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Building the open source Bussard Fusion Reactor

July 14, 2010

Time for open

Do you think it is impossible for a person or a small team to build the Bussard Fusion Reactor? Actually, it is happening. Famulus is building his own Bussard Fusion Reactor. He also showed the early products on the Kickstarter project page. The project has sucssfully raised the first round funding.

Fusion Energy:

Fusion reactions combine light atomic nuclei usually hydrogen to form heavier atomic uncle such as helium, which occurs under high temperature of tens of millions of degrees.

Fusion Reactor:

The positively charged ions and negatively charged electrons are in the form of the fusion plasma. The fusion plasma has to be well confined to avoid of cooling down rapidly leading to failure of energy fusion. The following picture shows the torus fusion, also called Tokamak fusion reactor.

Image belongs to Flickr Creative Commons

There are two primary methods used to confine the fusion plasma (1) Inertial confinement fusion (2) Magnetic confinement fusion.

Dr. Robert W. Bussard introduced the Polywell fustion reactor, which is a magnetic confinement fusion reactor. This reactor can avoid the damages of vacuum grids (which frequently happen for other types of fusion reactors) by protecting them with the magnetic field. Now the reactor is WB-7, following WB-1, WB-2,… WB-6.  The research is still under going.

Cost of commercial Polywell (Bussard) fustion reactor:

Estimated $150–200M, source.


Almost any type of nuclear fusion reactor is developed in secrete. It is not feasible to get the blue prints of design, the key documentation, the experimental data, and why it really works or doesn’t work.

Open source Bussard Fusion Reactor is the first trial of opening these secrets to public. It is to conduct the research with the goal of public benefit.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. susie permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:33 pm

    Many people might concern that territorists can use the know-how of building nuclear fusion reactors to develop nuclear weapons that put the whole world in danger when the the know-how are publicly available. People who strongly support open sources tend to believe that openly and freely sharing knowledage will always benefit development of human society. But how can the society control the ways people use their knowledges?

    • January 22, 2011 5:13 pm

      Fusion, as opposed to fission, really doesn’t have much about it that can go BANG! in fact, making fusion commercially viable would have the impact of reducing the number of fission plants, eventually making it harder to obtain fissile material. IE, if Iran provides all their power needs via fusion reactors, they could hardly justify refining fissionable material.

      • pbarnes permalink
        July 7, 2013 5:51 am

        Would be hard to make fusion fuel hard to get. that would be hydrogen. the most abudant fuel in the universe. you can get plenty of that from water. every country has water.

  2. July 15, 2010 8:40 pm

    Fusion energy has a very small likelihood to be used by terrorists.

  3. April 1, 2014 12:27 am

    Fusors have become much more popular since this post was written. Over 70 people have gotten fusion with a fusor (last I checked) as individuals and in small teams. The record for the youngest person to do it, was just broken by a 13 year old in England on 3/4/2014. The 8th grader, Jamie Edwards, built a small fusor in his middle school and turned it on a few days before his 14th birthday. He is getting a visit from the Duke of York. A polywell, is just one step removed from a fusor. Mark suppes has inspired others, if high school kids can build fusors, what is stopping them from building polywells?

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