The MicroNOVA project is celebrating its first plasma and fusion event resulting in neutron generation, which has been achieved during a groundbreaking event using deuterium fuel (DD fusion), as illustrated in the photo below. This is the first time this kind of system has been developed in a Research and Development (R&D) setting at the University of Bristol or the UK (the system is well established outside the UK and has been used in commercial settings) and has been successfully constructed in collaboration with Astral Systems based at Dorset Innovation Park.
MicroNOVA stands as a pioneering compact particle generator designed for medical applications. The project's primary goal is to establish and validate a compact neutron source based on the patented Multi-State Fusion device being commercialized by Astral Systems, supported by the University of Bristol. This breakthrough technology aims to enable cost-effective, safe, and dependable production of high-energy neutrons at a considerable flux.
One of the key objectives of the MicroNOVA project is to develop and assess the Muti-State Fusion system's capability to generate a substantial number of neutrons and/or protons for various multidisciplinary applications. These applications encompass vital areas such as Boron Neutron Capture Therapy, intended for post-surgery irradiation of tumour patients, as well as the production of medical radioisotopes for the NHS. Additionally, the system will facilitate the testing of breeder blanket materials, which are crucial for producing tritium fuel in future fusion power stations.
The ultimate target neutron outputs from the Multi-State Fusion system are 1011 neutrons per second from DD fusion and 1013 neutrons per second from DT fusion. These figures represent a significant advancement in the realm of neutron generation and hold great promise for numerous medical and energy-related applications.
MicroNOVA team: Mahmoud Bakr, Tom Wallace-Smith, Talmon Firestone, Tom Scott