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April 10, 2011

Research shows that P-B11 Aneutronic fusion will work better than previously thought

Proton boron aneutronic nuclear fusion research shows that the reaction will produce two usable high energy alphas and not one. Paper - Understanding the 11B(p,a)aa reaction at the 0.675 MeV resonance

This means that the P-b11 reaction will have a higher percentage of energy that is directly convertible into electricity than previously believed.



Researchers have been developing reactors to slam hydrogen at high speeds into boron-11, a collision that yields high-energy helium nuclei, or alpha particles. Those alphas then spiral through a tunnel of electromagnetic coils, transforming them into a flow of electrons, or electricity.

The new insight makes the boron-fusion reaction even more interesting as a possible alternative to the nuclear fission process used in reactors in Japan and other parts of the world. A reactor based on this process could produce electricity without radioactive wastes. It also would not produce the carbon dioxide and other gases emitted by coal-powered plants.

Nuclear fusion still faces formidable challenges, one of the greatest being that hydrogen and boron only begin to fuse at temperatures close to 1 billion degrees Kelvin (nearly 2 billion degrees Fahrenheit). But building this typ
e of reactor is realistic, says Weller, whose team is continuing to study the process at TUNL.

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