Thanks to a number of readers who have contacted me a news article from the New Atlas website (first posted on the Always On thread by sandy r) which reports about a claim by an Australian company HB11 who claim to have found a new approach to nuclear fusion they call ‘Laser Boron Fusion’ which they claim is producing reaction rates “a billion times higher than predicted” in experiments.
The company states that its first patents have been granted in the USA, Japan and China, with other countries pending.
A quote from the article:
Here’s how HB11 describes its “deceptively simple” approach: the design is “a largely empty metal sphere, where a modestly sized HB11 fuel pellet is held in the center, with apertures on different sides for the two lasers. One laser establishes the magnetic containment field for the plasma and the second laser triggers the ‘avalanche’ fusion chain reaction. The alpha particles generated by the reaction would create an electrical flow that can be channeled almost directly into an existing power grid with no need for a heat exchanger or steam turbine generator.”
The HB11 website gives a simple explanation about how the reactions take place:
1. Plasma block acceleration. CPA-laser pulse accelerates plasma blocks e.g. H towards B with a nonlinear force. The H B-11 reaction is ignited.
2. Avalanche of H-B11 reactions increases the reaction yield dramatically, opening up the possibility of net-energy gain.
3. Magnetic trapping from a second laser further increases reaction yield.
4. Electricity is generated by neutralizing charged He (α particles) by the reaction sphere.