Lockheed Martin, the U.S. weapons manufacturer, claims it has made a breakthrough in nuclear fusion, long considered the holy grail of renewable energy. The company says its fusion reactors are "small enough to fit on the back of a truck," according to Reuters, and "could be ready for use in a decade."
Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work.
Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters.
In a statement, the company, the Pentagon's largest supplier, said it would build and test a compact fusion reactor in less than a year, and build a prototype in five years. [Reuters]
Nuclear fusion involves smashing atoms together and capturing the released energy.