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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Research Center Seeks to Develop Fusion Energy for Electric Power in Wise

AVRC has been awarded a contract by Wise County's Industrial Development Authority to manage a $7 million energy research center now under construction in the Lonesome Pine Business and Technology Park in Wise, VA. One of many alternative energy projects that they expect to develop is inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) aneutronic fusion energy. The energy research center is called the Appalachia America Energy Research Center, and IEC fusion is only one of several projects they are developing in a significant energy technology portfolio.

Plans are in the works to conduct a multimillion-dollar research project in Wise to develop fusion technology into an economic source for everything from electricity to medical applications. Invented by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Dr. George Miley, the process involves pumping aerosol boron plasma into a spherical container where it is made very, very hot. The atoms begin to fuse, creating energy.

The project will start small, with about 6-8 researchers, and could employ 20-28 researchers within 18 months. If the project becomes commercially viable, it could move to a bigger location and could grow to employ up to 100 people and involve four major research universities. The initial fusion research proposed is $3.5 million.

With offices in Raleigh, NC and headquarters in Danville, VA, the Advanced Vehicle Research Center has been involved in the transportation energy sector since 2001.

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