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NOVEL MAGNETIC FUSION ENERGY TECHNOLOGY SUCCESSFULLY TESTED IN SMALL DEVICE

 /ADVANCE/ IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In the January issue of Physical Review Letters, Advanced Physics Corp. (A.P.C.), a small research and development company, describes how it succeeded in compressing ultrahot nuclear fusion fuel to 10 billion degrees centigrade without "instabilities."
 If A.P.C.'s method is confirmed at higher densities, it may lead to a compact, environmentally acceptable fusion power plant capable of burning Helium-3, a non-radioactive fuel which, unlike the government TOKAMAK program, produces negligible amounts of neutron radiation, minimal heat pollution and will not breed nuclear weapons.
 The government "mainline" fusion program uses gigantic reactors called TOKAMAKS, a Russian invention, which are unable to reach such temperatures and therefore can burn only the radioactive fuel Tritium.
 In TOKAMAKS, radioactive gases, called plasma, are heated to a hundred million degrees to achieve fusion reactions.
 The results reported by Advanced Physics were carried out in a "self-collider," an entirely different, small, non-plasma device invented in the United States. In the "self-collider," beams of atomic nuclei are fired head-on against each other. The "self- collider" achieved 70 times greater temperatures than TOKAMAK and kept the fuel at that temperature for more than 20 seconds, 20 times longer than TOKAMAK. But the "self-colider" has not yet achieved the fuel compression needed for "net energy production."
 The beam approach to fusion was first tried at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1960s. That approach was dropped after 10 years because of "instabilities." The "self-collider," however, was able to achieve a 500-fold greater level of fuel compression by eliminating those "instabilities."
 In the reported tests, the "instabilities" were quenched by causing electrons to bounce back and forth through the fuel ions. Drs. Bodgan Maglich and Tsuey-Fen Chang, the authors of the Physical Review Letters article, refer to this as "non-linear stabilization of plasmas by electron oscillations." This technique had not previously been applied to fusion reactors.
 Advanced Physics Corp. is the industrial lead member of the research consortium S.A.F.E. (System for Aneutronic Fusion Energy) whose goal is to develop a small non-radioactive fuel power plant. The academic lead member of S.A.F.E. is the University of California, Irvine, and, in Russia, the Russian Center for Technical Physics at Chelyabinsk-70. Chelyabinsk-70 is the major Russian nuclear weapons lab, where 43 physicists have now shifted their research to aneutronic fusion.
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Frank Braun of Braun Communications, 619-943-8898, or 714-854-6919, for Advanced Physics/


CO: Advanced Physics Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

JB-LS -- LA014 -- 4720 01/14/93 09:01 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1993
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