Finally, some good news this week! Lockheed Martin announced a fusion advance breakthrough in technology! Yes! Clean, cheap fusion energy is just around the corner! Engineers and scientists at ′The Skunk Works′, birthplace of the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes, as well as stealth technology, has figured out how to build a fusion reactor that is at least ten times smaller than any previous ones built. Measuring only about 7 by 9 feet, it can sit on a flat-bed truck and deliver 100 megawatts of electricity. That is enough to power a community of 50,000 to 100,000 people. A prototype is being built and may be ready for testing within one year. They predict that within 10-15 years, a commercial unit will be available. Fueled by deuterium and tritium, both of which can be ′harvested′ from sea water, the potential of a viable fusion reactor is practically unlimited.
The major advance is a matter of size. By being able to build smaller fusion reactors, prototypes can be developed and tested cheaper and faster than previous attempts. Most current fusion reactors being tested today are gigantic machines taking years to design and build. In the past 20 years, the big challenges for fusion technology have been duration, as most reactions last only a few seconds at best, and power input-output ratio, meaning trying to get more energy out of a reactor than is used to run it. A US Navy fusion program that was canceled by Harry Reid and Senate Democrats pushed the technology envelop, producing more output energy above the input level and achieved fusion reactions that lasted for several minutes.
The Lockheed Martin fusion reactor could revolutionize the whole energy industry. By going small, reactors could be used to power ships, aircraft and spacecraft, as well as desalinizing sea water into freshwater. The possibilities are endless if the technology works as billed. I have been saying all along in the whole ′Green Energy′ debate that the only true replacement for fossil, carbon-based fuel is hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and our oceans are loaded with it. The $150 Billion dollars the Obama spends every year on wind and solar projects really should be spent on developing fusion technology.
So three cheers to Lockheed Martin for the fusion advance in technology! Where else but at The Skunk Works is there any real innovation of merit? The SR-71 Blackbird is still the fastest ′known′ aircraft to ever fly, and if the so-called Aurora spy plane exists, as I suspect it does, it was probably built there, too! This is good news indeed for all of us. American Capitalism and innovation once more triumphs! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!