We can have small nuclear fusion in decade claims Lockheed Martin
US engineers claim they are working on a compact nuclear fusion reactor (CFR) which can be readily used within a decade.
If they succeed, the team at defence firm Lockheed Martin will blast apart assumptions of those who believe nuclear fusion is a pipe dream.
In a video on the company site, a confident project lead Tom Maguire said: “This isn’t online by 2100, this is online by the time, I can’t even retire after we finish this!”
Instead of a large building-sized reactor, the engineers claim it can be as small – relatively – as a lorry.
Their fusion technology uses a controlled atomic reaction – with atoms joining together rather than splitting apart, like the fission of current commercial nuclear plants – in a magnetic chamber under high temperatures, millions of degrees hot.
“Our compact fusion concept combines several alternative magnetic confinement approaches, taking the best parts of each and offers a 90% size reduction over previous concepts,” added McGuire, of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works’ Revolutionary Technology Programs.
Engineers reckon a prototype can be ready in five years because the small size means it is quicker to build and test. Several patents are pending on their plans.
Eventually the firm believes their reactor could fly planes.
Commentators say there is much unknown about the tech firm’s claims before the world gets too excited about it.