Fusion Fuel

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, […]

Read More

Better Heating of Magnetically Confined Plasmas

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. A few weeks ago we wrote about researchers adding impurities to fusion fuel to improve outcomes. In that case noble gasses added to the fuel prevented runaway electron currents. A new report details another study of fusion fuel additives. In this case scientists examine ways to improve radio frequency (RF) plasma heating. This work recently appeared in the journal Nature Physics. The team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) explain how adjusting the nuclear fusion “recipe” allowed them to increase the energy output. Replicated results produced by researchers at the largest active fusion device in Europe, the Joint European Torus (JET), confirm this finding. Nuclear fusion attempts to bring […]

Read More

Fusion Fuel

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Often when considering the relative merits of fusion energy reactor designs the focus lands on underlying scientific principles or construction costs. Rightly so since these are the upfront hurdles to reach viability. Less often is the proposed fusion fuel a topic of comparison. A recent article discussing theoretical extra-terrestrial mining operations touched on the availability of Helium-3 on the moon. Helium-3 is an isotope of helium with one less neutron than the far more abundant helium-4 variant. In fact, there’s only one or two atoms of helium-3 on earth for every million atoms of helium 4. This scarcity makes helium-3 harvested from earth a poor choice for powering a fusion reactor. However, […]

Read More