The Navy is funding EMC2 an additional $5.3 million over next 2 years to work on the problem of pumping electrons into the Polywell. Big new pulsed power supply to support the electron guns (100+A, 10kV). WB-8 has been operating at 0.8 Tesla (8 times stronger magnetic field than any previous version).
There was a review done of the work and the recommendations were to continue and expand the effort.
* The WB-8 isn’t intended to be a net power machine. What it is intended to do is thoroughly test the scaling properties of the Polywell design to see if a net power reactor is practicable.
* EMC2 will only be testing D+D fusion in the WB-8. However, if the results are promising enough, they have an option to extend their contract to test p+B11 fusion. If they do, the new device (WB-8.1) will be due by Oct. 31, 2011, and the final report will be due a year later.
* If either the WB-8 or the WB-8.1 produces promising results, EMC2 will go on to build the WB-D, a 100 MW demonstration reactor.