Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Support for Fusion Reactor project

Thirty nations, including the United States, have signed a pact committing them to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which will be built in Cadarache, France. The project's cost is estimated at up to $10.8 billion U.S. Also signed on are the European Union, Japan, India, South Korea, China, and Russia: most of the world's major technological powers. Commercial fusion power is variously estimated at 20-50 years off: ITER is intended to be the proof-of-concept reactor.

COMMENT: Over the long term, it is hard to imagine a reasonable alternative to fusion. It is much more difficult and expensive to develop than was once hoped, but for large-scale power generation with minimal environmental impact, it's the planet's best hope, and we'd best get going on it.

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