It’s Not Fiction, It’s Fusion!

Its Not Fiction, Its Fusion!

Nathan Shube, A & E Editor

It seems the next era of energy is upon us. There was a time when the thought of electricity running through wires to power house lights was mind-bending. Hundreds of years ago, the idea of harnessing the energy of the wind, water, or sun to heat our homes, cook our food, or power our TVs and computers (oh right…people of that time didn’t have any idea of what those devices were) seemed beyond the realm of possibility. In our great-grandparents’ time, the thought of splitting atoms to release energy was baffling.  And now? What would you think about the concept of heating up gasses that have had their ions and electrons separated, and when the ions get hot enough, they fuse together to release great amounts of energy? Sounds like the stuff of science fiction? Not according to Lockheed Martin.

On their web site,, Lockheed Martin scientists explain that fusion is the process that powers the sun, and by using magnetic field pressure, they have been able to replicate this process. Other companies have been able to do this, but not in an energy efficient manner. Lockheed Martin says they can make a generator that is small, and incredibly efficient. The bottom line? This process allows them to conceivably build a power generating facility that could be housed in the back of a truck as opposed to the leviathan nuclear generating plants we see today (ever drive down to San Diego and see those two huge, strangely shaped buildings known as the San Onofre Power Plant? Then you know the size that a nuclear power plant can attain).  How? Basically, the process occurs through the use of a magnetic bottle capable of being heated hundreds of millions of degrees. The energy generated in the bottle can then be released “in a controlled fashion to create energy we can use”  And guess what? The process is clean and safe, leaving no pesky radio-active mess. Thats right! There are little to no byproducts!

According to Bill Tucker, Forbes Contributor, “Think, the freaking Starship Enterprise!” ( Precisely! Because of the relatively small size of this enormously powerful energy-creator, not only can these facilities be built in months instead of years, they could also conceivably be used to power spaceships that need a renewable power source that can last for years but be housed in a small space. Mr. Bloom took a more pessimistic approach, saying (in a very tongue and cheek manner) “I think it will lead to world destruction. Or baby’s with three eyes.” Not sure what to make of that… Anyways, others in the science community are skeptical. As Bill Tucker characterized the situation, fusion is the “Holy Grail” of energy production. Many feel Lockheed Martin’s concept will fail; however, according to the Forbes article, the project will be attempted in five years, and if successful, production will occur in 10. That just puts a whole new spin on the term mind blowing!