Fusion without neutrons: the legacy of Norman Rostoker

Richard Magee
TAE Technologies
Thursday, November 9, 2023
3:30 pm
ISEB 1010, Virtual


Recent advances in both magnetic[1] and inertial[2] confinement fusion and renewed public and political support for its development have invigorated the vibrant and diverse fusion industry.  While the storyline favored in the media is the race to net energy production (“Q=1”), industry players are grappling with the significant post Q=1 engineering challenges of building and operating an economical fusion system.  Among the diversity of approaches, the fusion concept first imagined by Prof. Norman Rostoker and currently being pursued by TAE, one based on the hydrogen-boron fusion reaction which produces three alpha particles and no neutrons, is uniquely focused on this end goal.

      A hydrogen-boron fusion system has many attractive features, including abundant, non-radioactive fuel and minimal neutron radiation, and one major challenge - an operating temperature of 3 billion degrees.  TAE is developing a magnetic confinement concept, the high beta, beam-driven field reversed configuration, capable of meeting this challenge.  In parallel, we have recently begun experiments with hydrogen-boron fuel in partnership with Japan’s National Institute for Fusion Studies on the superconducting stellarator, the Large Helical Device[3]. In this talk, we will give an overview of TAE’s approach to fusion and describe in detail the first experiments with hydrogen-boron fuel in a magnetic confinement device.


[1] Nature 602, 371 (2022)

[2] www.cnet.com/science/major-energy-breakthrough-milestone-achieved-in-us-...

[3] R. M. Magee, et al.  Nature Communications 14, 955 (2023)

Toshiki Tajima