- Oct. 3, 2019
-- Phoenix LLC and SHINE Medical Technologies LLC, nuclear technology companies focused on near-term fusion applications and medical isotope production, respectively, today announced the achievement of a new world record for a nuclear fusion reaction in a steady-state system, the strongest of its kind ever produced on Earth. The reaction yielded 46 trillion (4.6x1013
) neutrons per second, eclipsing the previous record by nearly 25 percent and setting a new standard for neutron generator technology that is expected to enable further advances in medicine, manufacturing and clean energy.
The world record was achieved in late July during a demonstration of Phoenix's third-generation gas-target neutron generator as part of the companies' ongoing preparation for full-scale operation of the medical isotope production facility being built by SHINE. The previous steady-state fusion record was held by the Rotating Target Neutron Source II facility in Livermore, Calif., which operated from 1978 to 1987. It produced a maximum output of 37 trillion (3.7x1013
) neutrons per second.
The record-setting fusion reaction followed a demonstration in June of the neutron generator, during which Phoenix and SHINE ran a 132-hour (5½-day) test with more than 99-percent uptime. These successful tests validated the performance and reliability of the Phoenix neutron generator technology that will drive SHINE's production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and other isotopes. SHINE anticipates that isotope production will begin in 2021.
"This achievement of producing the strongest sustained nuclear fusion reaction ever created by humans cements Phoenix's status as the world leader in fusion neutron generation technology,"
said Ross Radel, CEO of Phoenix. "The positive impacts that this now fully-proven technology will have to our customers like SHINE in health care and others working to develop 100% clean and abundant fusion energy are tremendous. I could not be prouder of our extremely dedicated team that has worked for over a decade to achieve this result."
Since 2005, the two companies have operated under the mission established by Dr. Greg Piefer, SHINE's CEO and founder, and the founder and former CEO of Phoenix, to use fusion technology to solve near-term problems caused by limited accessibility to nuclear reactors for applications such as medical isotope production, non-destructive testing and materials research with the long-term vision using those innovations to further fusion science to make the world a better place.
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