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March 19, 2010

IEC Fusion Problem that was Overcome Back in 2008

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The NMSBA (The New Mexico Small Business Assistance) Program helped EMC2 Fusion to access LANL’s (Los Alamos National Lab) sophisticated science and technology expertise, which is normally out of reach for a small technology company.

(H/T JohnFul in TalkPolywell)

Energy Matter Conversion Corporation (EMC2) is a research and development company that is working toward the creation of radiation-free and cost-effective fusion power. If successful, the company will create a fusion power system that would dramatically change the face of power generation worldwide.

EMC2 had reached an impasse in their design caused by a device failure in which the plasma arced and lost confinement. This flaw happened so quickly the company needed specialized equipment and expertise to diagnose the issue and maintain the timeliness of their development plans.



Glen Wurden (LANL), Fusion Energy Sciences Program Manager, is an experimental plasma physicist and team leader of the magnetic fusion experimental team. Dr. Wurden’s unique expertise in analysis identified the problem. He used high speed cameras to photograph the fusion reaction and capture images that allowed them to visualize the dynamics of the device failure. He also applied light monitors and a spectrometer to identify impurities that were interfering in the fusion reaction.

The NMSBA Program helped to save EMC2 six months to a year in their development cycle by identifying the technical flaw in only two weeks. Identification of the problem saved the company nearly 30% of their
annual budget. The cost savings will enable EMC2 to hire two more employees and continue with plans to add five more jobs next year. The NMSBA Program has kept a valuable project from stalling. EMC2 is moving
forward on plans to construct a $30 million dollar prototype.

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