The 2014 Annual Report of the AAPG Energy Minerals Division Committee has some interesting findings. In general, the outlook for significant changes to the world’s energy mix is not good, and business-as-usual appears to be winning over significant change towards alternative energy sources. The supply of uranium is strong, but the supply of rare earth elements needed in the energy sector is weak.
Terrestrial energy closed its final seed funding round to fund their molten salt reactor design.
Plasma Jet magneto inertial fusion has various projects and companies working towards it. It seems like a promising approach to nuclear fusion and can also deliver very good space propulsion even if energy generation were not to work out.
Human hopes of reaching stars other than the Sun are currently limited by the maturity of advanced propulsion technologies. One of the few candidate propulsion systems for providing interstellar flight capabilities is nuclear fusion. In the past many fusion propulsion concepts have been proposed and some of them even explored in high detail (Project Daedalus), however, as scientific progress in this field has advanced, new fusion concepts have emerged that merit evaluation as potential drivers for interstellar missions. Plasma jet driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) is one of those concepts. PJMIF involves a salvo of converging plasma jets that form a uniform liner, which compresses a magnetized target to fusion conditions. It is an Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)-Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF) hybrid approach that has the potential for many benefits over both ICF and MCF, such as lower system mass and significantly lower cost.
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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