Dr. Bussard's Final Interview

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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drmike
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Post by drmike »

yup! That's why you want IAEA inspections!!

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

But also membership :-)

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The IAEA has done a real good job in North Korea and Iran.

Not to mention ferreting out Libya's nuke bomb program.

With the IAEA on the job the nations involved have faced diplomatic censure and disapproving notes.

Their deterrent power is awesome.

The IAEA has an unblemished record of accomplishment.

TheRadicalModerate
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Post by TheRadicalModerate »

Uh, so isn't this likely to become a big fat hairy deal for the (rational) non-proliferation policy crowd and the (hysterical) Radiation Is Scary and Therefore Bad crowd?

Up until now, the lynchpin of Pu-239 control has been that you needed a reactor to get a beefy enough neutron source, and reactors were easy to find and monitor because a) they were big and b) you could sorta-kinda monitor the LEU required to operate them. Once you could identify potential breeder sources, you could sometimes make their operators play nice.

When you have a robust fusion source (makes no nevermind if it's an IEC or a tokamak or a focus or a laser), doesn't that set of control assumptions go out the window?

Indeed, this seems like a point where you have to score a distinct advantage to the tokamak and laser crowd, because god knows that everybody's gonna know when somebody builds the plant. It's as big as a city block and requires all sorts of exotic metallurgy. On the other hand, a polywell or a focus device will fit handily in a warehouse (or even a largeish garage) and requires nothing particularly exotic to build it.

Seems like this is a question that needs an answer before publicity starts politically charging the environment. Anybody got one?

dch24
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Post by dch24 »

Well, controlling Uranium/Plutonium refining is something. It takes a large, specialized plant to get it up to even the lowest weapon grade. Although, shipping refined uranium from anywhere it is already being made throws that out the window, in my opinion. It's too easy to bribe somebody to pilfer high-grade material.

A similar problem existed when high-precision machining was only used to make the navigation gyros for ICBMs. There was a certain amount of fear when these machining tools were first sold to China: oh no! They'll be able to build ICBMs. The problem is similar in one sense (having the tools increases the probability of a long-range ICBM, but it's still only a small probability of success) -- although different in other senses (for example, IEC fusion is essentially already exported, since the concepts and design are available all over online).

Easy neutron sources for U -> Pu conversion in a garage is not a good thing for everyone to have in their backyard, but a powerful neutron source can be used directly as a destructive weapon, in lots of ways. Building even something like WB-3 is going to set off a certain set of red flags: high voltage equipment like capacitors, as well as high current discharges and the associated magnetic fields... Even if there were no accidents that drew the attention of authorities, or the completed device was shipped in whole, running it requires a non-trivial power source.

But it's a lot less of a power source than running a series of centrifuges to refine fissile material. That's for sure.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

As DCH24 points out:

The cat is already out of the bag.

We are headed for a dark and uncertain future WRT nuke bombs.

Our main hope is that cheap energy improves world conditions quickly enough that the desire for domination (local or world) declines fast enough.

It will be a race and may require robust military action. Sadly.

The IAEA isn't going to do anything except wring its hands.

BTW neutron pulses would be good for finding hidden nuclear material.

I think the starting point has to be pBj reactors. D-D jobs should be experimental only.

In any case extracting Pu chemically from U is going to be radiation intensive. That is some help.

TheRadicalModerate
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Post by TheRadicalModerate »

I started another thread on the proliferation issue over in the implicationsforum.

askmar
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Final Robert Bussard Interview ? Transcript

Post by askmar »

Posted a transcript of the interview at:

http://www.askmar.com/Robert%20Bussard/ ... erview.pdf

There are also some general interest Robert Bussard articles to be found at:

http://www.askmar.com/Bussard/Robert_Bussard.html

mark
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jlumartinez
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Post by jlumartinez »

Mark has done a great job again. We should be thanked him for such a hard bibliographic work. Have a look :

http://www.askmar.com/Robert%20Bussard/ ... erview.pdf

There are also some general interest Robert Bussard articles to be found at:

http://www.askmar.com/Bussard/Robert_Bussard.html

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