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)

Schritt 1: Assemble The Vacuum Chamber

A quality high vacuum chamber is required for the fusor to operate. Sometimes an appropriate chamber can be found on eBay, but generally it is best to make one. Parts can be scrounged for several hundred dollars, or purchased new for $500+.

Get two stainless steel hemispheres, purchase two corresponding conflat-flanges (8" flanges in my case), bore out holes for accessory flanges, and then TIG weld it all together. Flanges are typically either of the KF or the conflat style. Conflat can be seen in the image below as the flanges with bolts, and KF (kwik-flange) are seen as those with only clamps holding an o-ring on the mating surface. Only weld on the inside, never on the outside (since virtual leaks can be formed if both inside and outside are welded). If you've never TIG welded before, it would be wise to have someone with experience do it as the welds must be flawless with no pin-sized holes or porous areas to hold a vacuum.

After machining, thoroughly clean the chamber and avoid getting fingerprints in it since these will outgas, which means at vacuum pressure molecules in the oil of finger prints or machining oil will become vapor and make it hard to maintain plasma stability or reach a good ultimate vacuum level.
<p>I was looking for spherical vacuum chambers and I couldn't find any to fit the purpose... does it <strong>need</strong> to be spherical?</p>
It doesn't need to be spherical. It doesn't even have to be big. A glass tube or even a wine bottle will do fine.
<p>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.</p>
<p>It works, it creates fusion, but it does not output more power than it draws. Its use is more likely to be found as a neutron radiation source. Scientists with much bigger, much more sophisticated equipment have yet to run a fusion experiment in a lab that produces more power than the electricity put into it. So far the sun is the only fusion reactor we can get significant amounts of power from.</p><p>As to powering a ship capable of going 5000mph, in the water that's basically impossible so far, as you run into the problem of cavitation behind the boat. The technique for going faster has always been to make a boat that has a smaller water profile to make cavitation smaller, and the fastest they've ever gotten was around 320MPH. A more reasonable and usable boat likely has a physical speed limit of around 50MPH before cavitation presents a hard limit to the speed. The problem isn't getting MOAR POWER, it's mostly solving hydrodynamic problems.</p>
<p>i dont think the intended medium is water, but near space</p><p>less than 3 light years</p>
Space is the only real practical application of tritium deuterium reactors. The reason is deceptively simple. That is because the raw materials require a ton of energy to make in a fission reactor. But a laser fusion drive spitting 30 one mm pellets of tritium fuel into a rocket bell could sustain a 1g acceleration for a year.. in sci-fi terms .. hyperdrive.
<p>thought you might light to know: your information regarding scientists with better equipment is outdated. Granted, it's not a LOT of power, but it's a start, and what's more: Lockheed Martin is hoping to make fusion power viable in the next decade.<br><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></p>
<p>Cavitation has nothing to do with hull speed limits. Cavitation is cold water boiling and occurs when the water pressure on the back side of a propeller (benoulli effect) gets so low that the water boils. Hull speed in a displacement boat is limited to 1.4 time the square root of the water line length, in meters, and expressed in knots. Faster then that and the boat is planning, much faster the boat is flying. As water resistance is an exponential of speed, there is currently no material in existence that could withstand the pressure created on the hull at 5000 mph, and no portable power source capable of driving said hull.</p>
Some of the steps seems unnecessarily complicated. In my evil lair I have a 100kv Van De Graaff and a 400 kv Tesla coil. But for my fusion reactor I just use a salvaged television fly back. For vacuum a mercury diffusion pump is best but an old refrigerator compressor and a dry ice bucket works pretty good. I cripple evacuate and flush with helium. I think it helps the reaction. Why is a trade secret but if you have read this far you are smart enough to figure it out. OBTW , that vacuum chamber is overkill. You can find a surplus vacuum deposition bell for $100 .. I did. I will post a video soon.
<p>so all of this so far is just building the vacuum, yes?</p>
<p>Can some one please post how to get the 40,000 volts.</p>
<p>I suggest you look up the circuit for a voltage multiplier known as a Cockcroft Walton</p><p>Capacitors and diodes in a ladder formation. Feed it with AC and you will get a huge DC voltage out depending on the number of stages you have. There were use originally to power a lot of nuclear reactors</p><p></p>
<p>You can use old TV's transformer in order to achieve very high voltages (and use condensator and diode to double the output up to ~40k), but the current can be quite small, I think it won't go over 2-3mA. Or plug serially 10 MOT's and also double the voltage using diode and condensator. You will get extremely overpowered killer source that might shut the whole street down :). Notice, that both sources can be absolutely lethal, and this voltage can also skip over few centimeters. Also, in both cases you will get direct current as output, because of use of voltage doubler. (sorry for my spelling :/ )</p>
<p>Dude seriously, I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you don't know how to step up voltage you just shouldn't be fucking with this. </p>
<p>This is really cool, what is it for? Just sitting around and being awesome? </p>
<p>I want to know at what pressure in the chamber is needed before and after filling deuterium for fusion.</p><p>and how much tritium this device produces.</p><p>Plzz reply fast</p>
<p>so, I'm gonna try building this as a base for Nuclear Reactor experiments... I have a couple of questions.</p><p>1. How much does a good Vacuum Chamber go for?</p><p>2. Where can I find a High Voltage Power supply, and how much will it cost?</p><p>3. what's the approximate ratio for energy going in to energy coming out... in other words, how inefficient is this reactor?</p>
<p>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?</p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Josh</p>
<p>Thorium is a fuel used in a fission reactor. It is essentially a replacement fuel for Uranium 232. Thorium is transformed into Uranium 232 after being bombarded by neutrons traveling close to the speed of light so you need a small cyclonic particle accelerator (think tiny CERN) to make it work. <br>So no Thorium will not work. </p>
<p>Thorium is much more stable so it is harder to fuse. At this scale probably not.</p><p>Would would also need to pump in even more power than the deuterium would need in order to get a reaction if it were even possible.</p>
<p>How is the power harnessed?</p><p>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.</p>
<p> Can you please explain what's the point? I don't think the efficiency of all this is 100%. So aren't we just using a lot of voltage to produce less voltage?</p>
<p>Ultimately the idea would eventually be to use a fusion reactor to <em>produce</em> more power than it requires to run, but that's not what it's capable of right now.</p><p>Why bother doing this at all?</p><p>Even if it's not producing more power than it takes in, it still has its uses. I don't know about how useful it would be for home projects, but it does make a powerful neutron source for various kinds of analysis.</p><p>For examples of neutron spectroscopy, see <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></p>
<p>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 <em>fusion.</em></p><p>For Thorium, the reaction is nuclear <em>fission.</em> 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.</p><p>Fusion <em>creates</em> heavier elements, fission <em>destroys</em> them.</p>
<p>Oh ok! I got it! Thank you for taking your time to explain that.</p>
<p>No thorium, can't really be simplified much, no capacitor, and no power harnessing</p>
<p>can we set it up to use ( I hope I spell it right ) helium ( my spelling sucks )? </p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>ty by the way </p>
<p>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? </p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>Hello, I am looking to purchase HV power supply to start building this and they wanted to know what frequency it should be. I have no idea what to tell them as I am new to this field of physics. I explained to them that Ia m a graduate student focusing on plasma physics with an interest in fusion.</p>
<p>Here's a link to the PS I was lookign at: </p><p></p>
<p>Did you build an external grid or did you connect the chamber itself to ground potential ?</p>
Still in the early stages of researching this. Can they be modified to harness generated power?
<p>Getting physical breakeven is something physicists have been working on for many decades -- they still have to pump in more electrical energy than they can extract out of it, even in the most sophisticated reactors.</p>
Maybe a dumb question but how's a Fusion-Reactor used to produce electricity, isn't it threw steam generation? <br>If it is, the how can the Reactor be deemed efficient, or is efficiency in this case a measurement of something else? <br> <br>Very cool project!!!
<p>This reactor has a massive net loss of energy. It doesn't have much of a use other than having your own star :)</p>
<p>It has a great use as a neutron radiation source, if you have any use for that. Neutron spectroscopy is a powerful analytical tool that lets you get a good look at a full range of molecular dynamics, unlike the restricted molecular dynamics you can tease out of FTIR and Raman spectroscopy.</p>
<p>Would an air diffusion pump work instead of the oil diffusion pump or would it have to be oil or turbo?</p>
<p>It has to be some kind of hi-vac pump. Oil, turbo, or cryo. Diffusion doesn't work at hi-vac, because the gas molecules aren't interacting in such a way you can get diffusion, they act more like ballistic particles at hi-vac pressures.</p>
<p>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.</p>
when you say at least 75 microns do you mean anything below it...would a 25 micron vacuum pump suffice?
<p>75 microns would get you a demo fusor, but no fusion. You really need a pump that will get you &lt;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.</p>
thanks for the info...where did you get the two pumps that you used in this reactor?
<p>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</p>
<p>What roughing pump did you use in this reactor</p>
<p>how did you shield the viewport with lead exactly</p>
<p>You can buy leaded glass.</p>

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Dez 25, 2010