Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 64 / Number 2 / August 2013 / Pages 365-372
Alternate Concepts/Applications / Proceedings of the Twentieth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE-2012) (Part 1), Nashville, Tennessee, August 27-31, 2012
Electrical energy is not the only commercial product that can be produced by the fusion of light elements. The reaction products from many fusion fuels can be used to provide products that can be of a near-term benefit to society well before practical fusion power plants are a reality. The use of fusion products (neutrons and protons) in Homeland Security applications to detect clandestine materials or the production of short half life Positron Emission Tomography isotopes for medical diagnostics of abnormalities (e.g. cancers) in the human body are but a few of the near term examples of the near term use of fusion energy. This paper shows how one of the many ways to promote fusion, namely the use of the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement concept, is uniquely suited to this task worldwide.