar soil in order to power up the world. But then experts have told that the supply of lunar soil from the moon is enough to last for hundred of years
even if we consume it. By that time, we would have studied other sources of helium-3, and would boost further space exploration.
Many alternative source of fuel like biomass, solar and wind power and many more that is being pursued to replace or decrease the consumption of fuel from coal. But then their efficiency is a major factor in which they cannot be pursued totally and some creates more problems like price hike and food scarcity. If the efforts to solve the energy crisis incline to this, there wouldn’t be those problems. Although this technology wouldn’t be applicable in our country due to lack of specialization, it would be beneficial to the big countries like US who consumes the largest energy. And small countries, like the Philippines would be beneficial because there wouldn’t be a price hike of commodities and fuel.


I've made that report just a few hours before submission, so some ideas are quite vague and repetitive..

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