The availability of high-power lasers has made possible the development of inertial fusion. Australian leadership is convening international skills in research and engineering - powering this global fusion technology.
This presentation will explain the nuclear fusion process and explore the advantages of inertial fusion as exemplified by the proton-Boron 11 reaction. Fusion is an attractive energy source for the second half of this century. Fusion is an Australian discovery! The Australian Sir Marc Oliphant working with Rutherford in 1932/33 conducted the first fusion experiments in Cambridge UK.
The EU (+Switzerland and the UK), India, Russia, the USA, China, Japan, South Korea represent the core of iTER. Australia is a collaborating country. The mission is to construct the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (iTER) in France and finalise the design of DEMO – a power plant. The speaker personally negotiated Australia’s connection to iTER - the largest science project ever undertaken. Fusion in ITER is based on magnetic confinement.
Inertial confinement is an alternative approach which can lead to a smaller plant. With the cost and application of high energy lasers changing rapidly HB-11 Energy is an Australian company working with an international team to commercialise this technology. Australia needs to retain a strategic capability in fusion energy to ensure we are an effective contributor to the next generation of low carbon energy sources.
Dr Adi Paterson FIEAust
Principal, Siyeva Consulting
Adi Paterson is the Principal of Siyeva consulting. Adi served as CEO of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) from 2009 – 2020. Prior to that he was the COO of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company in South Africa. Adi serves on the Boards of Advancell Isotopes – a nuclear medicine start-up and HB11 Fusion – an Australian fusion start-up. Adi also serves on the advisory board of the UNSW Engineering Faculty and the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility (H-INF) board, ANU. Adi has a BSc and PhD from the University of Cape Town and a PMD from Harvard Business School.
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