I had been covering the recent work of
Robert Bussard on inertial electrostatic fusion.
This project had been funded again by the US Navy
Power and control also noted Robert Bussards passing and summarize his work which will continue
The Polywell Fusion reactor is described at Wikipedia
The proposed WB-7 and WB-8 devices will be constructed and tested during 2008. Depending on the experimental results, the research could continue in pursuit of the final full-sized model.
EMC2 was the company that received the funding for the project
Phase 1 - Validate and Review WB-6 Results
1.5 - 2 years (by the end of 2008), $3-5M
Phase 2 - Design, Build and Test
Full Scale 100 MW Fusion System
5 years (2009-2013), $200M
Askmar has links to the scientific papers on the Fusion concept
The only small scale machine work remaining, which can yet give further improvements in performance, is test of one or two WB-6-scale devices but with “square“ or polygonal coils aligned approximately (but slightly offset on the main faces) along the edges of the vertices of the polyhedron. If this is built around a truncated dodecahedron, near-optimum performance is expected; about 3-5 times better than WB-6.
This paper describes the application of Bussard Fusion to achieve up to 1.2 million ISP and $24 per kg to get to orbit