Sunday, January 13, 2008

Interesting stuff

Browsing around yesterday, I found the news via the Devils Kitchen an item of great import. Especially, if you actually give a monkeys about the future of civilisation, even though viewing it with a severely jaundiced eye.

The latest prototype of the late, great Dr Robert Bussards team, now led by Dr Richard Nebel, has attained 'first plasma', one of the steps on the road to practical nuclear fusion. The WB-7 is actually making progress, as opposed to the false alarms in the 1980's over 'Cold fusion', and the continued lack of success by mega funded projects such as the Tokamak based approach by ITER.

The only front line web source seems to be run by a Mr M Simon from Illinois, as in the main, the newspapers haven't picked up on it. Not that they would, the current state of the news is way below their celebrity obsessed radar. It's not dramatic enough; although, fair's fair, there have been so many false alarms over the years, and Nuclear Fusion has been such a damp squib apart from the H-Bomb, that 'it ain't news'.

If it were true, and the Polywell based Hydrogen-Boron Fusion device does work, then cheap plentiful energy will be the future. Although this may displease some of the more vociferous 'Back to Earthers' who won't be happy until we're all living in caves, I'm sanguine. Energy means civilisation. Small power plants mean diversity and portability. If the ECM2 team have cracked it, then we may even have an energy source that will take us to the stars. Now that will be something.

Anyway, all this exciting news is one thing; I must do some studying on insulation values, local zoning and construction rules today. The future of Nuclear Fusion will happen whether I watch it or not.