He completed low-power tests in September and October and began high-power testing of the reactor in November.
After four tests Nov. 9 and 10, an electromagnetic coil short-circuited as electricity surged through it, “vaporizing” part of his reactor, Bussard said, and bringing his tests to an end.
“The following Monday, we started to tear the lab down. Nobody had time to reduce the data that was stored on the computer. It wasn’t until early December that we reduced the data and looked at it and realized what we had done,” he said.
Bussard said he and his small team of scientists had proven that nuclear fusion can be harnessed as a usable source of cheap, clean energy.