Mystery company blazes a trail in fusion energy
J Thoendell stashed this in Science
Of the handful of startup companies trying to achieve fusion energy via nontraditional methods, Tri Alpha Energy Inc. has always been the enigma. Publishing little and with no website, but apparently sitting on a cash pile in the hundreds of millions, the Foothill Ranch, California–based company has been the subject of intense curiosity and speculation. But last month Tri Alpha lifted the veil slightly with two papers revealing that its device, dubbed the colliding beam fusion reactor, has shown a 10-fold improvement in its ability to contain the hot particles needed for fusion over earlier devices at U.S. universities and national labs.
“They’ve improved things greatly and are moving in a direction that is quite promising,” says plasma physicist John Santarius of the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.