Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor.
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 reactions produce boron-12 which quickly decays to three alpha particles. The excess energy created in these reactions can be captured directly from the movement of charged particles as well as from heat.
The Office of Science program — known as Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment, or INCITE — will give TAE researchers access to 31 million core hours on a Cray XC40 supercomputer. However, this newly announced computing resource is not TAE’s only use of computer simulation. TAE has also partnered with Google to take advantage of the tech giant’s expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence. TAE hopes all this computer power will propel them toward the creation of a useful fusion power reactor.
The boost in data-processing resources is coming at a crucial time for the California-based company, which counts Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen as one of its investors. Unlike TAE, LPPFusion is offering everyone a chance to become an investor in the search for fusion. LPPFusion’s successful WeFunder campaign continues toward its stretch goal.