Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bussard fusion

Although I'm sceptical about global warming alarmism, I'd like to see a move to more nuclear power, and away from the burning of hydrocarbons. I'm actually quite radical about this, believing that government intervention to help speed the sort of technology shifts we need would be a good thing.

That's why this is such good news:

Robert Bussard the designer of the Bussard ramjet has an electrostatic fusion device that is supposed to be 100,000 times better than other electrostatic fusion systems.

He will get a chance to make an improved demo which if it works would be a prelude to a full system costing $100 to 200 million. This would be a bargain relative to the billions of dollars for 40 years for the International Tokomak Fusion system.

4 comments:

M. Simon said...

I can confirm that he was funded for about 6 months to do some tests before starting a possible 5 year program to build a 100 MW reactor.

Look for an announcement from the Navy in the coming weeks.

dearieme said...

In about 1960 I read, probably in New Scientist, that Fusion was about 40 years in the future. I was told the same in a seminar only last year. I do enjoy these invariants.

Countingcats said...

Been reading all the blurb about this, I came across it a few years ago, but seems that it was a condition of his funding that the results weren't publically reported. This was only lifted after the funding ran out.

I had the 40 year estimate as well, but it really looks as if the forty years has suddenly shrunk to next year.

Power delivered to the bus bar at 1/10 the cost of coal generated electricity, and in his paper Bussard mentions rocketry; the generator can deliver an Isp 1000 times that of "all other rational alternatives".

Woo Hoo

Saturn, here we come.

A collapse on the production of CO2, AND a collapse in the cost of energy production. We will all be able to keep the thermostats turned up in winter and our TV sets on standby.

Those who really do believe that technology is evil and should not be relied on for "a quick fix" are going to be frothing at the mouth.

Boy will I be happy about that. Oh fabrous day.

The ecofascists are gonna go completely librarian poo.

In yer face George Monbiot.

David B. Wildgoose said...

There's a Google Video of a presentation Bussard made at Google asking for funding. The wonderful thing about Hydrogen-Boron fusion is that you can tap it for electricity directly rather than having to use waste heat to power steam turbines to generate electricity - in other words a truly 21st century technology rather than an updated kludge to 19th century technology.