Using technology developed over three-quarters of a century, and building upon conceptual designs extensively investigated by the world community over decades, FPC’s design is ready for immediate implementation.
When technology is ready, massive first-of-a-kind projects procure sites and are completed in a half dozen years. Examples are Fermilab (1965-72). Panama Canal (1904-14). Apollo (1961-69). Manhattan (1942-45). Hoover Dam (1927-33), Grand Coulee Dam (1933-37) and TVA (1934-39). Especially pertinent are the examples of explosive growth in transportation and the electric power and petrochemical industries. When huge profits are in store, mere financing does not stand in the way. The dynamism of the electronics, communications, internet are well known examples and fusion power implementation will be one in the near future.
Heavy ion fusion facilities will progressively replace large facilities like existing power plants, oil fields and possibly some industrial sites. HIF sites are large but may be smaller than the sites they replace. The length of HIF accelerators do not pose the siting challenges that might be expected. Large accelerators are built underground and subsurface rights are generally less expensive than surface rights. HIF sites can be located virtually anywhere—notably directly beneath population centers, like transportation subways and other civilian infrastructure. Accelerator facilities such as CERN's LHC are located beneath both farm land and city areas.
The issue of electricity transmission lines, often raised as a concern for large electrical energy output sites, is to some extent lessened for FPC since much of our output goes to market in liquid fuel that will be delivered to existing pipelines for transport to market. The fraction converted to electricity will vary from site to site, reflecting the needs of the local region.
The leading issue about siting is the concentration of industry in the vicinity of the SPS facility, as a result of the strong economic lure of large amounts of clean, low cost energy. On the surface above the underground heat sources are the heavy industries that convert the fusion heat to hydrogen, liquid fuels, and electricity. Economic incentives would also attract industries that use large quantities of energy, such as metal smelting, concrete manufacturing. Being based on clean energy will strongly improve the image of these industries.
Coastal sites in many cases are preferable to inland sites for access to seawater enables desalination and makes disposal of waste heat more efficient. But each site will have its own pluses and minuses. If substantial fresh water is desired, then a coastal site is probably a must.
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