tauntaun_rider wrote:More subtle political pressure may loosen the purse-strings at the Navy again, but already I hear rumors of key people at the Office of Naval Research that find the Polywell still too speculative - it won't be ready to power a destroyer on their watch, so they want lower-hanging fruit.
Two of my Congressman's staffers met with ONR earlier this week. The official line from ONR was, "The Navy has spent a lot of money on the Polywell, and has taken it to the point where private investors can or will pick it up. Once it becomes a viable, commercially available power source, the Navy will take another look."
I expressed skepticism at this, suggesting that private investors might be reluctant to cough up the $200 million or more needed for a full-scale proof of concept machine; but both staffers were quite adamant that they had fully represented the Navy's viewpoint. When I suggested that maybe the Energy Department should be funding the effort, the staffers said they planned to talk to Energy, and I tried to explain Energy's pervasive TOKAMAK bias to them, but I fear that it fell on deaf ears.
Any word yet on serious investors? If China steps up, does that mean all the hardware at 9155 Brown Deer Rd goes to China along with Dr. Park and the rest of the staff? I am profoundly disturbed by the prospect of my local PUD buying a Polywell from China. (Nothing against China, I just think if an American invented it, and the Navy funded its early development, the US should be able to reap the Commercial benefits.)