In a move sure to impress environmentalists and further cement his Earth friendly image, Governor Schwarzenegger is set to launch a multimillion dollar research effort into a revolutionary new source of clean non-polluting power.
The project is focused on the Inertial Electrostatic Fusion reactor invented by the award winning American physicist Dr. Robert W. Bussard. The Radiation Free Fusion Reactor has the potential to change the whole landscape of energy generation, which is usually a choice between bad and worse options that include Nuclear, Coal and Natural Gas systems.
The State of California peak energy usage is about 40,000 Megawatts and is only expected to grow steadily over the coming years . Fusion opens a whole new avenue of cheap clean energy that could not on
ly satisfy growing energy needs but also fuel massive water desalination plants that could help solve California’s acute water shortages.
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 fusion process invented 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 potential of one Electric Fusion reactor would be in the range of 100 to 1,000 MW and would provide power for up to 250,000 homes at peak output with a potential cost of construction ofaround $200 million dollars, making it relatively inexpensive compared to the ITER reactor that is to begin construction in France at a cost of $12 billion US dollars.
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.