Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Polywell Gets In On The Act

Polywell Fusion looks to be getting a $2 million boost from the DoD Recovery Act Plan. Here is what the DoD has to say about their plan.

Today, March 20, 2009, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its EXPENDITURE PLAN for the projects to be funded with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Recovery Act provides $7.4 billion to the Department largely for projects that are located at Defense installations spread across all fifty states, District of Columbia and two U.S. territories. The report includes $2.3 billion in construction projects, including two major hospital construction projects: Camp Pendleton, California; Fort Hood, Texas; and a hospital alteration project at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. The plan also contains $3.4 billion for nearly 3,000 facility repair and improvement projects that will immediately generate additional employment in communities around Defense installations. Furthermore, the plan details how $300 million for near-term energy technology research will be allocated. The allocation of the remaining $800 million for Defense facility infrastructure investment be announced at a later date.
There is a pdf of the plan. On pdf page 166 there is a small item under the heading Domestic Energy Supply/Distribution. It is as follows:
Plasma Fusion (Polywell) Demonstrate fusion plasma confinement system for shore and shipboard applications; Joint OSD/USN project. 2.0
The "2.0" is the amount of funding in millions. This indicates the military has a fair amount of confidence in Polywell and the progress made so far in the research.

There is no doubt that if Polywell can be made to work a shore installation would probably be the first and easiest application. Next would come size reductions for shipboard use. And if we can get the weight down enough - rockets for space. Or perhaps use as low cost power supply for a ground based laser propulsion system.

I just looked at Amazon and there is no book out yet on Polywell Fusion. I have heard rumors of people writing books on the subject so maybe we will see one in the coming months.

In the mean time you can look at this www page to get some understanding of what is involved:

Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

H/T KitemanSA at Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values

2 comments:

Dr. T said...

"The "2.0" is the amount of funding in millions. This indicates the military has a fair amount of confidence in Polywell and the progress made so far in the research."

I cannot believe you said this. The military has thrown billions of dollars at projects it knew would not work. Two million dollars is chicken feed to the DoD.

I have seen no solid evidence that we will have reliable fusion power before 2030. Polywell may be on the right track, or it may be blowing smoke. It'll take more than Bussard's name and some good publicity to convince me that fusion is near.

M. Simon said...

Dr. T,

I follow the research rather closely and am in personal contact with the principal researcher.

This is not a boondoggle.

There is no guarantee of course. Some finding not yet in evidence may show that it can't be done. However, no show stoppers so far.

Let me add that after a hiatus of about a year and a half the US Navy has been funding the research since August of 2007. First WB-7 and now WB-7.1.