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10:23:54 AM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : News And Comment
Location : Nashua, NH

In the news yesterday, I read that plans are being finalized for building a nuclear fusion reactor in France. Cost is projected $12 billion, US. When I was 11 or 12 years old, I went on a school trip to see the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor at the Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ, pictured here. Fascinating stuff. Back then, the scientists were talking about 20 to 30 years of development before fusion could be sustained at levels sufficient for power generation, and 40 to 50 years before it might be economically practical. I guess they were reasonably close to being on target, because now they're talking about 20 to 30 years -- though it's likely to be considerably longer before fusion is in widespread use for energy production. Just for some perspective, that $12 billion cost, assuming it holds, is less than it took to build a few miles of new highway under the city of Boston. Seems to me that virtually unlimited clean energy is better investment, but for some reason US taxpayers funded Boston's Big Dig whereas an international consortium is required to fund a fusion reactor.

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Comments :v

1. Ken Yee06/30/2005 04:55:41 PM

That's because they don't have the nation's 2nd most corrupt politicians grabbing funding for the fusion reactor like they did for the Big Dig. Gotta make all their contractor buddies happy ya know...

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