Harold Helsley, a member of the board and treasurer of Fusion Power Corporation wrote a comment to ‘Fusion – Where the Possible Meets Impractical’ that brings out a form of fusion that seems ready now. As the information Mr. Helsley provided is timely and on a new point for us the text is simply a post on its own. More after . . .
The energy source for the future … RF Accelerator Driven Heavy Ion Fusion Power
There is a solution to the energy need for the world and the US without generating green house gases or nuclear fission radioactive problems.
It is Heavy Ion Fusion (HIF) as developed in the late 1970′s at Argonne National Lab under the Department of Defense (DOD).
You never heard of it, … right, few people have, … as HIF was set aside by the US DOD (& DOE) in favor of lasers, as lasers could maybe be a weapon and HIF could not be a weapon.
Fusion was first suggested as a potential power source in the late 1920’s. The first earth-bound fusion reaction was demonstrated in 1952. Then shown potentially doable in a small size in 1978-9 at Argonne National Lab and Hughes Lab. Since then it has been endorsed for 35 years by the scientific community “as the conservative way to go” to develop fusion as an energy generation source … but never funded, as it was and is still BIG (expensive, prolific and “benign”). In 1980, the world did not need a BIG new source of energy, as it does now. Fusion was put on the shelf or attached to research projects to see if it could be done in small (MW-GW) size. Fusion cannot be done small and be economical. Data suggests that fusion can produce 5-7 cents kWh electricity, $3.20 per/gal fuel, and $0.002 per gallon for potable water, all needed today and at a very reasonable unit price.
In 2009, Fusion Power Corporation with Dr. Robert J. Burke and Dr. Charles E. Helsley, secured a patent using heavy ions as the energy source to fuse the Hydrogen isotopes Deuterium and Tritium producing Helium and heat. It solves the problems that Germany, Russia, America and Japan were having in focusing enough energy on the pellet (target) to cause fusion to occur.
In December 2010, the process was presented at the 18th HIF International Symposium in Darmstadt, Germany, along with an economic model, by Fusion Power Corporation (FCP)l.
In May of 2011, FPC presented the process to the Accelerators for Heavy Ion Fusion Workshop (AHIF) at Berkeley CA, sponsored by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Virtual National Lab (DOD & DOE). Again, the result was “now is the time to move forward” with a fusion program … as there is now a world need for a large new carbon free energy source.
The science has been done and it now is an engineering process. FPC’s process applies known and existing technologies in unique and novel ways to provide the energy necessary for fusion to occur. FPC’s fusion power is more developed than was rocketry in 1961 when JFK committed the nation (US) to go to the moon and back.
FPC is an engineering design, implementation and licensing company. FPC’s mission is to provide the energy necessary for maintaining current levels of energy use (standard of living) and to provide opportunities for growth in the energy supply using fusion. FPC’s vision is the development of a fusion power source based on the use of the techniques of radio frequency (RF) accelerator-driven Heavy Ion Fusion (HIF) that were researched in the 1970’s; a technique that has repeatedly received scientific endorsement.
FPC’s primary goal is to translate the science vetted design of a RF accelerator-driven fusion power system to one that can be brought on-line within a decade – each installation having an energy output equivalent to that of a giant oil field without the depletion problem and located where needed.
FPC can also be eligible for carbon credits, as FPC can produce per day, 500,000 barrels of a carbon neutral synthetic liquid fuel (diesel-kerosene-gasoline), 15 GW electric, and 2000+ ac/ft of potable water from sea water, all with no GHGs, no highly radioactive waste and no potential for a “run-away” nuclear meltdown.
By 2050, fusion will be the source of most of the world’s energy. This is not wishful thinking, it is simply a way of stating that all other forms of energy that are based on the use of finite fossil fuel sources must decline in the next few decades. This decline will provide a major impetus for the rapid increase in the utilization of this new form of energy. Wind, solar and bio fuels are only “feel good solutions” of “we are doing something to solve the problem” when have little possibility of generating the 14 TW needed in the next 40 years. I can show you the math.
HIF is the ONLY practical answer for non-proliferation of atomic weapons and maybe the real way to world peace … non-aggression for national energy supplies and national security.
Let us get moving to really solve the energy problem … not 35 more years of research!
For more information and detail of the FPC HIF process visit http://www.fusionpowercorporation.com and see the You Tube presentations “StarPower for Tomorrow” and Goggle Tech Talk “Heavy Ion Fusion”.
Inquires may be sent to: email@example.com
Your humble writer spent some time on the FPC website and found it quite thorough in covering the main topics of interest. What’s missing is the process graphic of a reaction and an economic synopsis easy enough to grasp by major media types. It is an engaging site, rich in information.
The ‘other hand’ so to speak is the FPC power plant would be huge, and the investment as well. While the facts at hand bear out the potential, and the numbers imply that a couple hundred plants would power the entire planet, an installation would need a deuterium supply, adequate water, room for an accelerator, proximity to a major grid interconnect, carbon sources, room for a huge synfuels plant and market access for unloading a half million barrels of liquid fuels.
This is a very tall order – without a pilot or demo unit, and that would be a very expensive undertaking on its own. Still, unless the innovators can come up with very cheap small fusion processes, the FPC idea has to get up front both economically with a drive to confirmation and product cost reductions.
The Heavy Ion Fusion idea definitely has the legs, and when its gets to commercial viability the investment is going to be billions. But it’s one way to get the equivalent of a giant oil field without it ever running dry.