- Jul 27, 2021 2:01 am GMT
I wouldn't normally post a shared link to an article about fusion energy. I see little chance that fusion will become a practical energy resource anytime soon, and articles about it are distracting. But I'm making an exception in this case. The approach that Helion Energy is taking is different than anything I've seen before. I think it has genuine potential.
An interesting side note -- and another reason for posting this -- is that Helion is expecting production 3He on Earth. I.e., they're not expecting it to be mined on the moon from lunar regolith.
A lot of articles about lunar mining for 3He have been showing up lately. I don't want to discount that possibility altogether. The solar wind has deposited a lot of 3He in the lunar regolith, and its value to a nascent fusion energy industry would run to $millions per kg. That's high enough to justify importing it from the moon -- once Musk's reusable Starships begin flying. But importing it from the moon is not the only option. 3He is the stable decay product of 3H (tritium). Tritium can be produced via neutron activation of 6Li. It has a radioactive half-life of 12 years; half of any store of tritium will decay to 3He in 12 years. Neutron activation of 6Li, however, is only practical at scale inside fission reactors.
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