Prominent defense company Lockheed Martin announced on Wednesday that it had furthered innovation towards creating sustainable nuclear fusion-based power. Lockheed said the first reactors would be compact and likely able to fit into the back of a truck, and a finished product would be available sometime in the next decade.
Tom McGuire, the man in charge of Lockheed’s Skunk Works fusion program for the past four years, said that he and his team were now looking for private and government partners in order to speed up the process of developing the concept. McGuire said that his team discovered the possibility that a 100-megawatt 7×10 foot reactor could be feasible, which would be ten times smaller than any currently available reactor.
Lockheed highlighted on its site some of the many advantages of utilizing compact fusion technology.
Seas: “Through the use of turbine generators, compact fusion could produce electricity to propel the ship, delivering unlimited range capabilities at sea.”
Air: “An aircraft the size of a C-5 will be able to store a compact fusion reactor right onboard. Thanks to compact fusion’s high energy density. This C-5 would be able to fly for about a year on just a few bottles of gasoline.”
Electricity: “compact fusion will have the potential to power a small city within the next 15 years. By modifying current modular 100 megawatt class gas turbine plants to run on fusion power, we will be able to build fusion power plants in a factory and then deploy them to locations where they are needed.”
Global Energy: With the ability to deploy compact fusion reactors to whoever needs them, world-wide access to inexpensive electricity could finally be possible in the next 20 years.”
Clean Water: “Down the road, compact fusion reactors would be able to cut the cost of desalination by about 60 percent. This would bring clean drinking water to the most water scarce regions around the globe.”
Space: “compact fusion may even offer a shorter commute to Mars. Thanks to its high energy density, compact fusion could speed up space travel, making it possible to get to mars in just one month.”