Energy device in funding limbo for two decades -- dying on the vine for lack of nuclear weapons potential.
by Ed Ward, MD
US Physicist Dr. Robert W. Bussard has produced proven, consistent, working prototypes of a fusion device that does not need to release neutrons as part of the fusion process.
Neutrons induce radioactivity to their immediate surroundings. Bussard's method does not do this.
This just one of the major drawbacks of other fusion projects such as the Tokamak project. The massive (30 meters X 110 feet) Tokamak/ITER project (D-T/Deuterium - Tritium) fusion reaction produces about 20 million units of energy mostly in the deadly neutron (neutral charge) production and requires gravitational strength containment/compression.
In contrast, Bussard's Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion reaction produces about 10 million units of energy per reaction, requires much weaker electric forces/fields for confinement of the reaction and is only about 2% of the size (about 15 X 12 feet) of the Tokamak reactor.
Radioactive Tokamak technology has received 18 billion dollars of US subsidy with 30 billion more earmarked for future development. There has never been a working prototype of ITER technology. Funding is based on theories and equations. A working model is not even anticipated for another 30 to 50 years. There are many proponents of Tokamak that believe that this technology will never be economically viable and others that believe it will never come to fruition at all.
In contrast, IEC/Electric fusion devices are smaller, significantly more economical, non radioactive, has had working prototypes producing 10 kv of energy, much more likely to be a viable option, and could come to reality in about 5 - 6 years from appropriation of 200 million dollars. That is less than the cost of one day of economic support for the Middle East oil wars without a single loss of life; and is a mere 1/90th of what has been spent on D-T fusion.
Dr. Bussard's IEC fusion advancements are based on the 1924 concepts of Langmuir and Blodgett, the efforts of Watson in 1959, and the developments of Philo Farnsworth and Robert Hirsch. These early works all involved the use of a grid which defeats the process involved. The Polywell device using magnetic fields removes the hindrance of the previously required grids in the fusion reactors (fusors). Over the years there have been isolated reports on Dr. Bussard's works similar to ex-NASA employee Kelly Starks' 1996 post, but as usual, the corporate media has been and is still currently ignoring this major breakthrough in energy production.
In 1996, through some awesome diplomatic expertise (along with the assistance of several patriot scientist friends) Bussard landed a deal with the DOD/DARPA for 50 million dollars and 12 years of research. Four moths later when the DOD found out what they were getting, they cancelled the contract by saying that the DOD doesn't do fusion? With the approximate $6 million dollars (by Bussard's general statement and $14 million by the navy's specific statements) he funded a renowned scientist working on revolutionary clean fusion, 5 - 10 members, 35% overhead for filling in 64,000 pages of documents, the first machine (very expensive for its stage), and 12 years of work. One million dollars worth of equipment was saved by transferring it to a propulsion lab. It is amazing what they were able to accomplish with so little money.
Part of the 50 million deal that turned into 6 million was an agreement that Dr. Bussard not publish -- a complete gag order. For 6 million the DOD took away all knowledge of clean, safe energy from The People, virtually assured a non-viable product, and was able to keep massive funding to D-T fusion (Thermonuclear Weapons), and allows continued experiments for the development of thermonuclear weapons, such as the Bunker Buster B-61.
When the 12-year contract expired and was not renewed, Dr. Bussard was able to publicize his accomplishments. This knowledge of clean energy must be exposed to the world.
It's been a year since the DOD/DARPA refused to renew the IEC contract. Since then, Dr. Bussard has tried desperately to get exposure for his breakthrough technology and possibly planet-saving technology. He presented a paper at an International Conference in Spain. He has also made presentations to corporations as a profit venture.
Only after his fusion efforts had shown proof of fusion and had won the Outstanding Technology of the Year award did the DOD renew the contract. But they did not fund it. It looks like the DOD has stifled the information and is under-funding it again. However, the crucial information for the technology is available to any scientist, group, or nation that stumbles across it and is willing to invest.
Dr. Bussard's excellent 93 minute taped presentation to Google explains the Electric Fusion process in basic physics context and concepts in a way that most with a minimal background of basics physics can relate. The video contains a lot of the previously noted information as well as his well-founded belief that the physics of IEC is proven and merely awaits engineering development which already exists, but needs to be applied to this particular instance. Data being consistent with IEC fusion statements, it certainly appears the essence of what Bussard says is true.
Refinement of semi-sphere electromagnet shapes and placements still needs further evaluation. Significantly more energy is required for the Boron non radioactive fusion reaction. The equipment must be tested for viability, dependability and durability when running in a steady state and will need to be refined. A large number of variables - heat, pressure, introduction, removal, collection, etc - will need to be fine tuned for continuous vs pulsed operation. Time is also of the essence and one year's worth of precious time has already been wasted.
"At 78, he (Bussard) is in ill health and his scientific allies fear that the long-sought breakthrough he appears to have achieved may fade into obscurity before it can be fully developed." Dr. Bussard believes there may only be about 5 people on the planet with the background, experience, training and qualifications to make in-depth evaluations and comments regarding IEC fusion. Bussard is the foremost expert on IEC fusion. His loss would surely be a significant hindrance to the completion of the project. Is the DOD trying to stall to insure massive continued funding for nuclear weapons and oblivion of safe and cheap energy?
The title 'Technology for the Year" hardly does this discovery justice. Electric Fusion is the "Technology of the Century". Millions could gain access to cheap energy and pure water as a result.
The potential of one Electric Fusion reactor is impressive. Google rumors IEC output to be in the range of between 100 MW and 1,000 MW (100,000 to 1 Million kW). To be able to grasp the amount of energy produced, the average home usage peaks at 3 to 4 kW for about 4 hours a day. One Electric Fusion device would provide the peak power for 25,000 to 33,000 home with an on demand output of 100 MW. Or, 250,000 to 330,000 homes at peak output with an on demand output of 1,000 MW.
US Physicist Dr. Robert Bussard, a Princeton graduate, has 57 years of research and development experience working in the energy field. His credits range from rocket propulsion to fusion. During that time Dr. Bussard has had significant roles at Los Alamos National Labs, Oakridge Labs, TRW Systems and was the Assistant Director of the US Atomic Energy Commission. He conceived the aptly name Bussard Ramjet propulsion system and has 3 patents on his non-neutron (no radiation) fusion device. In 2006, he won The Outstanding Technology of the Year Award from the International Academy of Science (an insightful basic partial summation of the process) for his achievements regarding fusion.