Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Polywell - Positive Results

Alan Boyle has the latest on Polywell.
A Navy-funded effort to harness nuclear fusion power reports that its unconventional plasma device is operating as designed and generating "positive results" more than halfway through the project.
And that is not all:
"It's a very nice machine," he said. "I like what we have so far. It's quite well-built, relatively flexible to actually explore a lot of areas and find what's best. Achieving the plasma for fusion is obviously a tall order. ... You don't just push the pedal on a Ferrari and drive the car. Like an F-18 or a stealth bomber, you have to learn how to operate it properly."
Park figures that the money provided under the WB-8 contract should last until the end of the year, depending on how efficiently the EMC2 team is able to stretch the money out. By then, the engineers in New Mexico and their backers in the Navy should know whether it's worth going ahead with the next step, perhaps even with the big demonstration reactor. Park hopes that WB-8 will be the last small-scale experimental machine EMC2 will have to build.

"This machine should be able to generate 1,000 times more nuclear activity than WB-7, with about eight times more magnetic field," said Park, quoting the publicly available information about WB-8. "We'll call that a good success. That means we're on track with the scaling law."

Don't expect weekly updates about EMC2's progress. "Currently all our funding comes from the Navy," Park said. "That's our customer. Our customer desired that we keep most of our progress confidential. ... They're somewhat concerned about making too much hype without delivering an actual product."
Go read the whole thing.

Thanks to the boys at Talk Polywell for the heads up. Good discussion of the implications there.


Rick said...

Is it just me, but a few short days after the last, somewhat negative posting, this one feels so positive and enthusiastic?

M. Simon said...