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Sunday, September 4, 2011


This Part 3 of the series on the "The Future of Japan."  Today, the Powerpoint presentation of Charles Helsley, president of Fusion Power Corporation.

Energy – the Life Blood of Society


Charles Helsley

Researcher Emeritus

University of Hawaii

Fossil Fuels

l     Oil - Resource has reached its maximum production limit

-  Some will be available for decades

-  But had higher prices and lower abundance

l     Gas - Resource not fully exploited but may be soon

-  High initial production and quick decline

-  Low energy density – not a good match to transportation

-  Supplies not uniformly distributed thus creates a balance of payments problem

l     Coal - Reserve said to be large – but is it?

-  Thin, uneconomic units included in reserve figures

-  Government and private reserve figures are very different

-  Real question is

When do we meet the Maximum Production limit?

Abundant Energy

l     Critical for

l    Standard of living

l    Food supply

l    Commerce

l    Manufacturing

l    Travel and recreation

But what is the source of our future energy?

Future Energy Sources

l     Not fossil fuels – all are finite resources and are at or near their maximum production limits

l     Not wind and solar – neither are base load energy sources and both are very expensive if subsidies are removed

l     Not Nuclear fission – it is inherrently unsafe, produces unwanted long half lived radioactive products and there is currently not solution for the waste storage problem. 

l     The future source is Fusion

Is Fusion Really Ready for Exploitation?

l     Most types of fusion are in research stages

l    ITER

l    Tokomaks

l    Laser fusion

l    Etc., etc.

l     All of the above require decades of research

l     But one version does not – this is accelerator driven Heavy Ion Fusion or HIF


l     Research completed in the 1970's

l     Endorsed by scientists for 35 year

l     Recent review (2011) gives method a clean bill of health – i.e. it is ready to go


l     So why do you not know about HIF

l     It produces too much energy and was shelved in the late 1970's because there was no need for that much energy

l     But times have changed – we now need a large new source of energy and that is HIF


The HIF Process

l     Fusion require a very large, short duration pulse of energy to bring the Deuterium and Tritium ions together

l     Known accelerator technology can supply ion with particle energies much greater than needed

l     Techniques for increasing ion density are well known and can be used to supply sufficent beam brightness

l     Perceived obstacle is cost of the accelerator



l     Dollar cost is large but so is energy output

l     Cost per unit of energy out is lower than any other base load energy source and power can be delivered at a cost of less than $0.03 per kWh.  No other energy source is this low.

l     Capital cost for a 100 GJ system is about $50B

l     Output products are heat, hydrogen for synthetic fuels, and water – all compatible with our existing infrastructure

l     Design and construction time is about a decade


l    It is possible to build a working fusion plant today using know technology and proven techniques

l    In 50 years time HIF will be the primary source of base load energy generation and it will be energy source for most of the liquid fuel that we consume

l    And remember, Fusion energy is Clean & Green . . . and above all very, very SAFE.

These slides, of course, do not sufficiently explain the concept.  For example, you would think that fusion means only electricity.  Actually, as explained, electricity could well only be a by-product, as the aim is to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to produce synthetic fuels.  Thus, this system should be able to supply, in addition to power, ground and air transportation fuels.  In any case, all things considered, Heavy Ion Fusion might well be the only solution for Japan.

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Katia, already at 100 MPH, will strengthen into a Category 3:

But all models still has her not making landfall:

Tropical Storm Talas rolled over Japan, causing some damage and casualties.



Calabasas Canis Latrans said...

This has some meaning for us ALL.

See You Tube - "StarPower for Tomorrow" as a follow-up.


Wonderful!!! Never saw this before. You must be associated with Chuck, Hal and Bob.