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Science & Technology

Lockheed claims fusion energy breakthrough

By T.K. Randall
October 16, 2014 · Comment icon 28 comments



Could fusion energy be coming soon ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Lawrence Livermore National Security
The technology giant has announced that it has developed a miniature 100MW nuclear fusion reactor.
Nuclear fusion has long been seen as the holy grail of energy generation technologies. Unlike traditional coal, oil or nuclear fission power plants a nuclear fusion reactor would be capable of producing near limitless amounts of electricity with little to no waste.

It's no surprise then that scientists have been attempting for years to produce a working nuclear fusion reactor and now US technology firm Lockheed Martin has announced that it has managed to do exactly that.
Described as a 'technological breakthrough', the firm claims that it has developed a miniature 100MW fusion reactor that is so compact that it can fit in the back of a truck.

While a prototype has yet to be built, Lockheed believes that it will have one up and running within the next five years. If this technology turns out to be the real deal then it could revolutionize energy production, eradicate pollution and put an end to our current reliance on fossil fuels.

"We can make a big difference on the energy front," said project head Tom McGuire.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (28)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by switchopens 8 years ago
The Lockheed Martin Press release hasn't said it was a "breakthrough". This word was used in the Reuters press release and those using it from it's source. Since the word "breakthrough" seems to be thrown around loosely, we still have this hazy understanding of their progress. The big thing that they want you to know is that they have made progress and that they are banking on the outcome within 5 years. An actual scientist might be furious at making these statements since this probably more of a marketing/PR move and may be quite deceptive. The real breakthrough I would think, comes in the fo... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
The Lockheed Martin Press release hasn't said it was a "breakthrough". This word was used in the Reuters press release and those using it from it's source. Since the word "breakthrough" seems to be thrown around loosely, we still have this hazy understanding of their progress. The big thing that they want you to know is that they have made progress and that they are banking on the outcome within 5 years. An actual scientist might be furious at making these statements since this probably more of a marketing/PR move and may be quite deceptive. The real breakthrough I would think, comes in the fo... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
The cheaper deuterium, which can be collected from water, is basically left over from the Big Bang. Once used it is gone. We can make it sure, but the cost outweighs the profit. Basically, this isn't free energy. It is exceedingly expensive energy. Which may be cheaper for a short while till we drain it out of the oceans.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Erikl 8 years ago
There's one big, giant question that hasn't been answered in this article or others related to this story. Does this new method achieve "break-even"? To understand it a little bit, fusion isn't that complicated to achieve. Humans can produce artificial fusion since 1950s, by an uncontrolled thermonuclear bomb (also known as hydrogen/H-Bomb). Since then, science is working hard on creating a controllable fusion reaction so that safe, clean (depending on which type of fusion used) cheap energy. Many methods exist today, some as cheap as 20,000$ devices that can be built by an high school student... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
There's one big, giant question that hasn't been answered in this article or others related to this story. Does this new method achieve "break-even"? To understand it a little bit, fusion isn't that complicated to achieve. Humans can produce artificial fusion since 1950s, by an uncontrolled thermonuclear bomb (also known as hydrogen/H-Bomb). Since then, science is working hard on creating a controllable fusion reaction so that safe, clean (depending on which type of fusion used) cheap energy. Many methods exist today, some as cheap as 20,000$ devices that can be built by an high school student... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by Karasu 8 years ago
Fusion powered kitchens. Hooray, TACOS FOR ALL!
Comment icon #25 Posted by Paranormalcy 8 years ago
I saw in a new article that a University (MIT was it?) has announced THEY have successfully conducted a fusion experiment, where they produced more energy than went into its creation. I don't know how that's possible but I sure hope this stuff is even close to legit!
Comment icon #26 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
I saw in a new article that a University (MIT was it?) has announced THEY have successfully conducted a fusion experiment, where they produced more energy than went into its creation. I don't know how that's possible but I sure hope this stuff is even close to legit! I saw that too. They reported more energy out of the experiment then went in. So, possibly this means they are a step closer to self-propagating fusion. Where after you start it, your energy is free (minus the cost of the deuterium and tritium of course). Currently they have to keep the lasers running to maintain the fusion. This ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
The cheaper deuterium, which can be collected from water, is basically left over from the Big Bang. Once used it is gone. We can make it sure, but the cost outweighs the profit. Basically, this isn't free energy. It is exceedingly expensive energy. Which may be cheaper for a short while till we drain it out of the oceans. Correcting myself here.... upon further research the amount of deuterium in the oceans should be able to fuel the electrical needs of the world at up to ten times current levels for well over a BILLION years. So, it will not run out anytime soon. My bad. The processes to coll... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by questionmark 8 years ago
I believe they promised the same 20 years ago.... not here yet...


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