Nuclear Fusion That Travels by Truck
Lockheed-Martin has been quietly developing a game-changing compact nuclear fusion reactor. They've patented the tech for potentially fitting it into a fighter jet. Experts believe the potential for nuclear fusion tech is huge. It could make other forms of electricity generation obsolete. Lockheed's reactor is so compact it can be transported by truck to locations in need of electricity.
What's Nuclear Fusion and Why Call it a Star In A Jar?
Here's an example and explainer. UK based Tekamak Energy has heated a plasma of hydrogen to 27 million degrees fahrenheit within its own reactor. That's hotter than the core of the sun. Essentially the reactors convert hydrogen into helium, then to electrical energy. It's the same nuclear reaction that makes the sun and stars shine for billions of years. The process creates high volumes of electricity cheaply with very low carbon emissions. That's why these fusion reactors are called "Star in the Jar".
Why Develop This Tech
It can provide large amounts of electricity from very small amounts of hydrogen. There's also much less radioactive waste. There are a number of projects around the world but here's what's compelling about Lockheed's compact reactor.
Compact Reactor Specifics:
- It's the size of a shipping container
- Transportable on a tractor-trailor
- Designed and built in a few months vs 5 years
- Can be mounted on a truck, ship, aircraft, train, sub or spacecraft
Potential Uses of this Fusion Technology According to Lockheed:
- Power cities of 100,000 people or less
- Power ships
- Power remote regions of developing worlds
- Move to and power locations that have immediate power needs
- Make clean water available to millions
- Accelerate space travel