A small high tech company, NPL Associates Inc. (NPL), in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois has pioneered much of the IEC technology and will spearhead the effort to develop the fusion torch. NPL is seeking both funding support and technical/business participation in the fusion torch project; “spin-off” into other p-B11 “green” power operations would also be initiated. These plans are briefly outlined here, and more information is available to interested parties.
An aggressive approach is proposed where a small scale p-B11 torch device is demonstrated within six years at a cost of ~USD 80 Million. The first stage of the project would be the construction and testing of a lab scale “proof-of-principle” experiment to study the basic physics of the p-B11 reactor and the element separation process. This USD 10 Million study would be done during the first two years of the project. Following the conclusion of the six-year project, the development and global placement of full scale commercial units would begin. These units would be dual purpose electrical generation- materials recycling plants, and could cost on the order of USD 2 Billion each (comparable to current 1000 MW electrical power plants). This project has many “side” ramifications. Pure (without materials recycling) p-B11 power plants would provide “green” power at an economical price, and mobile versions would be a key approach for propulsion units for both deep space exploration rockets and also for advanced submarine power units. On a more near term, the technology developed in the six-year project would allow simultaneous design of electrically powered IEC torch units for waste (garbage, etc.) treatment and for various flue gas treatment. These units would address near term problems society is facing and provide a return on the project development costs while the ultimate distribution of p-B11 commercial recycle plants is under development.