Nuclear fusion is coming, says noted VC


Nuclear fusion will move from the lab to reality in a few years, a noted venture capitalist says.

A Canadian company believes they can build small fusion reactors that will produce power at 4 cents a kilowatt, about the same as coal. Fusion reactors do not have the dangers that current fission reactors have.

Lithium, a fairly inexpensive and plentiful metal, gets converted to helium in a reaction that generates lots of power and leaves only a harmless gas as a byproduct.

This is yet another example of how R&D into cleantech may reap huge rewards. I have little doubt that clean energy, maybe produced in numerous ways, will be cost-competitive with coal in the near future. And that will change everything.

  • D-T fusion isn’t entirely benign. , though it’s clearly an improvement on conventional fission. I wouldn’t hold my breath of 4-cent electricity from any kind of fusion, though, gee-whiz promotions from VCs notwithstanding.

  • DJ

    TRW had an operating fusion reactor back in the 1980s, until the Reagan administration pulled the plug on its funding. (I worked for a company that supplied the liquid helium for the reactor.)

    BTW, I’m surprised no one is talking about capturing helium from the reaction. At present, the only major source of helium is natural gas wells, where He is the byproduct of natural fission. As natural gas becomes scarcer and less used, helium will also become harder to find. A stream of salable He from fusion reactors might well make the fusion process more economical.

  • Tell me more about the operating fusion reactor, didn’t know there were such things.

  • DJ

    What I can tell you is that I worked dispatch, and was responsible for sending our drivers to the site, a top-secret lab at TRW (one of many). The project began with small deliveries, but then it started taking two large containers of liquid helium twice a week as I recall, like clockwork.

    Despite security (I knew people who worked at various departments at TRW and have heard lots of stories that security was sometimes not so secure), the drivers and dock personnel talked often– we were in there at least twoce a week, after all. The drivers described what they saw and what the dock personnel told them– only they didn’t know what it was they were seeing. The liquid HE was used as a coolant. One driver described it something like this: “a crazy machine that makes electricity.” They had no idea of the significance of it, and were rather contemptuous.

    The evidence supports what they told me: A reaction that creates electricity at close to absolute zero? That’s fusion. And several hundred gallons of liquid He each week for weeks on end– that’s an ongoing operation. I have no idea of the size of the reactor, but I do believe it exosted, just because the drivers had no reason to lie about what they saw. They didn’t even know what it was.

    One day, we sent a truck over to pick up all our containers– the funding had been cut and the project was shut down. That’s the last I ever heard of it.

  • i believe i have uncovered a symbolic discovery of unlimited clean energy of using water via nuclear fusion upon palm sunday 2007- I have been shown many signs after this date-in the beginning it was two sticks for fire- now- i propose two electrodes for unlimited clean energy- it is energy which fuels a world for comfort-life-stability-coupled with laws from the heavens we have lived our lives- we are all messengers of god if we listen-we are communicated with thru our dreams-coincidental moments-etc- you would be lucky to have one handful in which you swear to be divinely inspired in your entire life-our time is a test and we are by far left alone in order to see how we help one another- do not expect the heavens to fix mans problems- it is the heavens who watch us fix our own- we have everything upon this magical blue planet- it is our duty as man to live up to our potential- my first name means peace- my last name is the father of Abraham-father of arab and jews- it is also the name of fire in the first religion of zorasterian to this day-in the beginning is a story of brotherhood between cain and able- in this age of enlightenment we shall be called together under god and see what the brothers of Issac and Ishmael do in the middle east- it is in the interests of all human beings to support its unification-as it is the desire all nations shall be under one God—IF WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN SOUNDS UNORTHODOX TO YOU-MY ROAD TRAVELED TO SOLVE THIS ENERGY CRISIS WAS UNORTHODOX-THE WEIGHT OF MY WORDS WILL BE FELT WHEN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY HAS UNDERSTOOD THE MIRACLE I HAVE UNCOVERED–TO NOT WALK ON WATER-BUT TO DELIVER IT FOR UNLIMITED & CLEAN ENERGY— TIME WILL TELL-

    solomon azar-

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