Author Archives: Lynn Provencio

Sun in a Bottle

When weapons builders detonated the first hydrogen bomb in 1952, they tapped into the vastest source of energy in our solar system–the very same phenomenon that makes the sun shine. Nuclear fusion was a virtually unlimited source of power that became the center of a tragic and comic quest that has left scores of scientists battered and disgraced. For the ... Read More »

Kip Siegel

Inspired by Dr. Teller’s work, and his prophetic warning to keep people informed, a Michigan physics professor named Dr. Keeve (Kip) Siegel formed the first and only private-sector company to pursue controlled fusion research using lasers. In the early 1970s, he formed KMS Industries, with the goal of successfully achieving laser inertial fusion energy. With private funding, on May 1, ... Read More »

KMS Fusion – an addendum

LastTechAge 2015/02/15 KMS Fusion, an early ICF group mostly remembered for its mashup of good science and bad politics. This is our historical addendum. An excellent article on the beginning of ICF (inertial confinement fusion) was posted on January 28th by ScienceLine’s Chelsey Coombes. This is a summary of Alex Wellerstein‘s presentation at the October 2014 meeting of the New ... Read More »

Dr. Charles Forsberg and the MSR Molten Salt Reactor

Dr. Charles Forsberg of MIT and ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratories) talks about the potential benefits of the Molten Salt Reactor. In the future, fusion systems can be used to safely transmutate all the accumulated radioactive waste into safely disposable non-radioactive material from 430 plus nuclear reactors worldwide operating for the last 60 years. This provides an immensely important service ... Read More »

Redes Nuclear Fusion

Spanish language introduction to fusion energy and ITER with an extensive explanation and interview with Dr. Steve Cowley from the UK Culham Centre. Introducción al idioma español de la energía de fusión ITER y con una extensa explicación y la entrevista con el Dr. Steve Cowley del Centro Culham Reino Unido. Read More »

Freud has something to say on DD reactions

NuclearHoaxSpotter I have been checking out YouTube on nuclear hoaxes and I have found the entire talk that Suppes gave at the Lift conference (Geneva, Switzerland). While the ‘open source part’ of the talk, concerning blog, community, start-ups, on-line help, etc. was fine, the ‘science part’ was just preposterous (nothing against him, looks like a nice chap)! Screen Capture of ... Read More »

The Prometheus Magneto-Inertial Fusion Research Facility

LA-UR-13-20790 G. A. Wurden, W. A. Reass , P. Turchi (LANL); J. H. Degnan, C. Grabowski (AFRL), B. Bauer (UNR) Summary: A next generation pulsed power magnetized high energy density laboratory plasma (MHEDLP) research facility, named Prometheus, which will enable demonstration of Q=1 (DT equivalent) low-convergence ratio plasma-power magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) plasmas. The USA presently leads the world in pulsed ... Read More »

Open Source Nuclear Fusion

Mark Suppes built a nuclear fusion reactor with no formal science background. Prior to the fusion project, Mark became comfortable tackling the improbable with eight years of web startups. In these startups, he learned that it’s better to be too ambitious than not ambitious enough. Considering the time and effort a startup requires, it makes sense to aim high. Then, ... Read More »

Fusion for Children

Download this book as a printer friendly PDF Have you ever wondered how the sun keeps burning for such a long time? Why doesn’t the sun just burn out like a campfire? Many years ago, when the author of this book was just in second grade, my teacher told the class about the three things that it takes to make ... Read More »

Fusion Reaction in the sky

February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The ... Read More »

RT award winning documentary on fusion and the ITER project status

On this award-winning show of Technology Update, we check up on one of largest international scientific collaborations ever, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. ITER has the potential to produce unlimited clean power by making the Holy Grail of energy production, nuclear fusion, a reality. Our journey takes us to the ITER construction site in sunny Cadarache in the south of ... Read More »

Thermonuclear fusion versus Murphy’s Law

Inaugural Lecture – Jeremy Chittenden, Professor of Plasma Physics and Co-director of the Centre for Inertial Fusion Studies in the Department of Physics, Imperial College London Published on Mar 27, 2014 on Youtube Read More »

Lockheed Martin’s 100 MW Compact Fusion Nuclear Reactor

IHS Global Spec Roger Pink, Ph.D., 16 December 2014 A Lockheed Martin Skunk Works team is working on a compact fusion reactor (CFR) that could be developed and deployed in as little as 10 years. The lead scientist on the project, Thomas McGuire, said in an October 15 press release that the company’s compact fusion concept “combines several alternative magnetic ... Read More »

Are mini fusion power plants possible?

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics October 23, 2014 Lockheed Martin’s compact reactor concept / fusion drives for aircraft and trucks? The magnetic coils inside of the compact fusion experiment are critical to plasma containment. Photo: Lockheed Martin Building a small, transportable fusion power plant has long been a dream of fusion researchers. In the course of their research, however, ... Read More »

The Bridge to Fusion: 4 Advanced Nuclear Fission Technologies

Popular Mechanics Thorium This radioactive metal is three to four times more common than uranium, and, unlike uranium, it doesn’t generate weapons-grade nuclear material after it’s burned in a reactor. (The United Stated experimented with thorium reactors as early as the 1950s, before the element lost out to uranium.) Virginia-based Lightbridge aims to capitalize on thorium’s potential by marketing a ... Read More »

Introduction and update on ITER

The world’s most powerful countries are collaborating on the ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in France. The $20 billion facility will heat gas to 150 million degrees in an attempt to create a nuclear fusion reaction when it becomes fully operational in 2027. Read More »

Nuclear Fusion Power

World Nuclear Association (Updated October 2014) Fusion power offers the prospect of an almost inexhaustible source of energy for future generations, but it also presents so far insurmountable scientific and engineering challenges. The main hope is centred on tokamak reactors which confine a deuterium-tritium plasma magnetically. Today, many countries take part in fusion research to some extent, led by the ... Read More »

Should Google Go Nuclear?

Posted on Youtube by Google Tech Talks on Oct.8, 2007 ABSTRACT This is not your father’s fusion reactor! Forget everything you know about conventional thinking on nuclear fusion: high-temperature plasmas, steam turbines, neutron radiation and even nuclear waste are a thing of the past. Goodbye thermonuclear fusion; hello inertial electrostatic confinement fusion (IEC), an old idea that’s been made new. ... Read More »

Culham Centre, UK: The future is fusion

Uploaded Jan. 25, 2012 by the UK’s Culham Centre for Fusion There’s nothing hotter than fusion at the moment (at up to several hundred million degrees, we mean that quite literally), so we were delighted to join forces with the UK Fusion Programme to make this… Read More »

Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner. Read More »

Aneutronic Nuclear Fusion Reactor + Engine Proposal

Here is some brief theory behind Aneutronic Fusion, a form of nuclear fusion which produces no harmful neutron radiation, eliminating the need for heavy shielding in energy plants and spacecraft engines. The reaction can be initiated under a picosecond laser pulse which is aimed at a metal target producing protons which can fuse with Boron atoms in the molecular lattice ... Read More »

How viable is nuclear fusion as an energy source? – podcast

the Guardian Are scientific and industrial ideas about commercial nuclear fusion reactors in the near future just wishful thinking? Download the podcast At Iter in the south of France, seven international partners have pooled their financial and scientific resources to build the biggest fusion reactor in history. Their aim is to resolve critical scientific and technical issues, and take fusion ... Read More »

Jaeyoung Park Explains EMC2 Progress On Bussard Fusion January 27, 2015 Jaeyoung Park, Chief Scientist at EMC2 presented the team’s work to date and explored the level of what’s needed to continue research to a net power electrostatic nuclear fusion reactor. EMC2 WB-8 Lab in San Diego. Image Credit Jseyoung Park, University of Wisconsin. The presentation was given at the 16th U.S. Japan 2014 Workshop. This link ... Read More »

China is going to mine the Moon for helium-3 fusion fuel By John Hewitt on January 26, 2015 China’s Chang’e lunar probe dynasty is already having a great year. The Chang’e 3 lunar lander surpassed all expectations last week to emerge from its 14th hibernation while the Chang’e 5-T1 just completed its transfer from the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 into a stable orbit around the Moon. Chang’e 3’s main mission ... Read More »

Fusion energy explained with Hydrogen atom example | Physics animation video

Nuclear Fusion | Fusion energy explained with Hydrogen atom example | Physics animation video In this video we will understand how to or more nucleons merge or fuse together to create something more powerful and meaningful. Click here to open the video Let us first understand the meaning of the word NUCLEAR FUSION, Nuclear meaning the process which involves Nucleus ... Read More »

‘Skunk power’ creates confusion over nuclear fusion

BBC by Matt McGrath, Nov. 24, 2014 Lockheed Martin is working on a device that could become a compact fusion reactor Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is doing its best to shatter my favourite science cliche. “Nuclear fusion is just 30 years away – and always will be.” The advanced projects team at Lockheed, known as Skunk Works, has unveiled a ... Read More »

National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) Getting $94M Upgrade

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), which is undergoing a $94 million upgrade that will make it the most powerful experimental fusion facility, or tokamak, of its type in the world when work is completed. Experiments will test the ability of the upgraded spherical facility to maintain a high-performance plasma under conditions of extreme heat and ... Read More »

The Lockheed-Martin Idea

From Lockheed Martin In October, 2014, Lockheed Martin skunkworks announced that it had made a breakthrough in compact fusion energy. At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, we’re making advancements in the development of fusion energy, the ultimate form of renewable power. Our scientists and engineers are looking at the biggest natural fusion reactor for inspiration – the sun. By containing the ... Read More »

Supersonic Plasma Jet Driven MIF Fundamentals

Y. C. Francis Thio Office of Fusion Energy Sciences January 24, 2008 Presented at the LANL Plasma Jet Workshop Supersonic plasma jets as drivers for MIF Options for plasma jets Plasma guns possibilities Idealized mathematical models High-Z is needed for the imploding liner Pressure and density amplification by factors of 104 to 105 are required – Requires high Mach number ... Read More »

U.S. energy agency jumps into fusion funding

Science Insider By Daniel Clery 14 August 2014 3:00 pm DOE/SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES The Z pulsed power facility, or Z machine, at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. Daniel is a deputy news editor for Science. ARPA-E, the U.S. government agency for funding innovative energy technologies, is preparing to launch a program to support alternative approaches to fusion energy that ... Read More »

Dr. Robert L. Hirsch

Robert L. Hirsch, Ph.D., is a former senior energy program adviser for Science Applications International Corporation and is a Senior Energy Advisor at MISI and a consultant in energy, technology, and management. His primary experience is in research, development, and commercial applications. He has managed technology programs in oil and natural gas exploration and >petroleum refining, fusion, fission, renewables, defense ... Read More »

Robert Bussard

Robert W. Bussard (August 11, 1928 – October 6, 2007) was an American physicist who worked primarily in nuclear fusion energy research. He was the recipient of the Schreiber-Spence Achievement Award for STAIF-2004.  He was also a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics and held a Ph.D. from Princeton University. In June, 1955 Bussard moved to Los Alamos and joined the Nuclear Propulsion Division’s Project Rover designing nuclear ... Read More »

Robert J. Goldston

Robert J. Goldston Professor of Astrophysical Sciences 609-243-3550 BackStory with Joan Goldstein, 6.15 Inertial Confinement Fusion R&D and Nuclear Proliferation Education B.A., Physics, Harvard University, 1972 Ph.D., Astrophysical Sciences, Program in Plasma Physics, Princeton University, 1977 Research Interests I started my research career studying how plasmas are heated by energetic ions. I did experimental research on fast ion thermalization ... Read More »

Mike Dunne

Mike Dunne Director for Laser Fusion Energy, LLNL Professor Mike Dunne joined LLNL in 2010 as Director for Laser Fusion Energy. He is also the program director for high power laser development projects for international academic and industrial applications. His role has included leadership of the inertial fusion energy project designed to build from NIF ignition with a goal of ... Read More »

Plasma physics: The fusion upstarts Fuelled by venture capital and a lot of hope, alternative fusion technologies are heating up. Hubert Kang Photography General Fusion’s reactor would use massive pistons to crush fuel in a spinning vortex of liquid lead. To reach one of the world’s most secretive nuclear-fusion companies, visitors must wind their way through a suburban office park at the foot of ... Read More »

Does Lockheed Martin Really Have a Breakthrough Fusion Machine?

MIT Technology Review By David Talbot on October 20, 2014 Lockheed Martin says it will have a small fusion reactor prototype in five years but offers no data. The interior of Lockheed Martin’s fusion reactor shows a series of rings used to create magnetic fields that confine plasma. Lockheed Martin’s announcement last week that it had secretly developed a promising ... Read More »

Russia develops hybrid fusion-fission reactor, offers China role

RT Oct.17, 2014 The view of the Kurchatov Institute National Research Center, Moscow.(RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko) / RIA Novosti Russia is developing a hybrid nuclear reactor that uses both nuclear fusion and fission, said head of leading nuclear research facility. The project is open for international collaboration, particularly from Chinese scientists. A hybrid nuclear reactor is a sort of ... Read More »

Scientists Skeptical of Lockheed’s Fusion Breakthrough

Defense Tech BRENDAN MCGARRY on OCTOBER 16, 2014 Experts were skeptical of Lockheed Martin Corp.‘s claims this week that it plans to build a fusion reactor small enough to fit on the back of a truck over the next decade. The Bethesda, Maryland-based company — the world’s largest defense contractor, known for its stealth fighter jets and guided missiles — ... Read More »

Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

Reuters BY ANDREA SHALAL WASHINGTON Wed Oct 15, 2014 The magnetic coils inside the compact fusion experiment pictured in an undated photo provided by Lockheed Martin. CREDIT: REUTERS/LOCKHEED MARTIN (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit ... Read More »

Steven Cowley believes fusion is the future of energy

Physicist Steven Cowley is certain that nuclear fusion is the only truly sustainable solution to the fuel crisis. He explains why fusion will work — and details the projects that he and many others have devoted their lives to, working against the clock to create a new source of energy. Read More »