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: p-B11 Fusion
Date: Dec 05, 10:26 pm
Poster: Pierce Nichols

On Dec 05, 10:26 pm, Pierce Nichols wrote:

>I will note that the P-B11 chart can't compare with ease of use to the D-T reaction and requires a lot more snort in power supply voltage than any of the others. Its reaction rate at a quarter million volts falls way short of D-T at only 50kv. It only saving grace that I can see is Direct Conversion possibilities.

That's not trivial at *ALL*. The fact that p-B11 can do direct conversion means, in practical terms an order of magnitude (at least) in cost and complexity. The physical plant needed to get the energy out from a D-T reactor goes from a mass of heat exchangers and turbines, with the requirement that you seperate the cooling water from the turbine due to neutron activation. And disposal of the reactor in a radioactive waste dump. No SSTA's with that. Compare to the p-B11 physical plant, which is a big stack of relatively inexpensive SCR's. You can put that on a container ship! And while an SSTA might not be possible in engineering terms, at least it is not excluded by the fundamental characteristics of the beast.

> With a few hundred megabucks of the money, this could probably provide a very interesting and perhaps (just perhaps) fruitful oportunity for yet more eggheads. Amateurs not allowed - no money to really do it right.

I think your analysis is far too pessimistic. While it would be an expensive experiment, it would be more practical to do as an amateur than actually getting some tritium to play with, and cleaning up the mess afterwards. It's still no walk in the park. I want to see investigation of that reaction rate spike at ~50 kV. Hitting 50 kV is not that big a problem for a competent amateur, and since we can get measurable D-D fusion at that energy, we should have no problem getting p-B11 fusion at that energy.