Friday, January 18, 2008

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Dr. Nebel, who is working on the Bussard Fusion Project has taken some time out of his busy schedule to thank the bloggers supporting the WB-7 Project.
Also, I would like to thank M Simon, TallDave and their fellow bloggers for their continued interest in this technology. We appreciate that a great deal, but as you might imagine we have been a little too busy to communicate very much with the on-line people.
This is the head of the current research project. Everyone who has supported this in any way, including just reading the articles, can take a bow.

Special thanks go to my friend Eric and his pal Justin at Classical Values for getting me started on this. Also I am very grateful to Tom Ligon for being patient with me while he helped me learn the ropes. We have been manning the anchor capstan. Soon the anchor will be secured, the sails hoisted, and the ship under way. May the Maker Bless us all.

If any one wants to help man the rigging may I suggest reading this short post and using the urls provided in it to contact your Congress Critter. We need a gale to get us where we want to go in the shortest time possible. As they like to say in another Navy that is yet to be. Warp speed Mr. Sulu.

Tom Wrote A Short Story

It covers the very basics of The Bussard Reactor and the trials and tribulations of developing new technology in a very engaging way. You can read it here:

Getting Tuned Up

Thursday, January 10, 2008

WB-7 First Plasma

MSNBC Reports first plasma on WB-7 Reactor.
Bussard's mantle has been picked up by a small team led by Richard Nebel, who has taken a leave from Los Alamos National Laboratory to head up Bussard's EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. Backed by a Navy contract, Nebel's five-person team is trying to pick up the technology where Bussard left it.

"What's there is interesting, OK?" Nebel told me today. "And the bottom line of it is, what we've been charged to do is reproduce that. Find out if it's real. Find out if or if not all this stuff is what it seems to be."

EMC2 Fusion has built an upgraded model of Bussard's last experimental plasma containment device, which was known as WB-6. (The WB stands for Wiffle Ball, a whimsical reference to the structure of the device.) "We got first plasma yesterday," Nebel said - but he and his colleagues in Santa Fe, N.M., still have a long way to get the WB-7 experiment up to the power levels Bussard was working with.

"We're not out trying to make a big splash on any of this stuff at this point," Nebel said. But he said he's hoping to find out by this spring whether or not Bussard's concept is worth pursuing with a larger demonstration project.

The initial analysis showed that Bussard's data on energy yields were consistent with expectations, Nebel said.

"We don't know for sure whether all that's right," he said, "but it'd be horrible for Mother Nature to give you what you expect to see, and have it all be bogus."
If you want to learn more about this technology may I suggest:

Bussard Fusion Reactor
Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

If you want to get deeper into the technology visit:

IEC Fusion Technology blog

Start with the sidebar which has links to tutorials and other stuff.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The First Wall Problem

I have been discussing with Dr. Mike the problem of alpha sputtering. What Dr. Mike calls the First Wall problem.

Alpha impacts on the grid(s) is going to be a problem. If alpha impacts knock metallic elements from the grid(s) they could poison the reactions or at the very least waste electrons and energy.

One solution is to coat the grids with a sufficiently thick layer of Boron and run the machine such that the Boron in the reactor replenishes the Boron on the grid(s).

Thus - any elements knocked off the grids are a reaction species and thus do no harm to the reaction.

Dr. Mike replied that Boron is not very structurally strong. A fact I was unaware of. Dr. Mike suggested that embedding the Boron in some kind of plastic might do the trick. I had some objections to that.

So I went to the 'net and did some research.

I believe ITER uses a Boron coating evaporated on the surfaces to solve the sputtering problem.

If you use pure Boron you have one segment of the problem solved (reaction species) the other problem is to maintain a balance between the coating and the reactants.

Once you get into hydrocarbons you have problems with non-reactant species.

The question then is do thin films have significantly different properties from bulk Boron.

This might be a place to start:

really long url

Search Boron on this page:

Diagnostic Needs

also a look here:

Energy Citations

and here:

Abstract of an interesting Paper

I'm pretty confident that the thermal problems can be solved. So this is the next hump IMO. BTW I'll go into my ideas on how the thermal problems can be solved in another post.

Let me note that Dr. Mike thought this was a good approach. At least to start.