Land

Nuclear Fusion With a Twist

I had an idea about the land. It started in the sky and ended on earth. It went like this.

First, a tiny introduction. Nuclear fusion is the process of merging two lighter atoms to produce one heavier atom and a lot of radiation and energy. It is the process by which the sun creates light and heat.

X Ray photo of the sun.

The Sun in X-Ray

The tricky thing is that the radiation the sun emits, that travels 150 million kilometres before striking the earth, remains neutral until it strikes matter and reveals itself as heat, colour or other forms of radiation. To put it another way, the energy finds material form here on earth. We live within the reaction.

With this in mind, I built a nuclear fusion device in my front yard this spring, to see what it would produce. Here is the reactor core, before insertion of the fuel cells:

Bare hillside rimmed with rocks.

The Nuclear Pile, Main Construction Phase

The soil is as fine and dry as flour.

Here it is after first planting with drought resistant plants, modelled after the wild hillsides in behind:

Hillside planted with sages and gloriosa daisy.

Fuel Cells Inserted Into Reactor Core in Preparation for the Experiment

A variety of sages, gloriosa daisies, salvia, poppies, and grasses. The top green layer is flax, which quickly turned a bright blue. Notice the heavy erosion after 30 minutes of water.

Here it is again after one season’s firing:

Grassy slope in full bloomReaction After a Full Powered Run

Notice how the reactor’s face was stabilized from erosion by a spontaneous background radiation of vetch. It took 2 hours of water to stabilize this slope for one year. I expect it to complete its reaction next year with between 0 and 30 minutes of water.

And what does such a reaction produce, other than a stable slope? Not energy that can light a power grid or run a toaster, certainly, but something equally miraculous:

Closeup of flowers and foliageBeauty

The Completion of the Sun’s Fusion Reaction

Technology like this can be used to capture, move, and put to use energy in a variety of practical ways, but it doesn’t lose its essential quality of balance.

This is for Mike, who asked. More in weeks to come. Tomorrow, the Ogopogo.

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