The Power Within (Fission & Fusion)

by Richard Sizemore - Date: 2006-12-09 - Word Count: 880 Share This!

My father drove up to our house back in 1968 in a brand new Volkswagen "Bug". I was only 11 years old at the time and I actually liked it mainly because we were the only one in the neighborhood who owned such a strange looking car. My parents liked it because it got about 30 miles a gallon which really didn't mean much to me at the time, but it managed to get us around many miles on very little fuel.

Fast forward to the year 2006, now I own a German motorcycle that gets almost 50 mpg on the highway. But, at the same time, I own a Japanese SUV that only gets about 17 mpg, Most of my recreational driving is inside the SUV, so I admit that I play my part when it comes to using fossil fuel.

The USA government and my current home state of California have come up with some innovative ideas and economic incentives on saving energy cost. These include tax credits and rebates for purchasing Hybrid automobiles, Solar Panels, energy efficient appliances, etc. etc. These are all outstanding ideas and really help give the consumer a little incentive to reduce energy consumption. But, I personally don't think they go far enough.

I think it's time we invest in a project similar in scale to the "Manhattan Project" that took place from 1942 thru 1946. This project was one of the most costly federal projects and it produced the first atomic weapons. The cost of the project was about 20 billion in today's dollars. It gathered the brightest and most creative scientists with a common goal of building an atomic weapon. The scientific community worked day and night to develop something that must be developed before the Germans or Japanese during the war. They succeeded because they had almost unlimited funding to experiment and discover what worked and what did not. They stayed focused on their goals and never lost sight of the importance of the project.

I believe that we need to fund a "Manhattan Project, Part II" and it should have the following goals:

Fusion Power Partnership…

Fusion Power has captured the imagination of the world scientific community with the possibility of developing an almost unlimited amount of clean energy. Fusion power is only in the developmental stage today. The research for using Fusion Power has many hurdles before it becomes reality. The International Community has a joint project to develop the first fusion reactor. The ITER (International Thermonuclear Reactor) is a joint effort and the United States joined the group in 2003. The funding level from the USA is less than 500 million for the last three years. I believe this is just a drop in the bucket and it needs to be increased ten fold if it is spent wisely. If this project is a success, it will result in a clean source of unlimited power that will revolutionize how we produce power on this planet. The only by product of this reactor is helium which is harmless.

Fission Power Modernization…

The United States has been producing power from Fission (Nuclear) Powered Reactors for the last sixty years. Until we get Fusion power online, we need to begin building new Fission reactors using modern "Passive-Safe Reactor" technology. The newly developed passive-safe reactors are designed from the ground up to prevent accidental meltdown due to lack of coolant or coolant flow.

The old power plants relied on multiple valves, electronic sensors and human operators who monitor the reactor. The process is highly automated, but the operators can manually override it if needed. This has resulted in a couple widely publicized disasters in the USA and Russia. The new "Passive-Safe Reactors" are inherently safe since they use gravity and convection to prevent the reactors from going critical in an emergency. They are designed to shut down without relying on a wide array of pumps, valves and or human input.

For this reason, we should aggressively begin to modernize our older generation of Fission Reactors. In addition, we need to begin expanding our Fission Power plants.


I believe that incentives are the key to success. No one wants a Fission Reactor built in their state. For this reason, the government should step in to make it very attractive to those who live in the state in which it is built. The tax payers should receive a tax break or incentive for allowing the plant to be built. I also think the current federal tax incentives that promote the use of energy efficient cars and personal renewable sources of power should be doubled and made permanent.

In conclusion, I know that Fission Power is safe in the hands of well trained people. I spent 4 years and three months living on top eight nuclear reactors inside the USS Enterprise during my tour of duty. The United States Navy powers all of their aircraft carriers and submarines with Fission power and they do it safely. The new "Passive-Safe Reactors" take safety to a new level. I believe that by expanding our Fission power generation along with aggressive funding of the ITER (International Thermonuclear Reactor) using safe fusion power, we will have a bright future for our planet and expanding economy. I hope you have enjoyed the article and pass it along to your friends.

Related Tags: power, navy, solar, hybrid, suv, fission, fusion, iter, manhattan project, reactor

Richard Sizemore resides in Los Angeles California and enjoys writing articles for this website. My wife, Cynthia also writes articles on her website, Her "Self Improvement" articles are outstanding and I highly recommend them.

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