Lockheed Martin has announced that it is working on a compact fusion reactor (CFR), which would be small enough to fit on the back of a truck, and could be ready for use within a decade.
The CFR is a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors.
Presently, several patents are pending on their approach.
The fusion in itself is not new, but Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works has improved on more than six decades of fusion research and investment to create an approach that could provide a huge reduction in size against other mainstream initiatives.
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works revolutionary technology programmes compact fusion lead 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.
“The smaller size will allow us to design, build and test the CFR in less than a year.”
The team will conduct multiple design-build-test cycles and expects to come up with a prototype in five years.
Following initial work, the technology has shown feasibility of building a 100MW reactor measuring 7ft by 10ft.
This reactor being around ten times smaller than current reactors could fit on the back of a large truck, Reuters reported McGuire as saying.
Skunk Works has been working on this project for about four years, but now is looking out for partners to carry its work forward.
Lockheed expects 40% to 50% rise in energy consumption over the next generation.
Over the last few years, Lockheed has been involved in several alternate energy projects, including ocean energy projects.