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ACES 2009 language needs to include polywell -- URGENT!

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:27 pm
by mrchito
Please read the summary for the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Activists are currently planning on pressuring legislators about the language for this proposed bill. Right now it doesn't appear to accommodate Polywell. But modifications can be suggested so that there will be more room for it.

Is it time to get Polywell in the energy discussion or are we still waiting for something? Is this an appropriate place to try?

http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_1 ... ummary.pdf

points of ACES where Polywell can be addressed

This proposal, in fact, does not directly address baseload power

1.How could we inject language for clean nuclear fusion technology?
(could be adddressed in Section 101, 1st paragraph)
Perhaps Subtitle A could be changed to:
Renewable and Sustainable Electricity Standard

2. how much different are the modifications for the so-called "smart grid" from the modifications to the grid that would need to be made for Polywell? What kind of components could be incorporated into a smart grid that would allow it to accommodate polywell with little or no modifications?
(subtitle F)


other comments or suggestions?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:34 pm
by Rick Kwan
From what I can gather, work on this bill is due to be completed during Memorial Day weekend; so I understand the urgency.

I guess the concern here is to not close the door on fusion-based solutions when energy providers are considering new sources of power generation. But I don't know whether to take that up now or a few years in the future. (My guess is the latter, but I am not a lawyer or a politician.)

My bigger concern would be allowing the current research program to attain more accurate results sooner. Funding via ARPA-E would be a candidate, but I see there is a current discussion on this is the News forum, with pro and con positions.

Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 11:56 pm
by MSimon
Doc Nebel has been talking about a 6 year program.

I wonder if the resources have already been promised - with future funds based on results.

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 1:53 am
by Rick Kwan
Something that worked well for the Mars rovers: instead of building a single rover as original ly proposed, two were built at the same time. This allowed the construction of the rovers to be used to validate each other, and quite likely improved the changes of mission success.

Now, admittedly the rovers are really, really complex machines in terms of moving parts and software. I don't know that the wiffle ball and supporting apparatus are in the same order of complexity or not. Would a second machine for cross validation be useful?

(I'm correcting this post. I spelled WB as "whiffle ball"; that is not correct. It's "wiffle ball", as everyone else has been spelling. My browser text window assumes this is a misspelling, but we humans should know better. I succumbed to the machine...)

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 3:35 am
by mrchito
Rick Kwan wrote:From what I can gather, work on this bill is due to be completed during Memorial Day weekend; so I understand the urgency.

I guess the concern here is to not close the door on fusion-based solutions when energy providers are considering new sources of power generation. But I don't know whether to take that up now or a few years in the future. (My guess is the latter, but I am not a lawyer or a politician.)

My bigger concern would be allowing the current research program to attain more accurate results sooner. Funding via ARPA-E would be a candidate, but I see there is a current discussion on this is the News forum, with pro and con positions.


Exactly -- the awareness is important so that the path will be paved by the time the technology is ready to drop in.

Drawing from my experience in working with politics and technology for open source voting, the exposure is important in building a non-science support community, even if the attempt does not result in affecting the legislation. The act of getting wording in there allows activists for the technology to see how people react to it, which gives direction on how to gain the support once more of it is needed.

It seems that Polywell has done better over the years under the radar and it might be better to leave it there at this stage. But my impression from the Bussard video was that the technology was ready for an applied prototype. A 100 MW nuclear power plant is going to require some kind of PR to be applied to something like a small town. The alternative would be if an industry giant like Google would be willing to buy into the technology and risk.

Then again, as far as a grass roots movement goes, this could be one of those "do me a favor and don't do me any favors" kind of things. The technology could be so effective and clearly supported by the government that a grassroots effort will only throw unnecessary noise into the equation. If that is the case I would be happy to watch from the sidelines.

It's not exactly the same thing as open source voting, where a lot more people feel like they can throw in their opinion as opposed to completely trusting the science. Most people, I believe will trust any promising power technology that the government will allow. Do we trust our government enough on this to know that they will make the right choice in this matter?

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:10 pm
by KitemanSA
SPECIFIC and DETAILED recommendations please?

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 5:46 pm
by MSimon
It seems that Polywell has done better over the years under the radar and it might be better to leave it there at this stage.


It is enough above the radar to get the Navy to restart the experiments (WB-7). In fact Doc Nebel thanked bloggers for putting the pressure on. Doc Bussard did as well (privately) before he died.

I'm keeping up a moderate but steady pressure on the blogging and blog comment front.

My tack is this: keep funding ITER because no one is certain what will work. Up the funding for Polywell because it is low cost and if it works it will cut 30 to 40 years off the timeline for working fusion.

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:38 am
by KitemanSA
This thread is about getting Polywell language in the ACES act. Specific and Detailed recommendations please!

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 2:58 am
by Rick Kwan
I would not seed language in the ACES act, which seems to be aimed at alternative energy deployment. Before you get the people at large to want it, you need to get the science and engineering community educated and backing it; I don't think we're there yet.

If there were a bill about energy research rather than deployment, then I'd want to see us do something about it.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:44 pm
by chrismb
'Nuclear' does not appear to have been invited to this party, in any guise.

Besides, why would they contemplate 'polywell' before siting magnetic confinement schemes, which are streets ahead in development.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:57 pm
by MSimon
chrismb wrote:'Nuclear' does not appear to have been invited to this party, in any guise.

Besides, why would they contemplate 'polywell' before siting magnetic confinement schemes, which are streets ahead in development.


Because some times the hare wins the race despite a late start.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:31 pm
by chrismb
MSimon wrote:Because some times the hare wins the race despite a late start.
Are you comparing, here, a discussion on Polywell with a bedtime story for kids??....

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 12:48 am
by KitemanSA
chrismb wrote:
MSimon wrote:Because some times the hare wins the race despite a late start.
Are you comparing, here, a discussion on Polywell with a bedtime story for kids??....
Actually, I think he was comparing the funding process with a morality tale by an ancient Greek philosopher's slave/writer named Aesop, if memory serves. :)

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 5:23 am
by mrchito
Rick Kwan wrote:If there were a bill about energy research rather than deployment, then I'd want to see us do something about it.


It seems that the "research" at this point can only be done through deployment. A 100 MW reactor is not something intended for laboratory research. I have not seen discussion for any reactors smaller than 100 MW from Nebel's group. And my impression was that their intention was to go straight to deployment, perhaps because it would be impractical to test such a reactor in laboratory conditions if it is intended for municipal power.

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:45 am
by KitemanSA
mrchito wrote: It seems that the "research" at this point can only be done through deployment. A 100 MW reactor is not something intended for laboratory research. I have not seen discussion for any reactors smaller than 100 MW from Nebel's group. And my impression was that their intention was to go straight to deployment, perhaps because it would be impractical to test such a reactor in laboratory conditions if it is intended for municipal power.
Actually, DrB wanted two more small scale units after the rebuild of WB6, one with rounded corner square plan form magnets and one with round corner pentagonal plan form magnets for an icosadodecahedron polywell. After those two, DrB proposed to jump straight to the 100MW unit.
MSimon has, with some argumentative support from the rest of us, proposed an intermediate scale unit in order to demonstrate continuous operation, while getting closer to, but not making, break-even. Each of these units is research.