Monday, September 14, 2009

IEC Polywell Fusion Project Gets New Funding

Update: Brian Westenhaus has a new post with additional information on IEC fusion

For those of you who thought that human controlled nuclear fusion was 50 or 100 years away, M. Simon reports a new $8 million contract awarded to EMC2 to extend their research on the Bussard Polywell IEC fusion approach. (via Brian Wang)
From the descriptions it is clear that the IEC fusion devices are far simpler than the ITER tokomak fusion devices. It is also simpler than nuclear fission reactors. So success would mean faster transformation, but it would still take five to ten years for big infrastructure impact to the point that oil would start to be significantly displaced. Plus it would first hit coal for electricity. Unlike current fission reactors which take 4-6 years to build, these IEC fusion reactors might be buildable in 1-3 years. There is still the issue of licensing and regulatory approvals. It is not clear what that licensing/regulatory process would be but it should be shorter than nuclear fission licensing as the IEC fusion is easier to shutoff and does not have nuclear fuel or waste.

The full scale IEC fusion reactors would be about 4 meters in radius and weigh about 14 tons and generate 1GW and 8 meters for about 128GW. Power will be 5-20 times cheaper. _NextBigFuture
This is small science at its best, where individuals can make a difference for the better.

More links from IEC Fusion Technology Blog:
An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Basics of fusion from American Thinker

The Google Talk from Bussard himself, explaining to Google techs and engineers the history of IEC and his own hopes for the technology:

Previously published at Al Fin



Blogger M. Simon said...


10:08 AM  

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