ASP’s Cheney: Congressional Budget deal is a “Step in the Right Direction for Fusion”

posted by Andrew Holland on January 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

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On Monday evening, January 13, Congressional Appropriators announced an agreement on the fiscal year 2014 consolidated appropriations bill. Passage of this bill will fund the government through Sept. 30, 2014.This bipartisan agreement was based on the $1.012 trillion Ryan-Murray budget agreement, agreed upon in December.

MIT Alcator CMod

MIT’s Alcator CMod – ready to return to operations

While there is a great deal to like about Members of Congress coming together to fund the government, there is one particular budget item that ASP sees as important to funding America’s long-term energy and national security: funding for research into fusion energy.

The agreement (Energy and Water Appropriations is here) includes $305,677,000 for the domestic fusion program, with an additional $200,000,000 slated for the U.S. contribution to the ITER project, for a total funding of $505,677,000 for fusion. Importantly, this budget will allow important research to continue at all the major research labs currently operating, including MIT’s Alcator C-mod, which had been threatened with closure by the Department of Energy.

BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.) , ASP’s CEO released the following statement regarding the increase in the Department of Energy’s Fusion Energy Sciences Budget:

Fusion energy will be a critical source of next generation energy that would provide secure, safe and sustainable energy for the U.S. This budget is a step in the right direction for fusion because it provides funding for all 3 experimental magnetic fusion reactors (tokamaks) in the U.S. as well as the U.S. contribution to the international ITER project. ASP believes that investing in research into fusion energy is a critical test of how Congress is planning for the long term.

As George Will wrote in a December, 2013 column: “Given the societal will, commercially feasible production of fusion energy is possible in the lifetime of most people now living.” Will went on to cite ASP’s work in saying “to bring about a working fusion reactor in 20 years would cost $30 billion — approximately the cost of one week of U.S. energy consumption.”

Members of Congress and the Department of Energy must now work on a long-term vision for sustained research into how to make fusion a viable energy source. ASP’s report “Fusion Power – A 10 Year Plan to Energy Security” provides an aggressive timeline for research and development. ASP’s staff and Fellows stand by as a resource for policymakers. 

 

This is the culmination of a fight which ASP has been involved in for almost two years. In February, 2012, with the release of the President’s FY2013 budget, Cheney had said that we were “shocked and appalled” by the proposed budget for fusion, which had proposed a budget of $398 million for fusion. With the increase included in this budget, the American fusion energy research program can put itself on more stable footing. ASP applauds Members of Congress for reaching this deal and urges passage of the legislation.

RESOURCES ON FUSION

Read ASP’s White Paper “Fusion Power – A 10 Year Plan to Energy Security

Read the Executive Summary, “Fusion Power in the 21st Century

Check out a map of Fusion’s reach across America

ASP hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill on March 13, 2013, launching ASP’s White Paper. To watch the event, click here.

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4 Responses to ASP’s Cheney: Congressional Budget deal is a “Step in the Right Direction for Fusion”

  1. hhelsley says:

    Andrew
    Have you ever heard of Heavy Ion Fusion?

    There is a solution to the ‘energy need’ for the world and the US without generating green house gases or nuclear fission’s radioactive problems.

    It is Heavy Ion Fusion (HIF) as developed in the late 1970′s at Argonne National Lab under the Department of Defense (DOD).

    RF Accelerator Driven Heavy Ion Fusion

    I am guessing that you never heard of it, … right, few people have, … as HIF was set aside by the US DOD (& DOE) in favor of lasers, as lasers could, maybe, be a weapon and HIF could not be a weapon … so the money was bet on ‘Star Wars’ …

    Fusion was first suggested as a potential power source in the late 1920’s. The first fusion reaction on earth was demonstrated in 1952. Then shown potentially doable in a small size, in 1976-9, at Argonne National Lab and Hughes Lab. Since then it has been endorsed for 35 years by the scientific community “as the conservative way to go” to develop fusion as an energy generation source … but never funded, as it was and is still BIG (expensive, prolific and “benign”). In 1980, the world did not need a BIG new carbon fee source of energy, as it does now. Fusion was put on the shelf or attached to research projects to see if it could be done in small (MW-GW) size. Fusion cannot be done small and be economical. Data suggests that fusion can produce 5 to 7 cents kWh electricity, $3.20 per/gal fuel, and $0.002 per gallon for potable water, all needed today and at a very reasonable unit price.

    But, in 2009, Fusion Power Corporation (FPC) with Dr. Robert J. Burke and Dr. Charles E. Helsley, applied for a patent using heavy ions as the energy source to fuse the Hydrogen isotopes Deuterium and Tritium to produce Helium and heat, lots of high quality heat. It solves the problems that Germany, Russia, Japan and America were having in focusing enough energy on the pellet (target) to cause fusion to occur, and to control the neutrons. The patent for RF Accelerator Driven Heavy Ion Fusion has been granted in Russia, the US is still pending!

    In December 2010, the process was presented at the 18th HIF International Symposium in Darmstadt, Germany, along with an economic model. FPC took the meeting by surprise as the US has been void of serious HIF research for more than ten years.

    In May of 2011, FPC presented the process to the ‘Accelerators for Heavy Ion Fusion Workshop’ (AHIF) at Berkeley CA, sponsored by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Virtual National Lab (DOD & DOE). Again, the result was “now is the time to move forward …” with a fusion program … as there is now a world need for a new, large, carbon neutral energy source. But no program has been established.

    In August of 2012, FPC made presentations on the Single Pass RF Driver (SPRFD) at the 19th HIF International Meeting in Berkeley. They presented updates, showing the SPRFD process with support from current industrial suppliers. They presented the economic potential of SPRFD in providing synthetic carbon neutral liquid fuel, electric power and potable water. FPC showed that SPRFD is a transformational and disruptive technology, and ranks right along side a giant oil field as an energy producer. It’s unit prices are very competitive in today’s marketplace and provide a paradigm shift in energy production. (see their published papers http://www.fusionpowercorporation.com & https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxmdXNpb25wb3dlcmNvcnBvcmF0aW9udjMwfGd4OmZhNDkyY2YyMzQ4ODQ5Yg)

    The science has been done and it now is an engineering process. FPC’s SPRFD applies known and existing technologies, in unique and innovative ways, to provide the energy necessary for fusion to occur. FPC’s fusion power is much more developed than was rocketry in 1961 when JFK committed the nation (US) to go to the moon and back. This should be America’s gift to the world, replacing fission.

    ARPA-E has encouraged FPC to write a full project proposal on ignition simulation for fusion, a $10,000,000 proposal, which FPC has done; FOA 0670-4536. But it was not funded in November 2012 (an election year) … for lack of funds from Congress, an election year?? It will be the world’s next BIG energy paradigm shift!

    We need to have America provide the world leadership … not Mexico, Russia or China!! (nor Korea or Japan)

    FPC’s SPRFD facility can be started today and can produce per day, 500,000 bls of a carbon neutral synthetic liquid fuel (diesel-kerosene-gasoline), 15+ GW electric, and 2000+ ac/ft of potable water from sea water, all with no GHGs, no highly radioactive waste and no potential for a “run-away” nuclear meltdown, and all located where it is needed. FPC can also be eligible for carbon credits, as it discharges no CO2 into the atmosphere.

    By 2050, fusion will be the source of most of the world’s energy. This is not wishful thinking, it is simply a way of stating that all other forms of energy that are based on the use of finite fossil fuel sources must decline in the next few decades. This decline will provide a major impetus for the rapid increase in the utilization of this new form of energy. Wind, solar, and bio fuels, are only “feel good solutions” of “We are doing something to solve the problem!”, when they have little possibility of generating the 14 TW needed in the next 40 years. I can show you the arithmetic.

    HIF is the ONLY practical answer for non-proliferation of atomic weapons and, may be the real way to world peace … non-aggression for national energy supplies and national security.

    Let us get moving to really solve the energy problem … not just ‘feel good efforts’, nor ‘35 more years of research’!

    For more information and detail visit http://www.fusionpowercorporation.com and see the presentations on Goggle Tech Talk “Heavy Ion Fusion” and YouTube “StarPower for Tomorrow”

    Fusion is Clean & Green … and Very Safe!

    Need more information contact me or email contact@fusionpowercorporation.com

    Hal
    Hal Helsley
    hhelsley@wildblue.net
    “If you don’t make a difference, think about who will!”

    FPC, a California C Corporation, is an engineering design, implementation and licensing company. FPC’s mission is to provide the energy necessary for maintaining current levels of energy use (standard of living) and to provide opportunities for growth in the energy supply using fusion. FPC’s vision is the development of a fusion power source based on the use of the techniques of radio frequency (RF) accelerator-driven Heavy Ion Fusion (HIF) that were researched in the 1970′s; a technique that has repeatedly received scientific endorsement.[1] FPC’s primary goal is to translate the science vetted design of a RF accelerator-driven fusion power system, to one that can be brought on-line within a decade – each installation having an energy output equivalent to that of a giant oil field, without the depletion problem, located where it is needed. Shares information is available at: invest@fusiompowercorporation.com

    [1] Physics Today, June 2010, Page 59; Physics Today, October 2010, Page 8; “35 Years of Endorsements” at http://www.fusionpowercorporation.com ; AHIF reference papers at LBNL & 19th HIF Symposium reference published papers.

  2. hhelsley says:

    Get up to speed on RF Accelerator Driven Heavy Ion Fusion.

    There is a viable way to Fusion Energy in 10 years!
    http://www.fusionpowercorporation.com it needs support!

    For your education … just published in Elsevier, 1/2014

    Dr. Helsley paper ref is; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168900213007067

    This is Dr. Robert J. Burke’s Article Abstract … http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168900213006918

  3. john v. wylie says:

    I have been studying Fusion possabilities for about last 6 years. I cannot believe you seem to have
    no knowledge, or are denying the existance of
    HIF Fusion as presented in extensive work of FusionPower.com I am not a nuclear scientist, but a UC Berkeley engineering graduate, now retired after a career in industrial refrigeration and plant engineering in the frozen food industry. The above is worth the study….Some Nobel Prize winners think so also. John Wylie

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