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May 10, 2012

IEC Bussard Fusion Project gets two more years of funding

The Navy is funding EMC2 an additional $5.3 million over next 2 years to work on the problem of pumping electrons into the Polywell. Big new pulsed power supply to support the electron guns (100+A, 10kV). WB-8 has been operating at 0.8 Tesla (8 times stronger magnetic field than any previous version).

There was a review done of the work and the recommendations were to continue and expand the effort.

(H/T To Talk Polywell)


Back in late 2010 and early 2011 they had indicated the WB8 would be done by now. Below are the old quotes. they show the slippage of two years to work on the electron injection problems.

* The WB-8 isn’t intended to be a net power machine. What it is intended to do is thoroughly test the scaling properties of the Polywell design to see if a net power reactor is practicable.

* EMC2 will only be testing D+D fusion in the WB-8. However, if the results are promising enough, they have an option to extend their contract to test p+B11 fusion. If they do, the new device (WB-8.1) will be due by Oct. 31, 2011, and the final report will be due a year later.

* If either the WB-8 or the WB-8.1 produces promising results, EMC2 will go on to build the WB-D, a 100 MW demonstration reactor.

So WB-8 is promising but has some issues, which they are hoping to work out in 18-24 months.




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