Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Fusor Neutron Source for a SNUB?
Date: Dec 06, 6:43 pm
Poster: Tom Billings

On Dec 06, 6:43 pm, Tom Billings wrote:

>>Apparently, the real feasibility all depends on how close to breakeven you have to be for a pure Fusor before this concept will work. If you have to be within a factor of 3-4 of breakeven, then this probably isn't worth too much in the long-run. It probably wouldn't make that hot a bomber engine, either, at that multiplier.
>>However, if it can be used _now_, then we might see it used as a lever towards more Fusor research. I would think that its best market would be in smaller applications where low capital investment/small power is needed. Then mass production could lower costs nicely, if the NRC allows that. This mobile concept could be moved into areas devastated by disasters, like the recent floods in Central America quite quickly.
>>Tom Billings
>>Oregon L5 Society
>I don't know if I understand you quite right. First, it is my understanding that a SNUB is basically using a neutron generator (Fusor) to replace the neutron flux created in a critical fission pile. These neutrons cause fission within the sub-critical uranium around the neutron source. This allow you to make a very small working fission reactor. Am I right so far?

Yes, with the caveat that the fusion neutrons are _all_ fast enough to fission _all_ isotopes of Uranium.

>Then, the only question to be answered is a basic fission physics problem.
>1. What neutron flux is required for some volume of a chosen fissionable fuel to produce more energy in the form of usable heat than the energy required to produce the activating neutrons?

This question would include calculations of neutron losses, which will affect feasibility strongly, if the Fusor/SNUB combination is not far beyond breakeven.

>2. Can a Fusor provide that much power without consuming tremendous amounts of energy itself?
In particular, can it send most of its power out a powerline, instead back into the Fusor itself?


Tom Billings

Oregon L5 Society