Sunday, October 25, 2009

The DOD Looks At Energy Security

The gentlemen and gentlewomen at Talk Polywell have come across a couple of major finds. The first is a discussion of American energy security and its military implications. Energy & National Security: An Exploration of Threats, Solutions, and Alternative Futures [pdf].
Abstract – Findings of multiple Department of Defense (DoD) studies and other sources indicate that the United States faces a cluster of significant security threats caused by how the country obtains, distributes, and uses energy. This paper explores the nature and magnitude of the security threats as related to energy—some potential solutions, which include technical, political, and programmatic options; and some alternative futures the nation may face depending upon various choices of actions and assumptions. Specific emerging options addressed include Polywell fusion, renewable fuel from waste and algae cultivation, all-electric vehicle fleets, highly-efficient heat engines, and special military energy considerations.
Interesting (to say the least) that Polywell gets a mention in the very beginning of the paper. We have come a long way since the Polywell program was nearly permanently shut down in 2006.

The second paper is about funding for various quick reaction [pdf] programs by the DOD. The interesting bits are on page 11 of the document. Look at just how small the effort was in fiscal year 2008.
EMC2/IEF
Boron Fusion The objective of this project is to continue research towards a proven, validated, and reviewed and approved final design basis for engineering development and construction of full-scale clean nuclear power plants. Boron/hydrogen reactions are radiation-free and non-hazardous and well-suited to direct electric power applications to Navy propulsion, as well as to modest scale ground power plants/systems, able to be run without fossil fuels. Such power plants would revolutionize DoD power systems applications and requirements.

FY 2008 Accomplishments:
This project continued research towards a proven, validated, and reviewed and approved final design basis for engineering development and construction of full-scale clean nuclear power plants. Payoff would be elimination of the need for fossil fueled plants. Boron/hydrogen reactions are radiation-free and non-hazardous and well-suited to direct electric power applications to Navy propulsion, as well as to modest scale ground power plants/systems, able to be run without fossil fuels. Such power plants would revolutionize DoD power systems applications and requirements.
Things are picking up speed in the Polywell research. You can find out more about the latest funding for Polywell at WB-8 Contract Details and at WB-8 Contract Progress.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

The American Thinker has a good article up with the basics.

7 comments:

kurt9 said...

M Simon,

What is your thought about Art Carlson's arguments that H-B11 fusion is not possible in a polywell device? Also, what are your thoughts about Rider's arguments?

M. Simon said...

Art may be right. There is not enough data to make a determination.

Rider said that if the electron economy of the device was good enough it could work. Which is the beauty of Polywell. The electron economy might be good enough.

kurt9 said...

Art seems to think that John Slough's FRC concept will work. What do you think of this?

M. Simon said...

I think all the small fusion devices with any promise should be funded.

Benjamin Scott said...

Can someone post up links to information on the "John Slough's FRC concept"?

Benjamin Scott said...

Never mind, I found it with with google:

http://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/article/218/

Navya said...

Thanks for sharing..
regards
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