Homemade fusion reactor

World Economic Forum: Hydrogen Boron Nuclear Fusion Anticipated by 2030

Essay by Eric Worrall

Are greens replacing fantasies of energy sources which don’t work, with fantasies of energy sources which don’t exist?

For a clean energy future, our relationship to the grid must change. Here’s how

Jul 15, 2022

  • Outdated domestic power grids are currently unable to integrate necessary renewable energy sources.
  • As we transition to a carbon-free society we need to transform the way we power and manage the grid.
  • Future grids that capitalize on the potential of distributed energy resources can help flatten the demand curve.

Our current domestic power grids are woefully inept to integrate necessary renewable energy sources – plagued by ageing, outdated technology and a regulatory structure that hampers the ability to upgrade the critical infrastructure required. In the US alone, the power grid operates at about 40% efficiency. 

The answer to solving this problem lies within a new approach to electricity: one that focuses on optimizing the way customers and their technologies interact with the grid. The devastating effects of climate change demand that we take our next steps without introducing more pollution and unsustainable demand on extracted resources. 

A possible path forward

Enabling software and other technologies have only recently emerged, so there’s much to do to realize the potential of this future grid that capitalizes on the potential of DERs. Utility planning capabilities, regulatory structures, and business models are all in the very early stages. One critical requirement will be some type of central registry that classifies assets by type and significant characteristics, (e.g. the what, where, when, and the capacity and energy that can be offered). Each aggregator contract would tie it to specific assets, with that relationship documented in the registry. A permissioned-based approach, supported by appropriate grid architecture, would regulate both communications flows and hierarchy of behaviours (e.g. if a battery is contracted to support the grid, it must be available – it can’t have recently sold its energy for another purpose).

Our relationship to the grid – and how we power and manage it – must change. In the past, creating electricity has typically been an environmentally damaging endeavour – whether it’s extracting and burning coal, or harnessing the power of nuclear fission while creating radioactive waste. Powering our future also means developing sustainable, non-polluting energy that can withstand surges in demand and has more consistent availability than solar and wind power. Hydrogen-boron fusion energy is being developed at TAE Technologies to meet and exceed current demand, without burning coal or creating nuclear waste, with an anticipated date of 2030. The technology will be carbon-free and offer a new, vast supply of energy.

Read more: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/clean-energy-future-relationship-to-grid-must-change

A 2030 timetable for hydrogen boron fusion seems absurdly optimistic.

Hydrogen Boron fusion in theory would be far cleaner than deuterium tritium fusion, because it is one of a class of relatively clean “a-neutronic fusion” reactions. But hydrogen boron is just under 10x more difficult than deuterium tritium fusion, which in my opinion puts hydrogen boron fusion well into fantasy land, with anything resembling current levels of technology.

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John Tillman
December 7, 2022 6:03 pm

Fusion might actually arrive before the battery or other power storage breakthroughs required to make unreliables capable of providing base load.

pillageidiot
Reply to  John Tillman
December 7, 2022 6:39 pm

For fusion, we understand the physics, but a lot of work remains on the engineering.

For renewable energy battery systems, we understand the engineering, and the Greens don’t understand the physics of getting sufficient materials from exploiting the crust of the earth.

So yes, you are correct. No matter how far off into the future lies practical fusion energy, it will STILL beat the renewable energy-battery grid!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  pillageidiot
December 7, 2022 7:29 pm

Massive grid storage to patch up unreliable renewables was stupid to begin with, but then to go for lithium storage batteries to do the job shows there aren’t any decent engineers in charge of today’s energy technologies.

First, the chief benefit of lithium batteries is their light weight, which is not a specification for stationary energy storage. Lead is $2 a kilo. Lithium battery chemicals (Li2CO3, or LiOH) for Li-ion batteries is $35 a kilo.

Bryan A
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 7, 2022 8:10 pm

The reported fusion tech is all a con to get more money from Big Green investors then deliver nothing. Their Fusion is Con-Fusion

pillageidiot
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 7, 2022 9:16 pm

‘there aren’t any decent engineers in charge of today’s energy technologies.”

If you want a physical system to work, you put engineers in charge.

If you want to siphon lots of sweet, sweet graft into your pockets, you put politicians in charge.

Guess who the Leftists have put in charge of the “Green Energy” movement?

THEIR system is working perfectly – just as it was designed!

Chasmsteed
Reply to  pillageidiot
December 7, 2022 11:08 pm

‘there aren’t any decent engineers in charge of today’s energy technologies.”
There aren’t any decent engineers in charge of perpetual motion projects either.
Same reason methinks ?

n.n
Reply to  pillageidiot
December 7, 2022 9:17 pm

This is the Age of Green. Spread the Blight!

wilpost
Reply to  John Tillman
December 7, 2022 6:49 pm

Bull manure on super expensive batteries systems and fusion power plants making expensive, unreliable, wind and solar, reliable!!

michael hart
Reply to  John Tillman
December 7, 2022 11:15 pm

There will be no useable battery breakthrough.
As the energy storage density increases they will go from being a fire risk to an explosion risk. There is a reason why large amounts of oxidants are stored separately away from large amounts of fuels (reductants). The fire inspectors insist.

Fuel cells look more promising.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  michael hart
December 8, 2022 7:18 am

If you think lithium is expensive, try platinum.

JamesB_684
December 7, 2022 6:06 pm

Nuclear fusion is only 20 years away …
… … and always will be.

I actually believe that humans will eventually achieve sustainable and substantially net energy positive fusion power. “Eventually” might be 100 years or 1000 years, but it sure doesn’t mean 8 years.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 6:44 pm

You’re misreading it Eric. That’s 2,030 million years in the future.

(A wildly optimistic guess even still).

Yes, in the Climastrology religion, fusion is the promise of riches in heaven earned through our sacrifices today.

Rick C
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 8, 2022 9:04 am

Don’t be so negative. The WEF says H-Boron fusion is only 8 years away. We’re saved – no need to do any more renewable non-sense or transition – just need to wait 8 years and all of our energy concerns will be solved.

Bryan A
Reply to  JamesB_684
December 7, 2022 8:11 pm

Yep, the only way it will happen in 8 years is if the solution is stumbled upon in 7 years

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  JamesB_684
December 7, 2022 9:31 pm

Lockheed’s initial optimism seems to have slacked.

Yirgach
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 8, 2022 6:21 am

From the Skunk Works Wiki page:
“In July 2019, Jeff Babione – vice president and general manager of Skunk Works[16] – stated: “This year we are constructing another reactor – T5 – which will be a significantly larger and more powerful reactor than our T4, We are current scheduled to have that go online towards the end of this year, so that will be another significant leap in capability and towards demonstrating that the physics underlining our concept works.”

3 years later, not much…

Rich Davis
Reply to  Yirgach
December 9, 2022 3:45 am

Covid, Putin, abracadabra.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 9, 2022 3:44 am

I guess they got their funding so they’re in the resetting-expectations phase of the scam.

DMacKenzie
December 7, 2022 6:13 pm

Hydrogen Boron nuclear reactions are not entirely without merit.

[1] Belyaev, V., et al., Observation of neutronless fusion reactions in picosecond laser plasmas. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, 2005. 72: p. 026406. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.72.026406
[2] Labaune, C., et al., Laser-initiated primary and secondary nuclear reactions in Boron-Nitride. Scientific Reports, 2016. 6: p. 21202. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep21202 https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031030
[3] Picciotto, A., et al., Boron-Proton Nuclear-Fusion Enhancement Induced in Boron-Doped Silicon Targets by Low-Contrast Pulsed Laser. Physical Review X, 2014. 4: p. 031030. https://journals.aps.org/prx/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031030
[4] Margarone, D., et al., Advanced scheme for high-yield laser driven nuclear reactions. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 2014. 57(1): p. 014030 https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0741-3335/57/1/014030
[5] Eliezer, S., et al., Avalanche proton-boron fusion based on elastic nuclear collisions Physics of Plasmas, 2016. 23(5). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4950824
[6] Hora, H., et al., Fusion energy using avalanche increased boron reactions for block-ignition by ultrahigh power picosecond laser pulses. Laser and Particle Beams, 2015. 33(4): p. 607-619. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0263034615000634
[7] Hora, H., et al., Road map to clean energy using laser beam ignition of boron-hydrogen fusion. Laser and Particle Beams, 2017. 35(4): p. 730-740. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0263034617000799
[9] Santos, J.J., et al., Laser-driven platform for generation and characterization of strong quasi-static magnetic fields. New Journal of Physics, 2015. 17(8): p. 083051. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/17/8/083051
[10] Fujioka, S., et al., Kilotesla Magnetic Field due to a Capacitor-Coil Target Driven by High Power Laser. Scientific Reports, 2013. 3: p. 1170. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep01170
Giuffrida, et. al. (2020). High-current stream of energetic α particles from laser-driven proton-boron fusion. PHYSICAL REVIEW E 101, 013204 https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.101.013204
Hora, H., Laser Plasma Physics, in Laser Plasma Physics, SPIE, Editor. 2016. p. p. 247 https://spie.org/Publications/Book/2073373?SSO=1 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0263034615000634

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 6:42 pm

First H-Br demo was in 2005 by a Russian team with 2013 major increase in fusion by a French team. Heinrich Hora’s chirped laser design might be able to achieve the required energy concentration.
On your part, no apology would be required…if they apply for a construction permit it would take longer than 2030 to receive permission in any modern Western woke government.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutronic_fusion

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
DMacKenzie
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 7:15 pm

The hydrogen-boron design doesn’t use magnetic confinement which is the big power consumer in an Iter-type design. Mag confinement requires huge superconducting magnets and associated cryo refrigeration systems. So this design possibly starts life much closer to break even. Plus Hydrogen Boron supposedly directly collects electricity on its spherical containment shell, so doesn’t use steam turbines and heat exchangers to generate electricity, so has an opportunity to be less costly on a smaller scale.
But little is said about the likely incredible cooling required for that containment sphere to not become a puddle…The devil is in the engineering details, and right now the design is mostly optimizing it’s funding collection goals.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 7, 2022 7:26 pm

Heck Eric, go visit HB11, they’re based in Sydney

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 9:58 pm

You seem pretty skeptical for a guy who liked Project Orion yesterday !

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 7, 2022 10:24 pm
Curious George
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 8, 2022 7:37 am

Let’s work on hydrogen-boron cold fusion. I am open to grants.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 8, 2022 10:49 am

A sustained DT plasma is very radioactive with neutrons needing expensive shielding and containment and a very specialized facility, while Boron produces lowly charged Alpha particles so can be experimented with, theoretically at much lower cost.
But taxpayers need to constantly be on the lookout for scammers with Ph.D.’s looking for career long research funding…

posa
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 8, 2022 2:36 pm

One of the biggest issues with DT fusion is keeping the plasma hot for long enough to burn the fuel.

Hey Einstein, by 2015 the LPPFusion device had hit reactor temperatures > 1 B degrees C and confined it long enough for a fusion reaction.

God, have you no self-respect? At least make a tiny effort to use, say Wiki or Google, to research a topic before you make a fool of yourself in print.

wilpost
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 6:44 pm

Stop wasting even more money on the fusion wet dream!

PCman999
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 10:23 pm

Tritium is $30,000/gram and the high energy neutrons given off are hard to convert to proper heat to spin a turbine. So why bother – work with the stuff that will work cleaner and safer, especially if it’s going to be a long haul. They might find a short cut (sort of like muon catalysis, say) if they focus on the proper stuff instead of a dead end.

Anyways, fusion is bollucks when a molten salt thorium reactor could do it cheaper than coal/gas and do it without having to wait for the Vulcans to arrive to show us how.

bonbon
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 8, 2022 3:40 am

TAE have a bunch of papers here :
https://tae.com/research-library/
Missing here is :
https://www.lppfusion.com/peer-reviewed-papers/
LPPfusion p-B11 reaction is a self focused plasma setup.
HB11 published results lag far behind LPPfusion :
https://www.lppfusion.com/technology/competing-technologies/
Dr. Lerner says it was a mistake to focus on tokomak confinement, when many approaches should be funded. Budget cuts further focused on non-focus devices.

The point of the article is WEF seeing the light. Looks like FLOP27 was a cold shower for the Davos crowd!

DMacKenzie
Reply to  bonbon
December 8, 2022 10:12 am

Tokomaks, stellerators, etc, use the plasma itself as one winding of a transformer. Lots of current in that single secondary winding heats the plasma to millions of degrees. To get enough current through the primary windings, superconductors have to be used, which require cryogenic temperatures on those primary windings. Not to mention other magnetic windings designed to keep the plasma “compressed” and away from the “cold” walls (which still have to be hot enough to generate steam).
In current designs these cryo temps are only a couple of feet away from temperatures hotter than the interior of the Sun. Plus the heat for the steam turbines is from neutrons absorbed in the casing which makes the casing very radioactive over time, despite fusion often being claimed as low-to-no radioactivity.
I am but a lowly heat transfer engineer, but this design concept has always seemed super-impractical to me, fraught with unknown unknowns for materials problems and failure modes.

However shooting a few atoms of material with a pulsed laser in a collapsing magnetic field seems a lot closer to a concept that can accumulate enough energy in a small enough volume, while still being far enough away from it’s containment vessel that radiative heat transfer and symmetric magnetic fields can be used to advantage…to keep the conceptual complexity to “budgetable” levels. And not entirely unlike hydrogen bomb technology on a micro scale.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
posa
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 8, 2022 1:42 pm

Complete ignorance. Dense Plasma Fusion aka Focus Fusion manipulates the plasma into a “self-confinement” regime. As usual, lots of loud mouths mouthing off based on babble going back to tokamak designs from decades ago.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  posa
December 8, 2022 9:05 pm

posa, pick any of my statements, quote it, and tell me where it is technically incorrect. I am very open to correction of mis-statements.

Except there aren’t any…

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
posa
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 9, 2022 2:01 pm

I am but a lowly heat transfer engineer, but this design concept has always seemed super-impractical to me, fraught with unknown unknowns for materials problems and failure modes

You’re wrong in assuming Tokamak configurations are the only fusion device designs.
So here’s a suggestion: Learn something about aneutronic Dense Plasma Focus devices before pontificating. (It’s called Google)

These devices can and DO operate at temperatures over 1B degrees C.

Inertial confinement has been a failure and were faced with shutdown of facilities, which were only kept open to assist in nuclear weapons development.

Last edited 1 month ago by posa
Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 7, 2022 6:24 pm

Hmmm, a centralized registry and a permissions-based distribution system.

hiskorr
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 7, 2022 7:31 pm

That’s how I read it! Supply not in response to demand (price) but according to government allocation. The basic fallacy of socialism.

Duker
Reply to  hiskorr
December 7, 2022 9:44 pm

50 mill Americans have their power supplied by publically owned generators….tell me again what is this fallacy you speak of

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 7, 2022 8:03 pm

Yeah, my distrustful mind automatically picks up on these little piquant totalitarian offerings. Can you imagine having to get okayed by luddites like Gates or Schwab and the other crimes-against-humanity perps who are churning this stuff out.

michael hart
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 7, 2022 11:29 pm

You need to be more cynical, Gary. Perhaps if we encourage them to believe in nuclear fusion within eight years they will drop all this wind/solar nonsense. 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by michael hart
Rich Davis
Reply to  michael hart
December 9, 2022 4:12 am

Except that the WEF crowd are not stupid. They are devilishly intelligent and arrogantly expect us to believe in their myth-making. They don’t even worry that we’ll ask why it’s necessary to change how we access the grid if unlimited cheap power is right around the corner. (Just two more stolen presidential elections and we’ll be there).

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 7, 2022 8:18 pm

The link goes to the WEF website but the article is written by the chief marketing officer for TAE Technologies that is backed by private capital including Goldman Sachs, the Government of Russia and others (Wiki).
The author refers to lots of authoritarian-sounding concepts: ‘Utility planning capabilities’, ‘regulatory structures’, ‘central registry’, ‘permissioned-based approach’, ‘regulate both communications flows and hierarchy of behaviours’ and finishes with: “Who should be in charge?”.
Answer: consumers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
Michael
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 8, 2022 10:18 am

It may as well be backed by Bankman-Freid

Michael
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 8, 2022 10:16 am

When you can’t deliver a power solution, but you can deliver a database.

wilpost
December 7, 2022 6:42 pm

This hydrogen fusion PR report is to drum up political and financial support for a many-decades-long process, that has proven to be more and more difficult, the closer one gets to one million degree Centigrade, to magnetically contain the “reaction” for more than a second.

Next, they will be telling, “fusion is too cheap to meter”

We need low-cost, 24/7/365 power, year after year, not someone’s pipe dream!

terry
December 7, 2022 6:50 pm

We’re being gently eased into a return to the Middle Ages by promises that it won’t happen

Energywise
Reply to  terry
December 8, 2022 6:53 am

It’s all part of the great reset – the WEF, UN etc know a growing human existence is based on finite resources – if you cannot curb population growth, you must limit its use of vital resources, of particular importance to the global elites, who don’t want to share decreasing resources

Rich Davis
December 7, 2022 6:54 pm

Let’s use our heads as more than hat racks. If WEF actually believed that commercially-viable fusion power will be available 8 years from now, why would there be any need to radically change how we interact with the grid? Such changes could not possibly be completed before the availability of limitless power would render them unnecessary.

Thomas Finegan
December 7, 2022 6:54 pm

I’ve been hearing about the bright fusion future since high school.
I’m on medicare.

Michael
Reply to  Thomas Finegan
December 8, 2022 10:19 am

Same here, in the 70s, it was only ten years away, now its only eight years away.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Michael
December 8, 2022 12:11 pm

It tends to fluctuate between 5 and 40 years. It’s been like that for around 70 years.

If the sun goes red giant and engulfs the earth, then we’ll finally have low-cost sustained terrestrial fusion.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rich Davis
Beta Blocker
December 7, 2022 7:19 pm

See this December 1st 2022 article over on Dan Yurman’s Neutron Bytes blog

How Fast Will Fusion’s Promise Come True?

The article starts off with: “Because fusion developers are in a race to develop unique, first of a kind fusion designs, and because the cost of their efforts have required and will continue to require hundreds or even billions of investors dollars and government financial support, claims made about progress need to be looked at closely. No fusion developer wants investors to be put off by unanswered questions about the challenges they face to achieve success. So here are ten questions for fusion developers.”

The article then goes on to list Yurman’s ten questions. These are the kinds of important questions which apply to any first-of-kind, high complexity, high capital cost technology development project.  

Could any of the fusion development projects now in progress answer all ten of Yurman’s questions before the WEF’s target date of 2030? No way, not a chance. 

PCman999
Reply to  Beta Blocker
December 7, 2022 10:33 pm

I have a sinking feeling the private fusion projects are just fishing for gullible venture capitalists.

ferdberple
December 7, 2022 7:36 pm

There is a sure fire way to make a $$ million from fusion. Start with a $$ trillion.

bnice2000
December 7, 2022 7:43 pm

“to integrate necessary renewable energy sources.”

Say what !! ??

Renewable energy sources are totally unnecessary…

…. except in tiny niche applications.

They are, in fact, a total waste of time, money and resources.

ferdberple
December 7, 2022 7:54 pm

Fusion is the carrot held out before us donkeys The “future grid” is the load we are expected to pull. The carrot will forever remain in the future. The grid will not.

Philip Mulholland
December 7, 2022 8:28 pm

The Hydrogen Boron nuclear reaction is not fusion, it is a nuclear fission reaction. The consequence of impacting the Boron11 nucleus with a Proton is not Carbon12 (that would be fusion if it happened), instead the proton impact spits the Boron11 nucleus and generates three Helium4 nuclei, which is the very definition of fission.

Just because the impactor is a proton and not a neutron this does not make the nuclear reaction into a fusion process.

Do not fall for the word game deception. Everything the WEF says and does is a lie.

Last edited 1 month ago by Philip Mulholland
DMacKenzie
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
December 7, 2022 10:40 pm

Interesting observation Philip, but technically it’s called aneutronic fusion…first observed in the 1930’s…WEF has nothing to do with it actually…other than probably someone bring it up in a megalomania seminar.

Philip Mulholland
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 8, 2022 12:11 am

but technically it’s called aneutronic fusion

The process of capture of a neutron by Uranium235 is neutronic fusion.
The end result of the impact is still nuclear fission. Don’t fall for the word game deception.

old cocky
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
December 9, 2022 5:24 pm

The power of marketing mumbo-jumbo, then?

Fission bad; fusion good.

Dena
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
December 7, 2022 11:07 pm

What I remember about nuclear reactions is pretty old and I was never exposed to this type of reaction. As I recall fission reactions tend to produce much less energy than fusion reactions. What is a bit confusing to me is this in in the realm where it would normally be a fusion reaction so what would be the energy output compared to other reactions? Seeing the reaction is going from a heavy atom to a lighter one, my limited understand would indicate the reaction would absorb energy instead of production it.
Looking at this table, it looks like the reaction might not be worth the trouble.
https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/General_Chemistry/Map%3A_Chemistry_-_The_Central_Science_(Brown_et_al.)/21%3A_Nuclear_Chemistry/21.05%3A_Energy_Changes_in_Nuclear_Reactions

Dodgy Geezer
December 7, 2022 11:37 pm

Why don’t we just solve the cosmological constant problem next week, and live off zero point energy?

Rod Evans
December 8, 2022 12:03 am

The old and well trusted American adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ comes to mind when I read about some new option to replace a fully tested and functioning reliable grid.
This latest offering of some undeveloped fusion option that will be up and running at scale by 2030 must go down as the ultimate nonsense Green energy solution.
Would it work? Who knows. What we do know, is fusion power has been in development for over half a century and we are still waiting for the announcement that energy out is greater than energy in at any of the development facilities.
As Bill Clinton once said, we live in Hope..

ScienceABC123
December 8, 2022 12:40 am

Yeah, and where is my Jetsons flying car?

Fusion reactors still have not addressed decades old basic issues:
1) How to get the heat generated out in a useable form.
2) How to get the fusion waste products out.
3) How to get more fusion fuel in.
4) And most importantly, how to do 1 – 3 above while maintaining the fusion reaction.

I’ve said this before, enclosed/encased/sealed fusion reactors are a dead end technology. We need a new approach.

Ron
Reply to  ScienceABC123
December 8, 2022 1:20 am

Actually these issues have been addressed in aneutronic fusion designs. A number of startups with various designs have been designed and funded to various degrees. To give you idea of what is proposed, I’ll describe Eric Lerners LLP device.
Essentially this is a set of spark plugs that fire mega-ampere currents into a semi vacuum containing the boron fuel. The sparks reach billion degree temp required (documented and accepted publications) for Boron fusion. This produces relativistic helium nuclei whose energy is extracted with an inductive coil. Conversion of X-rays to energy needs to be solved as well.
The sparks are cycled at 200-300 times per second to produce continuous power. Lerner claims to be very close to break even in his experimental device, this is where more energy is produced than is used. From this point on only engineering would be required for a working reactor.
Lerner is not the only aneutronic game in town, Paul Allen invests in another company. Fusion power may not be decades away anymore, but forget ITER and the other billion dollar boondoggles.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ron
December 8, 2022 12:22 pm

Please don’t confuse a very expensive science project that “works” with a commercially viable power plant.

posa
Reply to  Ron
December 8, 2022 1:48 pm

Correct balsysr. The loudest honking in the comments are from people who have absolutely no understanding of the focus fusion physics behind the LPPFusion device. Too lazy to even attempt to understand the physics of this device… much easier to mouth off.

Rich Davis
Reply to  posa
December 8, 2022 6:58 pm

How many years have you been pushing this story now?

To dream the impossible dream…

posa
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 9, 2022 2:04 pm

Actually about six years when the LPPFusion device met two of the three Lawson Criteria for fusion and is making great headway in meeting the density criteria. Next question?

Lab Robots
December 8, 2022 1:32 am

Eric Lerner is pursuing boron based nuclear fusion.

bluecat57
Reply to  Lab Robots
December 8, 2022 4:47 am

You have a typo. Should be Moron based.

Lab Robots
Reply to  bluecat57
December 9, 2022 1:44 am

It’s because I forgot you were involved! Now we know is moron based.

posa
Reply to  Lab Robots
December 8, 2022 1:49 pm

Technically it’s Hydrogen- Boron (pB11)

Greytide
December 8, 2022 1:44 am

Still trying to find “the devastating effect of climate change” Do they mean the useless idiots who stick themselves to roads and picture frames?

Joe Gordon
December 8, 2022 3:18 am

Hydrogen-Boron? Just a distraction. I’m holding out for Utopium-Imaginarium. Several states have already added it to their “net-zero” plans of action.

bluecat57
Reply to  Joe Gordon
December 8, 2022 4:46 am

Is Hopium used too?

Rod Evans
Reply to  bluecat57
December 8, 2022 6:25 am

Only when they run out of virtunium….

Rich Davis
Reply to  bluecat57
December 8, 2022 7:00 pm

The unobtainium containment vessel is the key

AGW is Not Science
December 8, 2022 4:22 am

What a mountain of manure. Let’s review the utter bullshit that is the foundation of their baseless assertions:

1. Renewable energy ‘sources’ (a misuse of the word, since they are 100% DEPENDENT ON FOSSIL FUELS for their existence) are NOT “necessary.”

2. We ARE NOT, AND WILL NEVER BE “transitioning” to a “carbon free society.” Unless you’re gullible enough to let them continue to hide China, India and other “developing nations” behind the curtain.

3. THERE ARE NO “DEVASTATING EFFECTS” OF ‘CLIMATE CHANGE.”

bluecat57
December 8, 2022 4:45 am

Hmm, and when it explodes about 90% of humans will die.
And we were wondering how they would accomplish that goal.

Energywise
December 8, 2022 6:49 am

No, it’s still likely 30 years away – we must also remember nuclear relies on non renewable, finite materials – it won’t power humans forever

Yossarian
December 8, 2022 7:10 am

How nice! Another bright, shiny object to divert attention from political folly and nonsense….

Shoki
December 8, 2022 9:35 am

The devastating effects of climate change demand that we take our next steps without introducing more pollution and unsustainable demand on extracted resources.”

I notice no examples were cited of this devastation.

David
December 8, 2022 12:18 pm

Article reminds me way way back in my plasma physics when we discussed fusion, the Prof’s comment was ” Fusion is 10 years away and always will be!”

posa
Reply to  David
December 8, 2022 2:29 pm

Article reminds me way way back

Hey Pops: A lot has gone on since 1965. Maybe time to get up to date?

Rich Davis
Reply to  posa
December 8, 2022 7:04 pm

Hey punk, we’ve been seeing you make these same baseless comments for years. It’s never going to happen.

posa
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 9, 2022 2:07 pm

The published, peer reviewed papers are all available here just from LPPFusion on dense plasma focus. Of course you’ll never read them.

https://www.lppfusion.com/peer-reviewed-papers/

Hatter Eggburn
December 8, 2022 1:03 pm

As animals get larger the percent volume occupied by all blood vessels increases. This imposes the upper limit for an animal size somewhere around that of a blue whale.

A similar law probably applies to a country’s power grid. If it’s power sources are too numerous, small and diffuse – not to mention intermittent – from renewables, then the power grid gets larger with more and more interconnections and a larger percent occupancy of the land surface; eventually a limit will be reached where the space and resources consumed by the distribution grid itself (and energy wastage) will stifle the functioning of the whole power architecture and the country itself.

So a bigger and bigger grid needed for renewables will eventually choke off a nations power supply.

Last edited 1 month ago by Hatter Eggburn
posa
December 8, 2022 1:37 pm

But hydrogen boron is just under 10x more difficult than deuterium tritium fusion, which in my opinion puts hydrogen boron fusion well into fantasy land, with anything resembling current levels of technology.

Based on what, Eric? Your expertise and keen insight into developments in aneutronic fusion?

LPPFusion, a small company in Middlesex, NJ has already reached two of the three criteria for achieving fusion breakeven output. The company in 2015 was able to sustain temperatures of more than 1B degrees C for the required confinement time, without yet using the pB11 fuel. That comes in 2023. The company has since been homing in on achieving required density to support breakeven. This has been a tedious process that involved much experimentation of materials and ultra-fast switching.

The fusion technology is not the mainstream Tokamak design, which, indeed is a dead end. Instead of trying to confine a plasma in a magnetic bottle, the LPP fusion device relies on plasma self-confinement in a small, modular design which generates no radioactivity. These units will deliver a far more distributed energy supply to about 30,000 customers each.

LPPFusion is not a multi-decadal program costing $50 B, but largely self-funded. see LPPFusion.com for news and details.

Last edited 1 month ago by posa
Rich Davis
Reply to  posa
December 8, 2022 7:09 pm

Thanks for clarifying. We’ve been hearing your bullshit since 2015. It’s always the big breakthrough coming in (current year + 1)

So ten years from now it will be coming in 2033.

posa
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 9, 2022 2:09 pm

Seven years of private funding to crack a vexing problem in physics seems like a pretty short time line. But that assumes you understand the physics and the technology to appreciate the achievement.

Gunga Din
December 8, 2022 1:45 pm

Are greens replacing fantasies of energy sources which don’t work, with fantasies of energy sources which don’t exist?”

Isn’t that their MO?

Old Mike
December 8, 2022 2:21 pm

My first experience of the cluster!!!! that is nuclear fusion was the ZETA project in the UK. A total disaster, major public embarrassment for all involved. Only thing that has changed is the orders of magnitude higher theft of taxpayers money to fund a never ending scam. Eisenhower was so very right.

SteveZ56
December 8, 2022 2:52 pm

I’m not up to speed on the engineering difficulties of containing a hydrogen/boron plasma relative to a deuterium-tritium plasma, but there is one physical advantage and one physical disadvantage of hydrogen/boron relative to deuterium/tritium.

As PCman999 commented, tritium costs $30,000 per gram, probably due to the difficulty of separating it from ordinary H-1, which is the overwhelming majority of hydrogen atoms in nature. If hydrogen-boron can use ordinary hydrogen, this would eliminate the difficulty of producing small amounts of tritium from vast quantities of water.

The major drawback to hydrogen/boron is the fact that it involves accelerating a proton (hydrogen nucleus) into a B-11 nucleus (5 protons and 6 neutrons, the most abundant isotope of boron), so the protons would have to be fast enough to overcome the electrostatic repulsion of the positively-charged boron nucleus.

As Philip Mulholland pointed out, the impact of a proton with a B-11 nucleus causes it to split into three He-4 nuclei (alpha particles), but does not generate any neutrons or fast protons, so that the reaction is not self-propagating like the U-235 reactions in classical nuclear fission reactors. For this reason, the amount of energy that can be obtained from hydrogen/boron is probably limited, due to the lack of self-propagation of the reaction.

Ron
Reply to  SteveZ56
December 8, 2022 4:56 pm

Which is why the mega-ampere current is pulsed at 200 Hz to produce effectively continuous power. As long as you produce more power than you consume you have a nett energy gain. Look at the LPPfusion.com website.

SkinmanSD
December 8, 2022 8:06 pm

I worked at DIII-D in La Jolla for five years as the cryogenics engineer. I left the program after hearing the Assistant Director of Operations (AK) tell a senior engineer “like this thing is ever going to work. 10-9 Torr components off the shelf. No way.”

I left and went into commercial cogeneration.

Regardless, the investment of $50 to $100 million per year is likely worth it.

Hope they can make it work someday.

Last edited 1 month ago by SkinmanSD
Climate Heretic
December 9, 2022 2:46 am

Fusion research is being conducted by several companies. I do not know offhand how many but one can get a sense of the number by going to the website

<a href=”https://talk-polywell.org/bb/index.php“>Talk Polywell</a>

Regards
Climate Heretic

gsowers
December 11, 2022 9:42 am

I had the opportunity several years ago to sit through a half day briefing by TAE on their technology. Had to sign an NDA. I was brought in as an independent expert to evaluate a potential business venture to mine He3 from the Moon and return it to Earth for use in He3-He3 fusion. My expertise was on the space side of things. That potential venture collapsed though the idea is still being pursued.

TAE was brought in to provide credibility for an eventual market for He3. Though a physicist by education, having spent my career in space, most of their presentation went over my head. However, I was impressed by the quality of their team and the reasonableness of their approach. It was (and is) very methodical, progressing along a path of increasingly large and complex machines, demonstrating key aspects of the technology incrementally. Their technology, using what they call a beam driven field reversed configuration, seems to have many advantages compared to the tokamak approach. In fact, they were very dismissive of the tokamak effort. And p-B11 fusion has clear advantages over d-t fusion in spite of the higher required temperatures.

I went into the briefing with an attitude similar to Eric’s but came away thinking maybe I should keep an open mind. TAE’s website claims early 2030’s for commercialization, not 2030.

Viable fusion has been 20 years away for at least 50 years, but maybe now it’s only 10 years away. (Which means maybe we can expect it in another 50 years).

haymanfan
December 11, 2022 11:31 am

Let’s accept what they say. Forget Net Zero. Use up our oil and gas and then switch over to free electricity courtesy of fusion in ten years. What’s not to like.

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