Frontpage

Plasma Rings

Here at FocusFusion.org we love aneutronic fusion. Aneutronic fusion is fusion without neutrons. The same type being pursued by LPPFusion. Another effort in pursuit of aneutronic fusion is TAE. Formerly known as Tri-Alpha Energy, TAE recently made news by securing time on a national super computer. TAE intends to achieve usable aneutronic with the help of computer modeling and guidance. TAE calls its approach to fusion “Friendly Fusion” power. Their device, called a field reversed configuration, or FRC, generates two large rings of plasma and heats them with an externally accelerated ion beam. These rings collide generating fusion reactions between hydrogen and boron fuel constituents. The fusion fuel is controlled without magnets in one type of inertial confinement. The fusion […]

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Laser Driven Fusion

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. LPPFusion has been working toward net energy gain from a hydrogen-boron fusion reactor. LPPFusion’s approach uses natural plasma instabilities to generate the high temperatures and densities necessary for fusion. They have already demonstrated world record ion temperatures in their device. New beryllium electrodes will allow them to tackle the needed densities. However, an Australian lead international team is approaching hydrogen-boron reactions driven by a completely different mechanism. Physicist Heinrich Hora plans to use picosecond laser pulses to initiate aneutronic fusion. Two prior Focus Fusion Society posts have discussed laser driven fusion. This Australian team seems to be inspired by the promising outlook from this earlier research. In fact, the Australian team has […]

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Let There Be Light

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Fusion fans have the opportunity to give themselves a most welcome gift this holiday season. Amazon Video recently began carrying a fusion documentary called Let There Be Light. Principally filmed in 2015, it presents the state of the ITER project at that time. However, throughout the movie alternative approaches to fusion are presented. Researchers from General Fusion, LPPFusion and Wendelstein 7-X are covered. Directed by Canadian filmmakers Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko, the documentary highlights the hurdles to fusion-based power generation. By examining the challenges before ITER, the filmmakers illuminate the complexity of the problem, the costs required and the significant project time scales that result. The difficulties plaguing ITER; funding, international […]

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Problems With Fusion

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Fusion has problems. Chief among them is that we haven’t been able to make it work efficiently here on earth despite over sixty years of research. But fusion also has broader problems. Inadequate funding, difficulty communicating, unequal funding, long development times, uncertain outcomes and over-hyped prospects haunt fusion to this day. Yet the possibility of fusion power is pursued ardently all over the world. That’s because the potential of fusion power can’t be overstated. This potential translates into some of it’s problems. Fusion is hard. Trying to coerce fundamental forces of nature to follow our bidding has proven exceptionally challenging. Lifetimes have been spent to gain only incremental improvements. The monumental difficulty […]

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Fusion Funding News

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Recent posts have outlined the struggle for non-mainstream fusion project to secure funding. Meanwhile, legacy tokamak projects continue forward with their out-sized budgets. This week brought news from ITER, MAST and W7-X. With much fanfare, the press carried news that ITER construction reached the half complete mark. The construction site in southern France hosts the multi-billion euro international research effort. While half complete, the construction schedule stretches for another eight years. At that point, in 2025, project planners anticipate first plasma. An additional ten years of testing will follow while the plant reaches full design power. However, these timelines are being imperiled by the Trump administration’s budget. Both funding in 2017 and […]

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Hurdles to Fusion

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. A Quora post from earlier this year is gaining visibility on social media platforms. The post asks and tries to answer what has been keeping us from making a viable fusion reactor. It cites a half dozen barriers that have proven difficult to overcome. Three can be grouped as communication issues, with the other three as funding issues. The communication issues cover public ignorance, poor communication from the scientific community and over hyped claims. People are generally unaware of fusion power, its potential and of current research efforts. It’s not a topic that garners mainstream media attention. Most folks don’t seek out such news. The lack of accessible communication from the fusion […]

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Focus Fusion Society Members Meeting

Please note that only members up-to-date on their dues are allowed to cast a legal vote in FFS annual members meeting. As such do not forget to donate in advance. Dear Fusioneers, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmahannukwanzadan! It has been an eventful year. This is what Focus Fusion Society has brought you this year: New and improved website functionality and security Regular updates on the website about what is happening in the Fusion Community https://focusfusion.org/category/frontpage/ Subscription to the Google Grant bringing more visitors and growing the community Supporting LPP Fusion in their efforts to crowdfund Fusion research https://wefunder.com/lppfusion New ways to get involved Better ways to provide feedback Next year with your support can be even […]

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The Rise of Private Fusion

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Historically, governments and universities were centers of cutting edge research. They were the primary types of institutions that could bear the risk of the most ambitious plans. Now a new type of venture is rising. Privately funded research facilities whose path is unexplored but who hold the potential for great rewards. Fusion research exhibits this trend. LPPFusion, Tri-Alpha Energy, General Fusion and Hellion are all privately funded groups pursuing fusion energy. Following the recent announcement of LLPFusion’s WeFunder campaign comes news of a British company, First Light Fusion, obtaining new venture funding. First Light Fusion (FLF) hopes to harness fusion power via a novel inertial confinement technique. Using proprietary computer simulation, they […]

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Spherical Tokamak

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. The ITER project in France garners lots of press coverage. Another fusion effort is taking place in England using similar project phases but different design approaches. A UK company called Tokamak Energy is using a spherical tokamak design to achieve net gain fusion power. Like ITER, they are planning for a similar development path. Both projects have built proof of concept devices and each is planing a fusion power demonstrator. Tokamak Energy believes a spherical fusion device can achieve net power generation more cheaply than conventional toroidal designs. The ITER device will follow a toroidal design. This reactor shape is often compared to a doughnut. A spherical tokamak shrinks the doughnut hole […]

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Fusion Using Lasers

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. LPPFusion has been pursuing aneutronic fusion from pB11 fuel for some time. Their fuel components of hydrogen (one proton) and boron-11 fuel fuse at high temperatures to produce an excited state of carbon-12 which immediately decays to three helium nuclei. This same fuel is behind a fusion experiment using lasers. Lasers accelerate protons to fuse with stationary boron-11. A team of international researchers conducted tests to prove the viability of this approach. The July 2017 edition of Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B described these results. The research was performed using the ECLIPSE saphire laser at Centre Lasers Intenses et Applications (CELIA) hosted at the University of Bordeaux. The laser, […]

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