The task of building a fusion research consortium is a daunting one. A lot of effort is going to be put toward this project and it’s really critical that supporters see the progress being made. We are particularly aware that such a large and complex project requires a tremendous amount of planning from a variety of highly skilled people.
We’ve broken down the tasks into three main stages – the first stage involves not only the obvious steps of modeling, planning, costing, & organization, but also team building. The second stage is research & development, and the final third stage is commercialization.
This breakdown is intended to help us step through the development process with a minimum of capital risk, it also gives supporters a clear understanding of the development milestones. We are open to input about how we can improve any aspect of the proposed process. Simply put – we are going to make this work one way or another and with the support of the fusion community, we believe we can make commercial fusion a reality within a decade.
This development plan overview pertains to the Open Polywell Research Institute (OPRI), the 501c3 organization and not to the ProtonBoron Fusion Foundation (PBFF), the Foundation/Trust Organization, however there are exceptions which will be specifically labelled as being tasks for the Foundation (PBFF).
We are gathering a core team of engineers and physicists to develop a multi-year research plan & budget (please see job postings here). From a business perspective the aim of this stage is to determine an accurate cost estimate for the second stage research & development effort such that we can plan and budget accordingly. This stage will also see the organization of both
We anticipate that developing this research plan & budget will require eight to twelve months of time overall. Please see our current budget for details. Any funding above and beyond our budget requirements of the first stage will be pushed through to the second stage of the project.
All research efforts in stage one and stage two will be public and available to the community for comment and use. If at any point we fail to raise enough funds to continue all previous R&D will remain publicly available for other fusion researchers/projects in the future.
This stage aims to form a consortium, as an ongoing concern composed of contracted fusioneers and potentially other organizations to research & develop an open-source technology fusion reactor. The aim of this stage is to prove achievable net-positive-energy from a polywell pB-11 (proton-boron fusion) reactor design.
We can only crudely guesstimate that the cost of this second stage research effort may be in the range of $US50MM – as stated in the first stage details, a full research plan and careful budget estimates will be made prior to this stage (stage two).
All research efforts and expenditures will also be public and available to the community for comment and use. If we fail to fund stage three, this effort will remain for other fusion companies to leverage for fusion power production in the future.
This final effort aims to form a for-profit production company for the construction of commercial full scale net-positive-energy pB-11 fusion reactors and reactor parts for lease and sale. This stage is to take place when the aims of the second stage have been achieved.
We can only very crudely estimate the cost of this third stage. The further out into the future we go, any estimate becomes more of a guess than a realistic estimate. Our ‘guesstimate’ for this stage is in the range of $US200MM-$500MM USD.
The trust/foundation organized in stage one will form one or two corporations (one as sales, the other as production) to operate and manage such a large industrial concern.
Financing of stage three will likely see many venture capitalists stepping up to the plate – as having a working prototype will open up large wallets world-wide. Any further sale of KWH’s for fundraising in this stage will be done at a much higher rate – closer to $US0.05 per KWH as opposed to our stage one and stage two sale rate of $US0.005.
We will form a 501c3 not-for-profit to accept donations and grants and to manage the actual R&D itself. However, given the limitations of a not-for-profit corporation in selling a product to raise money, the need to keep the research organization focused on research and not fundraising, & our desire to involve all supporters in the fundraising organization, we will form an offshore foundation/trust to raise funds, hold the receipts & debt for our sale of KWH’s, manage this website, and to raise awareness about the effort as a whole.
It is proposed that the Foundation be named the “ProtonBoron Fusion Foundation” (PBFF) and the US-based 501c3 research organization be named the “Open Polywell Research Institute” (OPRI).
Anyone who holds more than 1000 KWH credits is automatically considered a member of the ProtonBoron Fusion Foundation, however member participation, while encouraged, is entirely optional.
Any member of the Foundation may nominate (including self-nominate) members for the board. If there are more than nine nominee’s for the Foundation board, then an electronic election will be held via email to select nine members. A minimum of three members is required.
The executive committee of the board will be elected by the board at their first annual general meeting (AGM).
The Foundation will be organized where most convienient for efficient and cost-effective operation. Proposed jurisdictions are Panama, Belize, and New Zealand. See and participate in discussion here.
The Leadership of the Institute will be comprised of the department heads and lead coordinators: the lead electrical & mechanical engineers, lead physicist, research coordinator, and the Institute’s administrative manager.
The Institute’s board of directors will be comprised of the Foundation’s executive members as well as the leadership of the Institute. Overlap is allowed in the case where a sitting Foundation board member is also in the Leadership of the Institute. The executive committee of the board will be elected by the board at their first annual general meeting (AGM).
During the first stage we will run lean and keep costs at a minimum by working from home with regular VOIP meetings online and frequent daily email. Second stage will require a physical premises to begin pulling together the resources to build it’s test reactor. Locations that are currently being considered for stage two (the R & D stage), are Seattle, WA and Boulder, CO. It’s ultimate location will be the decision of it’s leadership body based on the needs of the research and researchers.
Any funding above and beyond our budget requirements of the first stage will be pushed through to the second stage of the project, keeping in mind that our budget for stage one has been changed many times already and will likely change again as we gain more insight into the problems we are tackling.
Budgets will be published and updated as required. Administrative communications are accessible via our budgeting group. Please see/join our budgeting group and forum to participate.
Please note that our fundraising target for Stage-one is one million USD. This amount was defined as a target as we do not know for certain how much Stage-one will cost – possibly we can do a more effective job with more money by hiring additional physicists and engineers to delve deeper into particular concerns. In any case, any excess for Stage-one will be pushed into Stage-two.
If there is any way we can be more open and transparent for the community, please let us know -we will endeavor to do the right thing at all times.
As stage one funding comes available the following list of tasks will be accomplished in order from first to last: