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Lasers point way to clean energy

 
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Aurora



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 8502

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:56 am    Post subject: Lasers point way to clean energy Reply with quote

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/dec/06/laserfusion?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

Quote:
The Guardian - 06/12/07

It's a clean source of energy using fuel that can easily be extracted from sea water, and it isn't owned by Saudi Arabia. We're talking about fusion - and a multinational project led by British researchers that aims to use high-powered lasers to produce nuclear fusion, the same physical reaction powering the sun. If they succeed, they could solve the approaching world energy crisis without destroying the environment.

Although the team admits a commercial fusion reactor is still decades away, it believes using lasers to spark fusion shows great promise. The EU has agreed to fund the setup costs for a seven-year research project called HiPER (High Powered laser Energy Research) to build a working demonstration reactor. But preparing for that stage - requiring the collaboration of 11 nations including Germany, France, Canada and Russia - is expected to cost more than ?50m (?35m). Building the reactor itself will cost more than ?500m.

Article continues ...

Decades away. Building the reactor to cost ?500m. Shocked Rolling Eyes Evil or Very Mad
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good idea, it's fundamental science research. The money is not a large amount, not much more than the annual budget of a Formula One team. Roll the eyes at how much money Ferrari spend each year rather than at the total budget to investigate fundamental science with the potential to produce energy in a better way than fossil fuels.
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Aurora



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I would prefer to see the money invested in local, eco-friendly forms of energy generation.

Decades away? We need sustainable power supplies now.
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair point - but it would be a sad day indeed if we turned our back on fundamental science. I put it in the same catogory as art and littriture. And half a billion euro isn't very much money in the grand scheem of things - there are many many other expenditures far more worthy of criticism.
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STG



Joined: 07 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The process discribed here is Inertial Confinement Fusion....But currently the process with the most likelyhood to be used for a power plant is Magnetic Confinement Fusion: www.iter.org
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