Instructables
Picture of Build A Fusion Reactor
Yes, you can build your very own nuclear fusion reactor in your house! But first, a few warnings:

-This project includes lethal voltage levels. Make sure you know your high voltage safety or have a qualified electrical advisor.
-Potentially hazardous levels of x-rays will be produced. Lead shielding of viewports is a must!
-Deuterium, an explosive gas, will be used. Make sure to check for fuel leaks.
-All the other inherent dangers of a home engineering project of this degree (a wide gamut of potential injuries, damage to the checking account, and the loss of general sanity)



Here are the minimum required materials:

-A vacuum chamber, preferably in a spherical shape
-A roughing vacuum pump capable of reaching at least 75 microns vacuum
-A secondary high vacuum pump, either a turbo pump or oil diffusion pump
-A high voltage supply, preferably capable of at least 40kv 10ma - Must be negative polarity
-A high voltage divider probe for use with a digital multimeter
-A thermocouple or baratron (of appropriate scale) vacuum gauge
-A neutron radiation detector, either a proportional He-3 or BF3 tube with counting instrumentation, or a bubble dosimeter
-A Geiger counter, preferably a scintillator type, for x-ray detection and safety
-Deuterium gas (can be purchased as a gas or extracted from D2O through electrolysis - it is much easier and more effective to use compressed gas)
-A large ballast resistor in the range of 50-100k and at least a foot long
-A camera and TV display for viewing the inside of the reactor
-Lead to shield the camera viewport
-General engineering tools, a machine shop if at all possible (although 90% of mine was built with nothing but a dremel and cordless drill, the only thing you really can't build without a shop is scratch building the vacuum chamber)
 
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bigdyl1235 days ago

I would like to know how to make your vaccum chamber. i tried looking for hemespheres and i cant find any. think you can point me in the direction for parts?

I was just wondering, because of the chamber materials, how hot does it actually get when the reactor is operating? Is it safe to attatch a glass viewport to one of the chamber flanges?

JoshWolff72 months ago

I am really interested in this and would love to build it. Is it possible to hook this up with thorium instead of deuterium? How can I simplify this project? Is this fusion reactor hooked up to a capacitor or something of the like that it charges - how is the power harnessed?

Thanks,

Josh

You're talking about a very different nuclear reaction. Deuterium is hydrogen with an extra neutron attached to it, and you get two Deuterium atoms colliding with each other to create heavier Helium atoms, releasing lots of energy in the process. This process is called nuclear fusion.

For Thorium, the reaction is nuclear fission. Take Thorium, bombard it with neutrons to turn it into radioactive Uranium, and the Uranium undergoes a chain reaction dropping off Helium nuclei and eventually leaving you with lighter lead.

Fusion creates heavier elements, fission destroys them.

Oh ok! I got it! Thank you for taking your time to explain that.

How is the power harnessed?

The most likely way you would harness the power would be to use the heat coming off the reactor to drive a thermal process, probably with water becoming superheated steam to turn a generator turbine.

christensent (author)  JoshWolff72 months ago

No thorium, can't really be simplified much, no capacitor, and no power harnessing

can we set it up to use ( I hope I spell it right ) helium ( my spelling sucks )?

christensent (author)  ElectricBlue1231 month ago

No, deuterium and tritium are the only gasses that will produce fusion in a DIY fusor. Deuterium is the only one that is legal to use.

Can the valve be manual ones? I prefer to use manual (for simplicity) but can high voltage be dangerous that I shouldn't use a manual valve? I'm not familiar with pneumatic valves or other type of valves.Thanks in advance.

ty by the way

what there are resticshens ??? wich counchery is that ? ( sorry for spelling ) and can we use magnets to control it so make a ( by way of trikel filling and emtiying ) a sustand fusion reactor?

Thank you!

Marsh17 days ago
In physics, the first thing we check are the units. You appear to be citing microns as a measure of vacuum, when it is actually a measure of distance. If this is an error, can you correct it? If not, can you explain?
christensent (author)  Marsh17 days ago
When discussing vacuum pressure, microns refers to microns of mercury

how much tritium does it produce? and can you please tell me how much neutrons are emitted?

adityayo631 month ago

What valve do you recommend for the one between diffusion pump and vacuum chamber? I've looked through ebay and leskers but I couldn't find a kf flanged gate valve that is bellows sealed under $150. Many on fusor.net recommends a gate valve that is bellows sealed but it is way too expensive.

DATCAT4 months ago

so you need a high negative voltage instead of a positive like static or high positive like what come out of a MOT,flyback,igntion coil

baecker03 DATCAT4 months ago

fly back wouldn't work, and he is specifying that 40kv be used

DATCAT baecker033 months ago
Then want can you use a microwave oven tranformer
or a car igniting coil
christensent (author)  DATCAT2 months ago

Microwave transformer is less than 10kv. You can sort of make series stacks but you have to really know what you're doing and it gets extremely dangerous. It's a poor solution. Car ignition coil won't put out enough current, that is designed for pulse duty.

christensent (author) 2 months ago

I wrapped lead over it in such a way that there is lead between me and it

ARahman1772 months ago

how did you shield the viewport with lead exactly

adityayo634 months ago

What are the health risks involved in this experiment in regards to neutron radiation? Are there any ways to prove that you were successful in fusing atoms together and avoid neutron radiation?

christensent (author)  adityayo634 months ago

There are no risks to running this device, the amount of radiation is incredibly tiny. If you're worried about it, stand across the room. Radiation falls off 1/r^2 in this case.

(removed by author or community request)

or water but you have to be carful!

I can't find a spherical vacuum chamber anywhere for under $500. I searched eBay and a few other sites. Anyone have any ideas where I can get it from? I do not want to go through the trouble of making one.

find a machine shop?

Adrianhudson5 months ago
Two questions.

One- would a deeper vacuum be better for this experiment if possible?

Two- would putting more power into the reactor also increase the amount of fusion? So instead of 40kv maybe 100kv would be better?
christensent (author)  Adrianhudson5 months ago
1) Yes, but with rapidly diminishing returns because you backfill it with deuterium up to a few microns anyways. The pressure you obtain before backfilling just allows the deuterium purity to increase.

2) Yes, very much so. More voltage at same power is more fusion, and more power at same voltage is more fusion. More power at more voltage is even more fusion.

if you have the money and know how to get 100kv and proper insulation.

Would There Be A Chance Of It Working, If It Was Built On A Bigger Scale, And Would It Be Able To Power A Ship That Has A Maximum Speed Of 5000 MPH.

nerd74735 months ago

This is very interesting I was wanting to make a plasma fusor

ARahman1776 months ago

Would an air diffusion pump work instead of the oil diffusion pump or would it have to be oil or turbo?

christensent (author)  ARahman1776 months ago

I don't know, not familiar with that. If it reaches similar pressures and pumping rates as an oil diffusion pump, sure. I think that might be for higher pressures though.

when you say at least 75 microns do you mean anything below it...would a 25 micron vacuum pump suffice?
christensent (author)  ARahman1776 months ago

75 microns would get you a demo fusor, but no fusion. You really need a pump that will get you <1 micron and then you backfill with deuterium up to about 10 micron to run. And a super nice mechanical pump that says 1 micron will not work since that is an ideal measurement, and also it has no pumping speed at that pressure.

thanks for the info...where did you get the two pumps that you used in this reactor?
christensent (author)  ARahman1776 months ago

Ebay... just about everything for a project like this will come from ebay unless you have tons of money to blow on nice new stuff

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