[FPSPACE] Bussard IEC fusion device prototype WB-7 activated
kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za
Fri Jan 18 05:17:27 EST 2008
Let us indeed hope that the next four decades of R&D on
thermonuclear fusion produce more success than the previous four
decades! The articles also claim that one variant of this, using boron,
avoids producing X-rays & neutron radiation.
This is pretty important if nuclear fusion is ever to be used for
human spaceflight. Robotic radarsats have of course for decades already
used nuclear fission reactors. But human spaceflight with such a power
source would require lead or concrete shielding whose mass would
effectively neutalize any thrust arc jets or ion drive could produce.
To restrict radiation shielding weight to a disc between the
reactor and the human cabins, so that one has, so to speak, a cone of
shadow without radiation, would still be too risky. Should any disaster
leave such a spacecraft dead in the water & tumbling, then both rescue &
evacuation would be impossible without exposing those concerned to
lethal radiation doses.
Good luck to all these nuclear fusion researchers.
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