Progress with fusion

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A bit of great news today - from MS/NBC Cosmic Log:
Fusion effort in flux
Researchers have finished the first phase of an unorthodox, low-cost nuclear fusion experiment that has generated a megawatt's worth of buzz on the Internet � and they are now waiting for a verdict from their federal funders on whether to proceed to the next phase.

Richard Nebel, leader of the research team at EMC2 Fusion in New Mexico, declined to detail the results of the project, saying that was up to the people paying the bills. But he did said �we have had some success" in the effort to reproduce the promising results reported by the late physicist Robert Bussard.

"It's kind of a mix," he said.

The Bussard fusion design, also known as inertial electrostatic confinement or Polywell fusion, is radically different from the multibillion-dollar mainstream approach to the fusion challenge. The idea behind it is that a specially designed high-voltage electrical field can drive ions so closely together that they spark fusion reactions, ideally releasing more energy than the device expends.

In 2005, Bussard said his last test device (named WB-6 because its design was reminiscent of a Wiffle Ball) produced results so promising that he felt he was on the right track toward a breakthrough in low-cost fusion power.
The US Navy has funded the project to the tune of $1.8 million so they are prettty serious. The engineer wants to scale it up to 100MW where it should produce continuous power. The people doing the research are here: EMC2 FUSION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Very cool!

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on August 28, 2008 5:48 PM.

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