However, despite its many benefits over all other forms of energy production, the main drawback to nuclear fusion is the necessary energy input required to overcome the repulsive electrostatic forces between the nuclei before fusion can occur. Currently, fusion energy remains elusive due to technological barriers humanity has yet to overcome.
Our nuclear fusion technology
The benefits of nuclear fusion-based energy have attracted considerable interest since the dawn of the nuclear era. There are many proposed fusion methods currently being researched for fusion power. These include magnetic confinement fusion, inertial confinement fusion, and beam-target fusion.
SHINE is focused on developing beam-target fusion devices because this form of fusion is the most cost-effective form of fusion and has near-term commercial applications.
Our fusion devices produce one of the highest neutron outputs of any beam-target based fusion devices by utilizing an electrically driven particle accelerator to create a high-energy deuterium ion beam. This beam is accelerated toward a gaseous target of tritium and the resulting collision fuses deuterium and tritium together, which produces helium-4, neutrons and energy. We currently use our beam-target devices for their neutron radiation output, since neutron radiation is extremely useful in a wide range of industries.
The usefulness of neutron radiation for commercial applications presents us with opportunities to develop affordable and sustainable solutions for fusion energy while also solving near-term problems in other industries. These commercial applications enabled by the ability to produce neutrons with fusion form the four stages of our pathway to fusion-based energy production: