The US Patent Office has issued a patent for a Plasma Compression Fusion Device to Salvatore Pais, of Calloway MD. The patent assignee is the United States of American as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Patuxent River MD.
The news of this patent issuance has produced a minor buzz that might turn into a cacophony or a flurry of excitement about ships, submarines and perhaps even aircraft powered by high powered, compact devices using a “virtually unlimited” fuel source.
I suspect many of the articles that might be written will gush about how these fusion devices will be far superior to conventional atomic fission devices because they will not produce radioactive waste products. [Right.]
As long term Atomic Insights readers know, I am a retired US Navy Nuke who likes atomic fission. I’m deeply skeptical about nuclear fusion devices that are not stellar masses and not explosive thermonuclear devices. (I fully accept the evidence that stars and bombs work.)
But I have to admit that a patent for a Plasma Compression Fusion Device was issued and that the US Navy, my former employer, apparently funded the research and inventions that supported the patent application.
I know there are Atomic Insights readers who are far more capable than I am of evaluating the patent claims and determining if the device described can be built and operated to provide reliable power.
I have a few questions about the sources of electromagnetism, the forces needed to push fusion gas fuel into the plasma, the heat exchangers required to move fusion heat out of the core, and the methods used to spin the fusors at the required rate, but I would like to hear your questions and concerns.
Please read through the awarded patent and references and begin discussing. It would be terrific if this is actually a viable path to abundant, clean, virtually perfect power for the people. But serious questioning attitudes are welcome here.