The Emc2 team has been ramping up its tests over the past few months, with the aim of using WB-7 to verify Bussard’s WB-6 results. Today, Nebel said he’s confident that the answers will be forthcoming, one way or the other.
“We’re fully operational and we’re getting data,” Nebel said. “The machine runs like a top. You can just sit there and take data all afternoon.
Nebel may be low-key about the experiment, but he has high hopes for Bussard’s Polywell fusion concept. If it works the way Nebel hopes, the system could open the way for larger-scale, commercially viable fusion reactors and even new types of space propulsion systems.
“We’re looking at power generation with this machine,” Nebel said. “This machine is so inexpensive going into the 100-megawatt range that there’s no compelling reason for not just doing it. We’re trying to take bigger steps than you would with a conventional fusion machine.”
EMC2 built the laboratory and an experiment in nine months. If a working scaled up production system could be built in comparable time then the main part (not the site preparation and power lines) of any new reactor could be produced in 9 months or less.