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Welcome to ProtonBoron

Greetings and thank you for visiting. ProtonBoron is a community of fusioneers – engineers, physicists, & advocates who and are seeking to develop commercially profitable fusion energy.

Let us state the obvious right up front – Fusion is hard. Humanity has poured resources and brainpower into fusion energy research for a century and yet commercial fusion energy is still not a reality. That said, we believe that prior research into the polywell approach to fusion has brought humanity to the brink of success.

Unfortunately the US government, specifically the Department of the Navy, is no longer able to fund polywell research due to budget constraints and politics.

Given the strong experimental progress of polywell fusion technology over the past two decades of research & development, commercial fusion is technically just around the corner, however only a small effort is currently being made to leap the final hurdles. As such it seems a travesty for us to sit and wait when others have worked hard, and achieved so much, to get us to this point.

If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way.
Henry Ford

The big question is –> can it be done and can we do it? No one can honestly know as the future results of any research & development effort are always unknown, which is why we do research & development in the first place. However, we have chosen to do this work because we truly believe we can succeed.

If a victory is at all possible, then it is possible through determination, persistence, and effort. We are asking you to believe and work with us – because whatever it takes, we can and will make it happen. We would love for you to join us in the effort.

An Open-Source Approach

Energy underlies all economic activity. Having a diverse array and broad ownership of energy sources gives stability to the economy and all the lives that depend upon it. Fusion power can transform human potential forever by reducing the cost of electricity to a fraction of what it is now and hence increasing economic opportunities for every living human on Earth.

No single company, corporation, or government should control this technology. The potential of fusion power is so enormous that there exists enough space for hundreds of competing fusion energy enterprises.

Hence the second stage of our plan is the start up of a not-for-profit open-source technology consortium. The aim is to prove or disprove polywell technology by working to develop a prototype net-positive energy reactor can be profitably constructed at a commercial level.

If the aims of this not-for-profit consortium are successfully met, the third stage of our plan begins – to form a commercial enterprise to build & sell reactors which will then allow the compensation of those who helped to make this dream a reality.

While we won’t have any proprietary technology to launch the commercial enterprise, we will have the full support of the research & development team that created our prototype net-positive energy reactor – which is a large head-start that will give us a firm position from which to launch the enterprise in a competitive environment.

A Community Supported Consortium

The Consortium

We are a community funded and supported consortium – essentially the members/supporters of the consortium are you. We are working to put together a core team of experienced, knowledgeable, and well-known polywell fusion experts such that we will have your trust to carry out our ambitious aims.

Our business manager, Tyler Jordan was first introduced to the polywell concept by Dr. Robert Bussard’s ‘Google-talk’ and has been following it’s development at talk-polywell for many years. He has a wide-ranging background, from electronics and biology to philosophy, Austrian-school economics, & business.

Our lead technologist and lead electrical engineer Mike Simon has been involved with the polywell fusion community for several years. He is the moderator and a top-poster at talk-polywell. He has a broad range of technical knowledge and has reputation for fairness.

Currently we are seeking a lead physicist & lead mechanical engineer to join us as co-founders to help lead the project. We are also working to build connections in the research community while building a new community of support around our shared goal of inexpensive fusion energy for all.

Community Support Required!

Being an open-technology and community supported organization means that we cannot rely on venture capital that would require us to seek and own intellectual property. Hence, we will found a not-for-profit corporation and build a trustworthy team so that we may ask you, in good faith, for your support in bringing fusion to the world.

Aside from fund-raising, we will need the support of a lot of technologically aware people to develop and produce an open-source, open-technology, net-positive energy fusion reactor. So, we propose to form the not-for-profit as consortium composed of passionate fusioneers and fusion organizations to facilitate the rapid development of this technology. To that end we have created a multi-year business plan that aims to develop a multi-year research plan and budget, a community oriented fund-raising system, and a functional business model that can compensate all supporters for their time, money, & energy.

Mission and Aims

Our overall mission is inexpensive fusion power for everyone. To that end we’ve defined some specific early aims. While these are not cut in stone, we will persistently work to realize them until it is clear that they aren’t achievable. If we do falsify any of these aims, then we will seek other avenues to realize our ultimate mission.

So, our specific aims are to produce a working polywell fusion reactor that produces electrical power by the direct conversion of highly energetic fusion products into electricity with no nuclear waste. To do that we intend to develop ideas and technology to enable the use of the proton-Boron (p-B11) fusion reaction.

The Polywell

We believe that the polywell design has many advantages and these advantages give it a high potential for economic success.

  • electrostatic confinement – electrostatic plasma confinement is a high efficiency confinement method that allows a high degree of fusion reactions in a small amount of space.
  • Compact size – a compact design is suitable for mass production and subsequent economies of scale will substantially bring down the cost per reactor, which then brings down the cost of power globally.
  • high efficiency – high efficiency translates into a greater ability to reach net-positive energy.

Proton-Boron Fuel

You were wondering where our name came from weren’t you? :-)

The fuel we will first attempt to use is the simple proton and Boron (p-B11); fusing one proton with one ion of boron-11, a common isotope of boron.

Advantages

  • Aneutronic – only around 0.1% of fusion energy is emitted as neutrons, this translates directly into a substantially lower total cost of ownership and lower build cost.
    • lower shielding requirements
    • longer lifespan of expensive superconducting magnets as well as many other reactor components
    • less maintenance & handling of potentially radioactive shielding systems e.g. tritium breeding lithium blankets.
    • value adding – the few neutrons produced can be turned into a value added proposition as they are not needed to generate heat or more fuel, thus we can select neutron shielding materials e.g. tungsten foil, that after a long period of neutron bombardment will contain much more valuable elements and hence can be sold at a profit.
  • Direct conversion of power – the end products of proton-boron fusion are highly energetic, non-radioactive, charged particles (helium nuclei). These particles can be directed such that they generate electricity with no intermediate steps, hence removing the massive expense, ongoing maintenance costs and the large conversion inefficiencies associated with other fuels. While there is still heat that will need to be dissipated, these reactors being safe, quiet, & small could be located where the waste heat they produce can warm malls, greenhouses, industrial buildings, & more.
  • Inexpensive and abundant fuel supply.

Disadvantages

    Difficult to fuse – requires high starting energy levels relative to other fuels. If our design isn’t efficient enough we won’t be able to reach net-positive-energy with this fuel and hence we will then need to develop shielding and heat dissipation technology for use with easier to burn, yet high-neutron producing fuels.

The Polywell 101

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