Professor Thomas J. Dolan is author of “Fusion Research” (1982) and editor of “Magnetic Fusion Technology” (Springer, 2013). He served as head of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, Physics Section. Dr. Dolan has worked at universities (Missouri, Illinois); national labs (LLNL, LANL, ORNL, INL); in industry (Phillips Petroleum); and in Canada, Taiwan, Russia, Austria, China, Japan, India, and Korea. His new book is “Molten Salt Reactors and Thorium Energy” (Elsevier Press, 2017). In our interview, we talk about the history of fusion research in America.
The first episode introduces you to this podcast. We start by exploring fusion's significance to mankind. We move on to the discovery of fusion and the first fusion reaction, at Los Alamos National Labs. I give my personal story and my start in the field as a graduate student working on inertial confinement fusion. Next, we go through the mechanics of ICF, the concept of ignition and the NIF machine.