The United States Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) Direct Energy Conversion Proof of Principle (DECPOP) project has as its goal the development of a direct energy conversion process suitable for commercial development. We define direct energy conversion as any fission process that returns usable energy without an intermediate thermal process. A prior Direct Energy Conversion (DEC) project [1] has been completed and indicates that a viable direct energy device is possible if several technological issues can be overcome. The DECPOP program is focusing on two of the issues: charged particle steering and high voltage hold-off. This paper reports on the progress of the DECPOP project. Two prototype concepts are under development: a Fission Electric Cell using magnetic insulation and a Fission Fragment Magnetic Collimator using magnetic fields to direct fission fragments to collectors. Included in this paper are a short project description, an abbreviated summary of the work completed to date, a description of ongoing and future project activities, and a discussion of the potential for future research and development.

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