Oh, The Possibilities
Each fusion reaction does have an optimum slam energy. This hints at a very important Polywell concept: that the machine could be “tuned” for the specific fuel being fused. For example, the PB11 reaction operates best at a slam energy of 550 keV. Presumably, the polywell would try and contain enough electrons create that slam energy. This creates a high voltage drop. Ions are shot into the center at some energy. They see this voltage. They fly towards the center, building up kinetic energy and they slam into one another. They hit at some energy: the slam energy. This can be adjusted by varying the amount of electrons in the center or it may be adjusted by changing the way ions are injected. The slam energies, the cross sections and the energy released in each reaction is included below . For this analysis, we assume each fuel is being burned at the energy listed here. This is important when looking at the core’s durability and the amount of x-rays the machine produces. Though, there is good reason to think that these energies should be adjusted [25, 42].
Remember, this is operating costs, staffing, maintenance and construction costs need to be added on top. To keep costs low, DD would probably be the best fuel to start with, though this is subject to debate. The key to burning better fuels revolves around increasing the voltage drop inside the machine. Initially tritium should be avoided. Its radioactivity adds expenses for safe handling and makes the machine less marketable.
Ideally, a beta version would be DD fusion, with a price point of $0.91 a kWh. That is roughly less than the current solar power price point. This assumes 20% conversion and recovering 1% of the energy. This low efficiency is supposed to account for the energy needed to run the reactor as well. We can easily push these efficiencies. If the reactor is burning P-B11, under the worst case scenario this predicts a price of 0.16 a kWh, though it will take more energy to burn PB11. That is five cents higher than the national average for electricity in 2011 . This burn would also give the reactor a very long durability, as will be shown.
Deuterium, Deuterium Calculations:
For the economic calculation, I used both DD energies. The cost of deuterium is 400 dollars for 50 liters at 99.999% purity . I also figured in gallons how much clean water per dollar this reactor could make – it takes 2.8 KJ to make one liter of clean water . It was assumed that the reactor burned a kilogram per hour. Please see below.
E And I Guns:
1. “World water dynamics: global modeling of water resources” Slobodan P. Simonovic Civil and Environmental Engineering, UWO, London, Ontario, Canada Received 29 May 2001; accepted 26 April 2002.
2. “A Comparison of the limits to growth with thirty years of reality” Graham Turner, June 2008. Socio-economics and the environment in discussion CSIRO Working paper series 2008-09
3. Meadows, Donella H. The Limits to Growth. London: Earth Island, 1972. Print.
4. "World Simulation - Simgua Live (Beta)." Simgua Live. Web. 1 Sept. 2011. http://live.simgua.com/World.
5. Sharma, B. K., and C. Anand Babu. "Commissioning of Boron Enrichment Plant." Scientific Information Resource Division, IGCAR. IGCAR Library. Web. 02 Sept. 2011. http://library.igcar.gov.in/html/Contents/IGCNewsletter/nl48/A2.htm.
6. Mohammad, Moataz. "Boron in Materials Technology." 7 Days with Semester at Sea 2000. The American University in Cairo. Web. 07 Sept. 2011. . *Note: The price listed here is Boron, not Boron-11.
7. "Electric Power Monthly - Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State." Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State. US Energy Information Administration, 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 28 Aug. 2011. http://184.108.40.206/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_b.html.
8. "Isotopes of Boron." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 07 Sept. 2011. .
9. "Olympic-size Swimming Pool." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 29 Aug. 2011. Web. 07 Sept. 2011. .
10. "EIA - 2010 International Energy Outlook." US Energy Information Administration, 25 May 2010. Web. 07 Sept. 2011. .
11. "Nuclear Power Plants." Nuclear Power Plants. Idaho National Laboratory, 2011. Web. 07 Sept. 2011.
12. Iowa State University. University Extension. Farm Energy - Energy Conservation in Corn Nitrogen Fertilizer. Iowa State University, Sept. 2010. Web. 8 Sept. 2011.
13. Bussard, Robert W. "Fusion as Electric Propulsion." Journal of Propulsion and Power 6.5 (1990): 567-74. Print.
14. Morgan, JoAnn H. "Kennedy Space Center FAQ." Kennedy Space Center Science and Technology Home Page. NASA/Kennedy Space Center External Relations, 17 Nov. 2000. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/pao/faq/faqanswers.htm.
15. "Space Shuttle." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. The Wikipedia Foundation, 11 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. .
16. Krall, Nicolas. "The Polywell: A Spherically Convergent Ion Focus Concept." Fusion Technology 22 (1992). Print.
17. Rider, Todd H. "A General Critique of Inertial-electrostatic Confinement Fusion Systems." Physics of Plasmas 6.2 (1995): 1853-872. Print.
18. "Rocket Engine." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. The Wikipedia Foundation, 14 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_engine.
19. Bussard, Robert. "The QED Engine System: Direct Electric Fusion Powered Rocket Propulsion Systems." 10th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion 271 (1992): 1601-612. Print
20. "Nuclear Fusion." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. The Wikipedia Foundation, 22 Oct. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion.
21. Hull, Richard. "Neutron - Radiation Detection - Error." Fusor.net. 22 May 2008. Web. 8 Oct. 2011. http://www.fusor.net/board/view.php?bn=fusor_neutrons.
22. Packaging and Distribution of Specialty Gases. Advanced Specialty Gases, 2009. Web. 16 Oct. 2011. http://www.advancedspecialtygases.com/.
23. Willms, Scott. "Tritium Supply from Non-Fusion Sources." Fusion Nuclear Science and Technology Meeting. UCLA, Los Angeles. 12-14 Aug. 2008. Lecture.
24. “The Physics of Inertial Fusion: Beam Plasma Interaction, Hydrodynamics, Hot Dense Matter”, Stefano Atzeni Et al. 2004
25. Simon, M. "Operating Voltage For B11." IEC Fusion Technology. 21 May 2007. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. http://iecfusiontech.blogspot.com/2007/05/operating-voltage-for-b11.html.
26. United States. Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security. Alexandria: CNA Analysis and Solutions, 2009. Print.
27. "Nuclear Energy Institute - Costs: Fuel, Operation and Waste Disposal." Nuclear Energy Institute - Clean-Air Energy. Nuclear Energy Institute, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/nuclear_statistics/costs/.
28. Bussard, Robert. Preliminary Study of Inertial-Electrostatic Fusion (IEF) for Electric Power Plants. Tech. no. EPRI TR-103394s. EMC2. Print
29. Nave, R. "Light Water Nuclear Reactors." Hyperphysics. Georgia State University. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/ligwat.html.
30. Whitlock, Jeremy. "How Do CANDU Reactors Rank in Performance against Other Designs?" The Canadian Nuclear FAQ - Dr. Jeremy Whitlock. Www.nuclearfaq.ca, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionA.htm#h.
31. "Displacements per Atom." University of Wisconsin, 1997. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/neep423/FALL97/lecture42.pdf.
32. France. CEA. General Review of Reactor Vessel Internals: Pressurized Water Reactors, including WWER. By P. Petrequin and R. Pelli. CEA, 1997. Print.
33. "Data Available from the Nuclear Information Service." T-2 Nuclear Information Service. Los Alamos National Laboratory, 20 June 2007. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. http://t2.lanl.gov/data/data.html.
34. "Product Data Sheet, 316 Stainless Steel." Ak Steel Corporation, 2007. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.http://www.aksteel.com/pdf/markets_products/stainless/austenitic/316_316L_Data_Sheet.pdf.
35. "Specific Question about PWR Fission Reactors." Physics Help and Math Help - Physics Forums. Physics Forum, 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=543601.
36. "Nuclear Transmutation." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. The Wikipedia Foundation, 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_transmutation.
37. Heindler and Kernbichler, Proc. 5th Intl. Conf. on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems, 1989, pp. 177–182.
38. "World Steel Prices." Steel Prices, 2010, 2011, 2012, Steel Price Index, Stainless Steel Prices, Steel Price News, World Steel Prices, Current Steel Pricing, Global Steel Prices, Average Steel Prices. World steel prices, 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. http://www.worldsteelprices.com/.
39. "Aluminum Prices, London Metal Exchange (LME) Aluminum Alloy Prices, COMEX and Shanghai Aluminum Prices." Current Primary and Scrap Metal Prices - LME (London Metal Exchange). Metal Prices, 27 Oct. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. http://www.metalprices.com/FreeSite/metals/al/al.asp.
40. "Metal-Pages - Tungsten Prices." Current Metal Prices | Historical Metal Prices | Metal News | Marketplace. Metal-Pages, 27 Oct. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. http://www.metal-pages.com/metalprices/tungsten/.
41. "Molybdenum." Espimetals. Espimetals, 3 Nov. 2011. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. http://www.espimetals.com/tech/molybdenum.pdf.
42. Tibbets, Dan. "View Topic - What Is the Best Material for the Rings?" Talk-Polywell.org. Talk Polywell, 2 Nov. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3373.
43. "Renewable Portfolio Standard." Wikipedia. The Wikipedia Foundation, 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_Portfolio_Standard.
44. United States. U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE OF THE U.S. MINING INDUSTRY. Washington DC: Department of Energy, 2002. Print.
45. The National Mining Association. Moore Economics. The Economic Contributions of U.S. Mining in 2007. National Mining Association, Feb. 2009. Web. 13 Nov. 2011.
46. "Black Thunder." Mining Technology. Net Resources International, 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. http://www.mining-technology.com/projects/thunder/.
47. Saving One Barrel of Oil Per Ton. Publication. Washington, DC: American Iron and Steel Institute, 2005. Print.
48. "Water Supply Shortages | Water Scarcity." Global Warming Forecasts. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. http://www.global-warming-forecasts.com/water-supply-shortage-water-scarcity-climate.php.
49. The United Nations. Coping with Water Scarcity. UN Water, 2007. Print. Ser. 2007.
50. "Mumbai." Wikipedia. The Wikipedia Foundation, 22 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai.
51. Lewis, Mark. "By the Numbers: Megacities Of The Future -Forbes.com." Information for the World's Business Leaders - Forbes.com. Forbes.com. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/11/megacities-population-urbanization-biz-cx_21cities_ml_0611megacities_slide_3.html?thisSpeed=undefined.
52. Nevins, William. "Can Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Work beyond the Ion-ion Collision Time Scale?" Physics of Plasmas 2.10 (1995): 3804-819. Print.
53. Dresden 20003 EBIS-A Data Sheet. Tech. no. 20003. Vol. 4.0. Dresden: Dreebit Electron and Ion Beam Technologies. Print.