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BenF
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@yaotmon "Two types of fusion reactors contending for supremacy are the tokamak and stellerator. " Another fusion contender is the Dense Plasma Focus aka: Focus Fusion, being developed in New Jersey. Tiny amounts of Hydrogen and Boron fused together to make Helium and prodigious energy in the form of electric current. No steam generator required. No radioactive waste. No chance of meltdown. Challenges to be sure, but worth trying for and making progress toward the goal.
Active campaigning by fans of alternative fusion research helped to bring about the ALPHA funding initiative, to try and cast a wider net in the development of fusion technologies than the gargantuan tokamak or laser versions currently getting the lions share of funding from the government. Unfortunately most of ALPHA goes to the big government labs and to technologies that would ultimately only boil water, an inefficient path to generating electricity (the Cornot process). Fusion reactors with direct output of electricity as in a particle beam would be a lot more efficient and versatile, for distributed power networks useful for charging car batteries en mass, for example. Let's hope ARPA-e can come up with another FOA that's more in the spirit...The world still desperately needs a large scale new energy source that is safe and CO2 free.
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Jun 3, 2015