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Crowdsourcing and Fusion - Perfect Together

crowdsourcingA project on Indiegogo:

Scientists at LPP Fusion, led by Chief Scientist Eric Lerner, are just one step away from this groundbreaking technology and we need your help for the final push.

One step away! That’s pretty exciting, belying the fusion joke that a breakthrough is always five years away – unless of course that’s how long the step takes.

Rising energy costs and resource scarcity are concerns shared by the developed and developing world alike.  We need the ultimate renewable energy technology in the form of fusion energy, the source of energy for the Sun and stars.  If we can succeed, Focus Fusion's low cost and easily distributed electricity will eliminate both global energy poverty and global air pollution once and for all. 

Bold in original – and bold in concept.

One thing you should not do when selling fusion is rank on fission. Bad form.

Today, nuclear energy means nuclear fission, which raises issues like long-lived radioactive waste and catastrophes like that at Fukushima Daiichi. 

Fission energy, what is commonly called nuclear energy,  would be obsolete. There would be no more radioactive meltdowns spilling radiation onto our land and into our oceans.

But really, why think small? Among other utopic reasons for fusion:

Create peace

Nuclear fission technology, like uranium enrichment with its weapons applications, is another source of conflict in our world. 

With no use for civilian nuclear energy, we could lock up the uranium mines, making proliferation of nuclear weapons almost impossible.    

There’s a lot more on the page, including a description of the fusion technique that will change everything. Although I’m having fun here, I have no opinion about this one way or another. A thick sales pitch doesn’t make the project illegitimate. That said, throwing in cash to help out has to be a personal decision. A fool and his money is about as far as I’d want to go on advice.

Still, fusion and crowdsourcing? Perfect together. When I last checked in, LPP Fusion has raised about $58,000 of the $200,000 it is looking for.


Jaro Franta said…
LPP is the only outfit claiming that they are "very close" (their "timeline" indicates "scientific demo" in 2014 - this year!!), while at the same time admitting - with a STRAIGHT FACE - that they are four orders of magnitude off on the required plasma density.
Don't you resent it, when someone takes their audience for a bunch of idiots?

The standard LPP answer to bridging this little four-orders-of-magnitude density shortcoming is:

* 50x-- Achieve theoretical density—tungsten electrodes to eliminate impurity
* 10x-- Increase current to 2.8 MA
* 20x-- Better compression with heavier pB11

If you buy that, there's also some great swamp land in Florida for sale.
jimwg said…
"Today, nuclear energy means nuclear fission, which raises issues like long-lived radioactive waste and catastrophes like that at Fukushima Daiichi."

I've seen wreckage of a jet crash near JFK Airport. THAT'S a "disaster" and a "catastrophe". These fellows seriously need to check a Websters. I though we already know what to do with nuclear waste; the hard part is the FUD and Politics.

"There would be no more radioactive meltdowns spilling radiation onto our land and into our oceans."

I'd REALLY like to have this fellow cough up the proof of this on a live podcast! Bad enough to know that their rants will go unchallenged in the open public, much to our detriment.

Generating public nuclear confidence and preserving plants aren't helped when prestigious periodicals like Scientific American keep on harping on safety points and Fukushima almost as though a nuclear reactor is exceptionally intrinsically prone to failure or meltdowns in so-called "disasters" and "catastrophes". They won't respond/post my comments.

James Greenidge
Queens NY
Mitch said…

What Blogger Jaro Franta said...

But could it be that LPP is really a gas/oil puppet behind the curtains to keep the public fearful of fission in any form and to instead chase the red-herring of fusion?
Anonymous said…
I remember reading a headline in the Nuclear News magazine
'Nuclear fusion in 25 years? That's what they said 25 years ago'
That was in 1980, so don't keep your breath waiting.
Fredrik L

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