THE KEYS AND THE
"A woman happens upon a man on his hands and knees under a lamppost outside a tunnel. What is he doing?
Looking for his keys. Is that where he lost them? No, he lost them inside the tunnel. Why isn't he looking there? It's
dark in there; it's light under the lamppost."
ITER and Deuterium-Tritium Fuel are Under the Lampost
We argue that this joke comes close to characterizing the state of progress towards fusion power. Tokamaks were
first established in 1969 and have had tremendous success since then. The ITER is a valuable culmination of this
line of research and could eventually lead to a fusion reactor, but probably not one that would be competitive with
advanced solar or the coming advancements in alternative fuels. The fuel cycle, deuterium-tritium that is being
emphasized produces most of its energy in the form of neutrons. This is responsible for the severe engineering
issues associated with the "first wall" in a tokamak approach. The "first wall" of a fusion reactor based on a
deturium-tritium fuel cycle would have every single atom displaced by collissions with neutrons each month.
Advanced Fusion Power Concepts are "In the Tunnel"
There are other candidate FUSIONFUELS for fusion power that produce far fewer neutrons and thus do not pose
radioactivity hazards. Some of these cycles produce mainly charged particles that lend themselves to direct
conversion of the output energy to electricity. We propose combining the fusion torch concept with advanced fusion
fuel cycles that minimize neutron production, to provide the environmental resource that can help mankind live on
this planet and go to the stars.
THE FUSION TORCH II -
REDUCING GLOBAL WARMING AND CLOSING
THE CYCLE FROM USE TO REUSE
We are writing a new paper entitled "The Fusion Torch II" with William C. Gough. One recommendation of the paper will be to find a sponsor for a prize of $50 million to the person or organization that develops an engineering plan for a fusion torch device that could credibly produce power and recycle pellets of uranium oxide fuel and samples of municipal waste using fusion fuel cycles . The plan must include proof of principal equipment and testing.
CANDIDATE BETTER FUSION
There are other candidate fusion power fuel cycles, all of which produce fewer neutrons than the
deuterium-tritium fuel cycle. They require additional advances in fusion technology beyond the state
of the ITER device.
A few groups are working on such fusion fuel cycle concepts that can use fuel cycles that minimize
the production of neutrons and thus, are ideal candidates for fusion torch applications.
BETTER FUSION FUEL
CYCLES REQUIRE BETTER PHYSICS CONTROL AND
The Lawson Criterion displayed in FUSION1969, FUSION1998, and FUSION 2007 showed a steady
increase in capability from the 1969 level of understanding to the planned ITER device. This was a
progression of over 5 orders of magnitude. (A factor of 500,000) The available "Better" fusion fuel cycles
will require another one to two orders of magnitude improvement. It is our hypothesis that this increase is
technologically feasible and has many benefits. The energy benefit would be an energy source that
produces no significant nuclear radiation and could be inexhaustible in energy availability. We propose
that coupling these advanced fuel technologies to fusion torch recycling concepts, could simultaneously
solve mankind's materials availability problems.
FUSION TORCH OPERATION
WITH BETTER FUSION FUEL CYCLES
Ionization of solids and liquids in fusion plasmas operating with better fusion fuel cycles have not been
developed yet. We are working on this physics connection. Starting points for such research are
available. For example, if the exhaust plasma from a p-B11 cycle were used to ionize a solid, the resultant
plasma could produce electricity via an MHD cycle. We invite others to work on fusion torch applications
with these better fusion fuel cycles. Fusion fuel cycles are described in FUSIONFUEL on this site.
RESEARCH PROGRAMS ON
BETTER FUSION REACTORS
Significant research efforts are underway on fusion reactors using better fusion fuel cycles. A partial list
and description of the projects are as follows:
BEAM FUSION REACTOR
The "Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor Concept" has
been developed by Norman Rostoker, Artan
Querushi and Michl Binderbauer in research
programs at University of California, Irvine and at
Tri-Alpha Energy Corporation in FootHill Ranch,
California. Journal of Fusion Energy, Vol. 22, No.2,
Inertial-electrostatic fusion concepts are under
investigation in a number of projects.
The University of Wisconsin
John Santorius of the Fusion Technology Institute of the
University of Wisconsin is performing research on D-He3
fusion fuel cycles with inertial-electrostatic fusion devices.
The plasma in one such device is shown on the right. The
D-He3 fuel cycle is also pictured on the right. His group has
given some thought to Fusion Torch applications of advanced
Dr. Robert Bussard of EMC2 corporation has also
electrostatic confinement concepts for fusion power with
advanced fusion fuels. He has applied some of this technology
to new concepts for space propulsion. He recently presented a
paper entitled, "The Advent of Clean Nuclear Fusion" at the 57th
International Astronautical Congress, Valencia, Spain, Oct.
2006. His device is shown below.
HIGH DENSITY PLASMA FUSION REACTORS
An approach to fusion reactors that solves some of the technical issues associated with better fusion fuel cycles is to create plasmas of such high density that radiation that would be lost from reactors like those described above, would be absorbed. (This is much more like the fusion reactions in a star.)
Focus fusion is a company that is developing fusion reactor concepts based on the "strong focus" device originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory by Dan Wells. They have a web site with many illustrations. One, which shows how the magnetic field lines align in the plasma is shown below.
OTHER CONCEPTS PLASM CENTRIFUGE HEAT ENGINE
Barnes of Coronado Consulting, Santa Fe, NM has filed
patents and presented papers on a "Plasma Centrifuge Heat
Engine". This concept utilizes hot rotating plasmas similar to
the PSP-2 Experiment. The PSP-2 Experiment has been
described in Nuclear Fusion, Vol. 31, No. 7, 1991.
Plasmak is a concept originally developed by Paul Kolac of
Neoteric Research of Silver Spring, Maryland. His work was
originally reviewed by Marshall Rosenbluth and subsequently
adopted by the DOE's fusion program as the "Spheromak"
Solid state femto-second lasers are under development by the
University of Central Florida and by DARPA could contribute to
novel approaches to Fusion Devices.
Laboratories has made immense progress
in developing pulsed plasmas with
immense densities and high temperatures.
These plasmas are good candidates for
better fusion fuel cycles. A photograph of
one of the devices firing is shown on the