EMC2 Fusion doesn’t have tens of millions of venture capital to play with — but it does have a $7.9 million Navy contract to test a plasma technology known as inertial electrostatic confinement fusion, also known as Polywell fusion. The idea is to accelerate positively charged ions in an electrical cage to such an extent that they occasionally spark a fusion reaction, releasing energy and neutrons. The concept was pioneered by the late physicist Robert Bussard, and carried forward by the EMC2 Fusion team in Santa Fe, N.M.
Some of the leading team members went on leave from Los Alamos National Laboratory to work on EMC2. Rick Nebel, the Los Alamos engineer who led the company since Bussard’s death in 2007, retired from the company last November. Taking his place as acting chief executive officer is Jaeyoung Park. The 41-year-old physicist says he’s given up his position at Los Alamos to focus fully on EMC2.
“We had a lot of milestones to meet in the last six months or so,” Park told me today. “It’s been pretty hectic.”
I just want it noted that I’ve been one of the few who has supported the wiffle ball inertial confinement concept from the start. Not only is this approach less costly than the typical laser-magnetic “jar” approach championed by the elites, it is less dangerous and more portable, meaning a Polywell device could be set up in a remote area much, much easier than the “conventional” type of fusion reactor.
To quote Glen Reynolds… “Faster, please.”