Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor, is aiming to use nuclear fusion to create cheap electrical power that uses water for fuel, produces byproducts that are totally safe and releases no air pollution.
With the United States spending less on defense, Lockheed Martin is showing more interest in the energy business than ever.
“Energy is certainly an area of growth for us,” CEO Marillyn Hewson told reporters at the corporation’s media day outside Washington last month. “In a relative sense, it’s not a large business for us, but it’s a growing business for us. So, we’ll continue to invest in that area.”
The team of engineers and scientists at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, also called Skunk Works, are working on the company’s compact fusion project.
When Lockheed Martin announced the project in October of last year, the company said it planned on developing a prototype of a compact fusion reactor within five years and deploying it within 10. A small team had been secretly working on fusion energy for about four years before the announcement.
The fusion reactor would use a magnetic bottle capable of withstanding temperatures as high as hundreds of millions of degrees, which are necessary to cause ions to fuse, thereby releasing massive quantities of energy – about one million times more than a chemical reaction and three to four times more than a fission reaction. The bottle can then be used to release that energy in a controlled fashion.
Full article: Mr. Fusion? Lockheed Martin Promises Portable Nuclear Engines Within Decade (Spunik News)