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Lockheed Martin subsidiary on the verge of sustainable fusion

Extensive computer simulation and real tests have been underway at the Sandia National Laboratories on the device called the ‘Z Machine’ which is the world largest producer of man-made X Rays and has been used to produce fusion neutrons. Rapid bursts (in the nano second range) are necessary for future generating plants to produce electrical power from sea water. This had not been thought achievable till now.

The researchers and scientists have been able to achieve successful nanosecond bursts with the invention of a new system called a linear transformer driver (LTD), which was created by researchers at the Institute of High Current Electronics in Tomsk, Russia, in collaboration with colleagues at Sandia.

The LTD technology is 50 percent more efficient than current Z machine firings, in terms of the ratio of useful energy out to energy in. Z is currently 15 percent efficient to its load (already a very high efficiency among possible fusion machines).

Funding for Z in the past has been for defense purposes. Its tests are used to generate data for simulations on supercomputers that help maintain the strength, effectiveness, and safety of the US nuclear deterrent.

Fired repeatedly, the machine could well be the fusion machine that could form the basis of an electrical generating plant only two decades away. Progress in this arena might eventually require funding from DOE’s energy arm.

The Sandia Lab has filed a patent application on a high-power pulsed-power accelerator that can use an LTD as the primary power generator.

If this technology is succesful over the next five years, we could be on the brink of a technology revolution and a safer path towards keeping our planet cleaner.

Check out pics and the full article on Sandia National Labs website

Published in News Physics Science Technology


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