Friday, December 26, 2008

Steampunk Fusion

M. Simon Rockford has a fascinating site, IEC Fusion Technology, with a report about a new approach to achieve fusion by General Fusion . It might just work, Steampunk and all.
The use of low-tech pneumatic rams in place of sophisticated high power electrical systems reduces the cost of the energy delivered to the plasma by a factor of 10 making such a power plant commercially competitive. Because the fusion plasma is totally enclosed in the liquid metal, the neutron flux at the reactor wall is very low. Other fusion schemes struggle with a high neutron flux at the wall that rapidly damages the machine and also produces some radio-active material. Frequent robotic replacement of the then radio-active plasma facing components is a costly problem for many fusion machines.

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