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February 13, 2013

New Google Solve for X - Lockheed Skunkworks Working on Compact 100 MW Nuclear Fusion and targets 2018 for full scale prototype and 2023 for Commercial system

Problem: Energy access & climate change

* world power use is projected to double and a lot of it will come from coal
* 1.3 billion people have no electricity

Solution: A 100MW compact fusion reactor that runs on plentiful and cheap deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen).

Instead of the large tokomaks which will take until the mid-2040s or 2050s for the first one and which will be large (30,000 tons) and expensive have one that fit on a truck. Build on a production line like jet engines.


Breakthrough technology: Charles Chase and his team at Lockheed have developed a High Beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and speedier development timeline (5 years instead of 30).

* The magnetic field increases the farther that you go out, which pushes the plasma back in.
* It also has very few open field lines (very few paths for the plasma to leak out)
* Very good arch curvature of the field lines
* The Lockheed system has a beta of about 1.
* This system is DT (deuterium - tritium)









Currently a cylinder 1 meter wide and 2 meters tall. The 100 MW version would be about twice the dimensions.





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