Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert W. Bussard

Robert W. Bussard is an American physicist working primarily in nuclear fusion energy research.

In 1960, Bussard famously conceived the Bussard ramjet, an interstellar space drive powered by hydrogen fusion using hydrogen collected using a magnetic field from the interstellar gas. Due to the presence of high-energy particles throughout space, most interstellar hydrogen exists in an ionized state that can be manipulated by magnetic or electric fields. Bussard proposed using a large magnet to "scoop" up the ionized hydrogen and funnel it into a fusion reactor, using the exhaust from the reactor as a rocket engine. Since it picked up its fuel from space, there was no apparent upper limit to the speed such a craft could achieve. However it appears the "energy gain" in the reactor must be extremely high for the ramjet to work at all; any hydrogen picked up by the scoop must be sped up to the same speed as the ship in order to provide thrust, and the energy required to do so increases with the ship's speed.

In the early 1970s, Bussard joined the director of the, then, Atomic Energy Commission's Controlled Thermonuclear Reaction Division, Robert Hirsch, as Assistant Director. They founded the mainline fusion program for the United States: the Tokamak. Later, Bussard in a June 6, 1995 letter to all fusion laboratories as well as to key members of US Congress regarding his role in the founding of the US fusion program, claimed that he, along with the other founders of that that program, supported the Tokamak not out of conviction that it was the best technical approach but rather that it would provide a vehicle via which political support for fusion development could be generated, thereby allowing them to pursue "all the hopeful new things the mainline labs would not try".[1]

With fellow researcher Bruno Coppi, Bussard later founded Inesco, a private firm funded in part by Penthouse Magazine publisher Bob Guccione. Inesco set out to build small power-producing Tokamak fusion reactors called Riggatrons using methods developed from the MIT Alcator research tokamaks. The method they were trying to use in order to initiate fusion proved vastly more difficult to achieve than they had anticipated and Inesco eventually shut down when its funds ran out.

Bussard later founded another company, Energy Matter Conversion Corporation (EMC2), which has engaged in research on variants of the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor. In an article entitled "The World's Simplest Fusion Reactor: How To Make It Work" in the December 12, 1998 issue of Analog magazine, fusion researcher Tom Ligon described an easily-built demonstration fusor system, and some of Bussard's ideas for fusion reactors and incredibly efficient spacecraft propulsion systems, which could enable single-stage spacecraft to travel anywhere in the Solar System in short times compared to chemical rockets.

On March 29, 2006, Bussard claimed on the forum that EMC2 had developed an inertial electrostatic confinement fusion process that was 100,000 times more efficient than previous designs. However, the company's funding ran out, and Bussard is looking for additional funding to develop a full-scale fusion power plant. On June 23, 2006 Bussard provided more details of the breakthrough and the circumstances of the shutdown of this work by the government. --- Forum for IEC discussions

Dear Sir Philip:

I have read the threads on the Randi forum, and they are all intent and I am sure well-menaing. However, I have not been able to "log in" on this forum so am writing to you instead. Perhaps you can post this note as a reply and commentary to some of the issues raised by your forum correspondents.

First, what we have achieved in our rather unexpectedly good tests of last November 9 and 10th was an output of DD fusion at about 10 kV, at B fields of 1300 G, in a 30 cm diam device (WB-6) run in a pulsed mode from big capacitors, with a fusion rate of about 1E9 /sec. This works out to be about 100,000 x higher than the data of Hirsch/Farnsworth at similar well depth and drive conditions. The test duration was only about 0.4 masec, but since the electron lifetime is ca 0.1 microsec this is steady-state to the plasma particles. We had neither the money, nor the cooling, nor the power supplies, nor the controls to run this small device steady-state, which is what we need to do, and what requires us to build the full-scale device.

This was a direct result of discovering something during late Spring/ early summer tests of WB-5, which was a closed boc machine, like the early HEPS of 1989. What we discovered was -- in hindsight -- elementary; it was that indeed God is in the details, and the detail of particular importance is that no metal surface penetrated by B fields must occupy more than about 1E-4 to 1E-5 of the total surface available to the recirculating electrons. If this dead fraction is larger, there is NO hope of net power from any such machine. AND, it is essential that the device be recirculating, i.e. that the electrons can circulate out and back through the cusps all over the machine. Of course, this is obvious; but in 15 years no one saw it, not Hirsch, not our consultants not our opponents, not our staff, and not me.

It is consistent with the need for electrons to recirculate about 100,000 times before being lost to collisions with structure, to yield net power.

Please remember that our device has the property that the electron flow and losses are decoupled from the ion flow and fusion generation. Power balance depends on suppresssion of the electron losses, which are derived from the energetic electron injection that forms the gridless negative potential well that traps the ions.

When we figured this thing out, in summer 2005, we quickly designed and quickly built WB-6, using only conformal (with the B fields produced) coil cans, so that no B field uniquely penetrated the cans, and then placed the coils in a special array so that no corners touched (this latter is a long topic having to do with local B fields, and loss of WiffleBall trapping due to line cusp effects at the corners, etc, etc, and is the baisis of our final patents on this thing). It IS the details that make or break the device. And this particular set of details absolutely dominates the performance.

Anyway, we ran the device in October, for beta=one tests, to confirm transport scaling laws, and then in early November to test for fusion output. And, happiness, indeed, three tests on 9 November and one on 10 Novem,ber gave the results mentioned above. The next day, 11 November, we tried it again, but magnet coil motions induced by repeated testing had moved the coils enough that an insulation spot had worn away inside the cans, and the device shorted and blew up one leg, with the full cap discharge. Having no further funding, we had to start shutting doen the lab the following Monday!!! Irony?

As to our funding -- our USN contract still exists, and still has about $ 2M authorized in it. However, year-by-year funding was NOT provide for FY 2006, so that we knew we had to close down early in 2006.. What saved us was Adm Cohen (CNR) who put another 900 K into the program to try to get us down the road to where we DID go, and then we had to quit. It was not a cutoff of OUR funding, but the entire Navy Energy Program was cut to zero in FY 2006, and we were a part of this cut. The funds were clearly needed for the more important War in Iraq.

So, as we cut down, we managed to save the lab equipment, by transfer to SpaceDev, which hired our three best lab people as well, and we are still trying to get the missing $ 2M restored and put into our existing but unfunded contract. IF this happens - which is improhable, given the politics of this election year, and the non-visionary people in Congress - we will redo WB-6 with an improved and better version (WB-7) which should give 5x more output, and run about 50 tests to quiet dissent. AND we will convene a review panel of very high-level and internationally distinguished people to spend about 6 weeks going over this to recommend for or against proceeding sith a full scale demo.

This may or may not happen. If it does, I have little doubt as to the panel recommendation, as the data and insight from WB-5/6 is just too clear. We really have solved the last engineering physics problem that has plagued our work for 12 year s or so. Yes, there is much left to do, iespecially in controls and diagnostics, but these are predictable things not dependent on beating the Paschen curve.

And we still have to develop some reliable e-guns and i-sources, again predictable enginering that costs both time and money, but not new physics.

Why a full-scale demo? Because the system scales oddly: Fusion output goes as the 7th power of the size and Gain goes as the 5th power. Thus there is very little to be gained by building a half-size model; it is too weak to give anything definitive about power production or gain. And our tests were always at about 1/8 to 1/10 scale of the full scale demo. We told the DoD from the beginning that the real program would cost about 150-200 M, since 1987, and they all knew this. However, since the DoD has no charter to do such work, and the political realities were that a big DoD program would attract the ire and power of the DoE to kill it, it was never funded beyond about 1/8 the level required.

So we did what we could and finally DID prove the physics and associated engineering physics constraints, scaling laws, etc, albeit at 1/8-1/10 scale. So what? Doubling the size will not tell us anything we don't already know. The next intelligent and logical step is to build a machine big enough to make net power. And THAT is the same 200 M we have quoted to the DoD since the beginning.

As for energy companies "stampeding" to support us -- It is clear that a view like this is ignorant of the reality of energy companies. There is only one thing the oil cvompanies want, and that is to sell oil, and more oil. So long as the fields pump, the oil companies will squeeze. They have NO, absolutely NO interest in anything new, ins spite of all their foolish ads in magazines for wind mills and solar-PV roofs. It is all just show and tell. I know these guys, and there is no way they would support anything that might get in the way of oil. The only way to stop oil, from their view, is when it does run out. And then they''ll go for deeper drilling, new fields, Gulf geopressure gas, LNG, etc, etc, and keep raising the price, until finally foolish solar and windmills become competitive.

And we are paying the equivalent of $ 500/bbl oil costs. But Exxon and Halliburton are getting richer all the time.

Yes, we would like to build the demo plant, and yes, it will cost about 150 (DD) to 200 M (pB11), and who knows if any investor singly or a group can or will come up with the money. One of the biggest obstacle is the world-wide tokamak lobby, which perpetuates the fraud that Hirsch, Trivelpiece and I foisted on the country in the 1970's when we started the big tokamak ball rolling.

Magnetic confinement fusion is a misnomer, as magnetic fields can NOT confine a plasma, only constrain its motion towards walls. The entire history of the MagConf program has been to reduce transport to neo-classical (not turbulent or instability-driven) losses. And THEN the machines are all inherently and inevitably huge and cost too much and make too much power to ever be economically useful --- as the utilities have been telling the AEC/DoE for 30 years. No matter, the global tokamak program provides jobs for hudreds of thousands of people in many countries, and is a safe place to put political pork funding, simply because it IS NO THREAT TO OIL - it won't ever work, but it sounds good to the untutored public..

As for us; our company still exists, but we will not likely run any demo program - that will be up to others to carry it on, if we all get the chance. Meanwhile, my objective is very simple. I detest the energy stranglehold of our companies on our people, and am going to try to give our idea away at the soonest possible moment. To anyone, anywhere, who might want to undertake its development. And we'll be happy to help in any way we can, if a serious interest develops anywhere in the world.

I think the US, UK, France, et al are lost causes, because of theri commitment to the failed tokamak effort, as is probably Germany, and maybe others, too. China may be a possibility, as it is quite independent even though part of the ITER mess, Russia may be considererd, and countries like Spain, Brazil, Italy, Argentina, and others may logically have an interest.

I believe that the survival of our high-tech civilizations depends on getting off of fossile fuels ASAP, and - if we do not - we will descend into a growing series of "oil wars" and energy confrontations that can lead only to a huge cataclysim. Which CAN be circumvented if only we build the clean fuison machines in time. Our patents are in final form, and I am giving a paper in the Fall, and trying to get a large technical description together for a major paper by summer. We shall see.

One final word: Actually our device is really not a variant of Farnwworth/Hirsch, but of Elmore/Tuck/Watson who propeosed the inversion of Farnsworth/Hirsch long ago (ca. 1967). Their problem was the interception of circulating electrons by grids - we removed the grids and replaced them by B field insulated coils - thus our "grids" are the coils themselves.. And we do know how these work, at last.

Good luck to all of us.

Cheers, RW Bussard
Posted by Zonk on Saturday November 18, @02:23AM

Should Google Go Nuclear?

Baldrson writes "One of the founders of the US Tokamak fusion program, Dr. Robert W. Bussard, gave a lecture at Google recently now appearing as a Google video titled 'Should Google Go Nuclear?'. In it, he presents his recent breakthrough electrostatic confinement fusion device which, he claims, produced several orders of magnitude higher fusion power than earlier electrostatic confinement devices. According to Bussard, it did so repeatably during several runs until it blew up due to mechanical stress degradation. He's looking for $200M funding, the first million or so of which goes to rebuilding a more robust demonstrator within the first year. He claims the scaling laws are so favorable that the initial full scale reactor would burn boron-11 the cleanest fusion reaction otherwise unattainable. He has some fairly disturbing things to say in this video, as well as elsewhere, about the US fusion program which he co-founded."

1 hr 32 min 37 sec
Nov 9, 2006

 "Should Google Go Nuclear? Clean, cheap, nuclear power (no, really)"

ABSTRACT --- This is not your father's fusion reactor! Forget everything you know about conventional  ... all thinking on nuclear fusion: high-temperature plasmas, steam turbines, neutron radiation and even nuclear waste are a thing of the past. Goodbye thermonuclear fusion; hello inertial electrostatic confinement fusion (IEC), an old idea that's been made new. While the international community debates the fate of the politically-turmoiled $12 billion ITER (an experimental thermonuclear reactor), simple IEC reactors are being built as high-school science fair projects.

Dr. Robert Bussard, former Asst. Director of the Atomic Energy Commission and founder of Energy Matter Conversion Corporation (EMC2), has spent 17 years perfecting IEC, a fusion process that converts hydrogen and boron directly into electricity producing helium as the only waste product. Most of this work was funded by the Department of Defense, the details of which have been under seal... until now.

Dr. Bussard will discuss his recent results and details of this potentially world-altering technology, whose conception dates back as far as 1924, and even includes a reactor design by Philo T. Farnsworth (inventor of the scanning television).

Can a 100 MW fusion reactor be built for less than Google's annual electricity bill? Come see what's possible when you think outside the thermonuclear box and ignore the herd.


USP # 5,160,695 [ PDF format ]
Method and Apparatus for Creating and Controlling Nuclear Fusion Reactions
Classification: - international: H05H1/03; H05H1/02; (IPC1-7): G21B1/00; - european: G21B1/02; H05H1/03
Also published as:  EP0441261 (A2) // EP0441261 (A3)

Abstract -- An apparatus and method of enhancing nuclear fusion reactions utilizes a plasma, made up of ions and electrons, contained within a region, and enhances the density of the plasma using a collision-diffusion compressional enchantment process. Ion acoustic wave generated within a central region of the system permits increased reflection and scattering of ions and thereby reduces their mean free path within the core region to permit greatly increased ions density sufficient to enhance nuclear fusion reactions within the core.

USP # 5,174,945
Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion Power Apparatus and Method
Robert W. BUSSARD; Bruno COPPI
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

Abstract -- A fusion power generating device is disclosed having a relatively small and inexpensive core region which may be contained within an energy absorbing blanket region. The fusion power core region contains apparatus of the toroidal type for confining a high density plasma. The fusion power core is removable from the blanket region and may be disposed and/or recycled for subsequent use within the same blanket region. Thermonuclear ignition of the plasma is obtained by feeding neutral fusible gas into the plasma in a controlled manner such that charged particle heating produced by the fusion reaction is utilized to boot-strap the device to a region of high temperatures and high densitities wherein charged particle heating is sufficient to overcome radiation and thermal conductivity losses. The high density plasma produces a large radiation and particle flux on the first wall of the plasma core region thereby necessitating replacement of the core from the blanket region from time to time. A series of potentially disposable and replaceable central core regions are disclosed for a large-scale economical electrical power generating plant.

EP 0441261
A New Physical Process, Method and Apparatus for Creating and Controlling Nuclear Fusion Reactions
EC:  G21B1/02; H05H1/03  IPC: H05H1/03; H05H1/02; (IPC1-7): G21B1/02

USP # 5,019,321
Modular Fusion Power Apparatus using Disposable Core
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

USP # 5,049,350
Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion Power Apparatus and Method
Robert W. BUSSARD; Bruno COPPI
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

USP # 4,859,399
Modular Fusion Power Apparatus using Disposable Core
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

USP # 4,836,972
Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion Device and Method
Robert W. BUSSARD; Bruno COPPI
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

AU 6655881
Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion Power Apparatus and Method
Robert W. BUSSARD; Bruno COPPI
EC:  H05H1/12T  IPC: H05H1/12; H05H1/02; (IPC1-7): G21B1/00

USP # 4,363,775
Controlled Nuclear Fusion Apparatus
Robert W. BUSSARD; Bruno COPPI
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

USP # 4,370,296
Toroidal Fusion Reactor...
EC:  G21B1/01; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/01; H05H1/12; G21B1/01 (+2)

USP # 4,370,295
Fusion-Fission Power Generating Device...
EC:  G21B1/01  IPC: G21B1/01; G21B1/01; (IPC1-7): G21B1/00

USP # 4,367,193
Modular Fusion Apparatus using Disposable Core
EC:  G21B1/25; H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/25; H05H1/12; G21B1/25 (+2)

ZA 7901272
Fusion-Power Generating Device...
EC:   IPC: G21B1/00; G21B; G21B1/00 (+3)

AU 3211177
Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion Power Apparatus and Method
EC:  H05H1/12  IPC: G21B1/11; G21B1/25; H05H1/12 (+4)
Posted by Robert W. Bussard on 2006-03-29 20:06

Inertial Electrostatic Fusion systems can now be built


Robert W. Bussard

Our company, EMC2, has been working since 1987 on the R&D of Iour polyhedral IEF concept for fusion; mostly under DoD support. Final tests were made last Oct/Nov on a unique new design, based on unexpected discoveries made in Spring/Summer 2005. This final machine, WB-6, showed 10x lower e- losses than any predecessor and produced DD fusions at a rate over 100,000x times higher than the data of Farnsworth-Hirsch in the 1960's for same drive conditions.

We have now proven the engineering and physics scaling laws that allow design of full-scale net-power systems, whether on DD or pB11. USNavy budget line item that supported our work was zero-funded in FY2006, and our lab had to shut down and close one week after achieving these results! We are probably the only people on the planet who know how to make a real net power clean fusion system, and we are out of support! Somewhat ironical!

The next logical step MUST be a full-scale net-power demo system, simply because there is not much left to do at small scale; when it is realized that the fusion output of these devices scales as the 7th power of the size, and the gain scales as the 5th power.

These outlandish scalings (inherent in the engineering physics of the thing) make it useless to build half-scale systems (for example). Unless you are AT the net-power size, you are nowhere in power and gain, even though the physics IS relevant. We have always been limited to about 0.1 scale, and have learned nearly all there is to know about the system's basic operation.

Thus, we have the ability to do away with oil (and other fossil fuels) but it will take 4-6 years and ca. 100-200 M$ to build the full-scale plant and demonstrate it. Anyone care?

R.W. Bussard

Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Reactor based Fusion Ash Impact Propulsion System


S. Krupakar Murali

( Fusion Technology Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison -- 1500 Engineering Dr., Madison, WI 53706 )

Abstract --- A new Inertial Electrostatic Confinement reactor (IEC) based Fusion Ash Impact Propulsion (FAIP) unit devoid of magnetic fields is proposed in this paper.  Theoretically, this system yields extremely high specific impulse ~ 5.5 x 106s, higher than any other advanced propulsion concepts available at this time.  Besides, a very high specific power 100 kW/kg, and a relatively high thrust-to-weight ratio of ~0.031 can be obtained. The present design produces a continuous thrust of ~0.9N over the entire duration of the journey. FAIP system can be used to propel spaceships during interstellar missions such as mission to Heliopause, which is at a distance of around 120 to 150 A.U. in a period of  ~30yrs.  The concept is also suitable for missions beyond Heliopause, since calculations show that the FAIP system does not burn all its fuel when it reaches Heliopause,(at the end of the mission this system would have consumed only 3.55 kg of its fuel.  Hence if the system continues its trajectory much higher terminal velocities (depending on the mission time) could be achieved eventually, leading to the accomplishment of even longer-range missions.

The double gridded IEC device can be used to realize extremely high ion densities in the core region of the inner grid, which in turn results in an extremely high fusion power density there.  Recent experiments at University of Wisconsin, Madison (U.W. Madison) have demonstrated the feasibility of using advanced fusion fuel D 3He for steady state operation of the device e.g., producing ~3 x107 (14.7MeV) protons/sec steady state.  Research group at U.W. Madison, are the first to realize D 3He reactions on a steady state basis.
International Academy of Science

Inertial-Electrodynamic Fusion (IEF) Device
Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation (EMC2)


Dr. Bussard and his team at Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation, after close to 20 years of hard work, have developed a revolutionary radiation-free fusion process that could change the world as we know it today.

Fusion is the energy that powers everything in the universe. The sun's energy comes from fusion. Alternatively, fission is the process whereby heavy atoms, which are nearly unstable, are split into two radioactive atoms. Fusion, on the other hand, is when two light atoms merge.

The ultimate fuels for fusion include hydrogen and other light atoms such as lithium, boron, and helium isotopes. Some of these reactions are radiation free, others are not.

The fusion process recommended by Dr. Bussard takes boron-11 and fuses a proton to it, producing, in its excited state, a carbon-12 atom. This excited carbon-12 atom decays to beryllium-8 and helium-4. Beryllium-8 very quickly (in 10-13 s) decays into two more helium-4 atoms. This is the only nuclear-energy releasing process in the whole world that releases fusion energy and three helium atoms -- and no neutrons. This reaction is completely radiation free.

The most commonly studied fusion process today is the reaction that occurs between deuterium and tritium, the so-called DT reaction, that produces helium and a radioactive neutron. Various magnetic confinement vessels have been designed and developed over the years to contain the high-energy DT fusion reaction. The Tokamak is one such magnetic confinement vessel, 30 m across by 110 feet tall.

The majority of fusion processes being investigated today are very expensive, costing billions of U.S. dollars; require giant machines; and offer no predictability. Nonetheless, we know that fusion works because every star is a fusion reactor. The fusion reactors of the stars and the sun are held together by a direct force field. This works very well and efficiently -- this force field is gravity.

Gravitational forces between particles draw them directly together. Only one other force is known to be like gravity: this is the electric field force or "coulomb" force, between electrically-charged particles.

Charged particles of opposite signs attract each other with direct forces; charged particles in electric fields feel forces directly along field gradients. Thus, fusion fuel plasmas could be held together efficiently by electric forces and electric fields. This is called "Electric Fusion".

Dr. Bussard was not the first to try to create such a field. One notable technique utilized a spherical screen grid that was biased to a positive potential, thereby attracting electrons through the screen, producing a negative potential well. As the electrons passed through the screen, they slowed down as their kinetic energy was transformed into potential energy in the potential well, and ions could then be dropped into it at the edge, fall down, and be recirculated back and forth. Any particles not reacting went back into the well. The only problem with this method was that the grid was not transparent. Because of the high interception rate on the grid, essentially all of the energy put into the electron acceleration went into the grid. Energy was lost and the grid melted. This technique just didn't work.

Dr. Bussard's invention, however, removes the fore-mentioned grid and replaces it with a magnetic field. It is known that magnetic fields do not contain neutral plasmas very well (as illustrated in the case of the Tokamak). Magnetic fields, however, contain electrons very easily because electrons are extremely light.

The basic approach of electric fusion is the following:

Quasi-spherical magnetic fields trap injected energetic electrons to form spherical negative potential well.
Fusion ions trapped in this spherical well focused through central region oscillate across the "core" until they are reacted.
The system acts like a spherical colliding beam device.
Fuel gas is input at the potential well edge. Fusion products escape to system walls.
Ion fusion power generation occurs in a central region.
Electron drive power is decoupled from the fusion process.
Power balance is set by injected electron losses; the main losses occurring through the magnetic cusps and to walls.
Magnetic confinement of electrons is critical.
"Wiffle Ball" (WB) effect insures cusp sealing.
Magnetic insulation of the walls is important.
"Magrid" (MG) effect reduces power and raises gain.

In 1994, Dr. Bussard successfully demonstrated a wiffle ball, achieving a beta-1 condition. In 2005, he was able to magnetically insulate the electrons from the walls via his "Magrid" transporter.

Early prototypes experienced some losses because the original coils touched one another, resulting in intersecting magnetic fields. This made the magnetic field lines run into the metal vessel walls resulting in electron losses. Dr. Bussard realized that all the coil containers had to be conformal to the magnetic fields they produced. If he utilized circular torroidal coils spaced at the corners, the magnetic fields could be allowed to go out between the coils. Using such a device, that offered both the wiffle ball effect and the magrid transporter, Dr. Bussard was able to achieve 1x109 fusions/second for .25 milliseconds.

In summary, Dr. Bussard's Inertial Electrostatic Fusion offers

Small, efficient power reactors, 1-3% the size of current magnetic confinement reactors.
Clean, radiation-free energy utilizing p B-11.
Relatively simple engineering with commercial viability in 6-10 years.
Low cost ($150-200 million from program inception to demonstration of clean power.)


Dr. Robert W. Bussard is an American physicist working primarily in nuclear fusion energy research. Bussard received his PhD from Princeton. He is currently functioning as co-founder and director of Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation. He is the former Assistant Director to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and has held prominent positions at Los Alamos National Laboratories, Oakridge Labs, and TRW Systems.

Besides developing this year's winning technology, Dr. Bussard is also known for conceiving the Bussard ramjet, an interstellar spacecraft powered by hydrogen fusion using hydrogen collected from the interstellar gas utilizing a magnetic field.