In May, 2012, Nextbigfuture reported: 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.
Date Signed (mm/dd/yyyy) : 05/03/2012
Effective Date (mm/dd/yyyy) : 05/03/2012
Completion Date (mm/dd/yyyy) : 10/31/2013
Est. Ultimate Completion Date (mm/dd/yyyy) : 09/10/2014...........................................Current.............Total Action Obligation:...........................$0.00.....$7,855,504.14 Base And Exercised Options Value:....$5,247,611.00....$16,319,940.95 Base And All Options Value:..........$5,247,611.00....$17,558,191.74
* 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.
So WB-8 is promising but has some issues, which they are hoping to work out in 18-24 months.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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