Crowd Funding Focus Fusion

by Dennis Peterson
(Charlotte, NC, USA)

LPP's Focus Fusion project is crowd funding focus fusion seeking $200K for beryllium electrodes for their special reactor core.

They think they're 12 to 18 months away from break-even with boron fuel. After that it's four years to engineer a production plant which will be able to generate power at least ten times cheaper than is possible with fossil fuels.

Eric Lerner, the chief scientist, gave an invited talk at Oxford last week. He published a paper in 2012 in Physics of Plasmas, the leading fusion journal, showing that they'd attained the temperature and confinement time needed for boron fusion. The temperatures achieved were many times higher than any other nuclear fusion project in the world.

Now they need to increase plasma density by 10,000 times, which they think they can do with the new electrodes, along with increased input power and switching to boron fuel (from deuterium).

More information on the dense plasma focus idea for creating viable power-generating nuclear fusion is covered on another part of this site. In particular the work by LPP - Lawrenceville Plasma Physics.

The boron and hydrogen mix fuel will enable nuclear fusion to be achieved without producing neutrons. Neutrons from fusion reactions create radioactive byproducts and weaken structural material in reactor chambers.

The beryllium electrodes beings sought through the funding will enable x-rays produced in the boron-hydrogen reaction to pass freely in the reactor to increase the effectiveness of fusion.

There is more information on crowd funding focus fusion in an article in Gizmag.

The place to participate in crowd funding focus fusion is with indiegogo through this link.

Comments for Crowd Funding Focus Fusion

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 06, 2015
Focus Fusion Cost Return
by: Jimmy J. Johnson

After watching Eric Lerner's presentations given at Google and at Oxford I am torn between two opinions. The first is that the optimistic estimates of the amount of effort required to obtain results are at least 100 times too low. The second is that even with a realistic probability of success at less than 1%, it is well worth funding.

It always takes at last one person to dream the impossible and prove that it is possible. If anyone actually knew how much work is required to take an idea from concept to reality they would never have started in the first place. This statement holds for even mundane technology or for creating a business.

The aspect of Lerner's focus fusion effort that is most likely to lead to failure is fact that lack of funds has already resulted in a very obvious lack of engineering support. For example,any experienced microwave power tube or switch tube engineer could have prevented the waste in time and money that came from the conclusioon that monolithic tungsten electrodes were needed to prevent arcing. Some simple tungsten rods machnied then diffusion brazed with nickel for temperatures lower than 1400C or moly ruthenium eutectic for higher temperatures would give a fast turnaround cheap electrodes that could be made in a garage machine shop.

I could go on but will not, because I mention the example only to show how the lack of funding results in serious setbacks in time and effort in inventing what is already well known technology. It has the added negative impact of exposing the effort to ridicule.

Incidentally, one of the most positive signs I see is that the proponents of the physics big institutional generational gravy train projects like ITER have started kicking dirt on Lerner and the Focus Fusion concept. Sadly, that fact is in and of itself one of the surest signs that Focus Fusion has been evaluated and found to have technical merit.

I plan to send a donation. The only question is to decide on its magnitude.

Jimmy J. Johnson

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Nuclear Fusion Developments.