Lockheed Martin's secretive Skunk Works unit is developing truck-size fusion reactor
American global defense and aerospace firm Lockheed Martin's secretive Skunk Works unit has announced that it is developing a reactor to harness nuclear fusion, the process that powers the sun.
An internal team working at the company's top secret development facility stated that they would be developing a nuclear fusion device that would be small enough to be used for an airplane or could even be mounted on a truck. It would be capable of generating enough energy that can light 80,000 homes.
The reactor has been so developed that it makes use of less than 20 kilograms of fuel in a year and produces waste that's "orders of magnitudes less" than the ash and sludge spewed from a coal plants.
Lockheed Martin is putting 60 years of research into the use for the development of this technology that promises to release more energy than what is being done by current commercial units that are making use of nuclear fission. Also, in this new technology there won't be the risk of Fukushima-style meltdowns.
Lockheed states that this technology would be much smaller and easier to use and would be deployed within a decade or so.
Program leader and Project head Tom McGuire said, "Our compact fusion concept combines several alternative magnetic confinement approaches, taking the best parts of each, and offers a 90% size reduction over previous concepts".
He added that the reactor so developed would make use of deuterium-tritium fuel which has the potential to generate nearly 10 million times more energy than what the same amount of fossil fuel can. So, the development of this fusion reactor would surely put mankind one step closer to finding an inexhaustible source of energy.
In the past, the company's top secret 'Skunk Works' development facility has produced innovations such as the U-2 spy plane and the F-117 stealth fighter jet.
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