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December 17, 2008

Non-electric Uses for Nuclear Fusion


Non electric uses for nuclear fusion were presented in a 2003 report to the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC).

There are at least 5 unique products that we can "sell" from fusion reactions before the fusion community enters the main market for fusion energy (the generation of electricity):
A.) high energy neutrons (2-14 MeV)
B.) thermal neutrons
C.) high energy protons (3-15 MeV)
D.) electromagnetic radiation (microwave to x-rays to g rays).
E.) high energy electrons coupled with photons to provide ultra high heat fluxes

The most promising opportunities for non-electric applications of fusion fall into four categories:
1. Near-Term Applications
- Production of of 99MO, medical isotope of choiceThe use of fusion reactions to provide relatively inexpensive PET isotopes in low population density areas for the diagnosis of cancers and other abnormalities can be a big help in keeping related Medicaid and Medicare health care costs down.
-Detection of explosivesThe production of neutrons from DD reactions in small portable fusion devices can contribute to the nation’s Homeland Security mission. The detection of clandestine materials (explosives, chemical and biological weapons, drugs, etc.) is of vital importance to our national security and is an area where existing low Q fusion devices are already at the proof of principle stage.

2. Transmutation (alternatives are nuclear fission approaches)
3. Hydrogen Production
4. Space Propulsion



Next Two Tables Show Transmutation and Space are Easier Than Electricity





FURTHER READING
Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC of Bussard) fusion

Dense plasma : focus fusion.

General fusion: acoustic wave approach.

Tri-alpha energy, colliding beam fusion

Laser ignited fusion/fission hybrid proposal

Micro fusion proposal
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