- Fusion Info
The U.S Navy is extending and it seems funding Dr. Robert Bussard’s IEC fusion theory at EMC2 with the eighth Polywell device called the WB-8: the official contract was awarded on May 03, 2012.
By the end of 2011, the WB-8 device had generated over 500 high power plasma shots, done by EMC2 to test predications on the Wiffle-Ball plasma scaling law on plasma heating and confinement. The higher plasma density in WB-8 prompted the need for higher heating power, but the team experienced problems with the electron injectors, leading to a slip in the project schedule
During 4Q of 2011, EMC2 modified the electron injectors to increase the plasma heating. They planned to operate WB-8 in high beta regime with the modified electron injectors during 1Q of 2012. The Navy is now funding EMC2 with an additional $5.3 million over next 2 years to work on the problem of pumping electrons into the Polywell.
Quotes on talk-polywell suggets that there are plans to install big new pulsed power supply to support the electron guns (100+A, 10kV). According to the site, WB-8 has been operating at 0.8 Tesla (8 times stronger magnetic field than any previous version). There was a review done of the work (NEAF site lists more details) by an independent committee and the recommendations were to continue and expand the effort.