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Fusion reactors, here we come!

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, has officially been approved by seven international parties during a meeting in Belgium. The list of international parties includes the United States, European Union, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and India.  The project will cost an estimated $5.9B USD, and is also the world's biggest scientific collaboration. 

The BBC
reports "We represent more than half of the world's population, and recognize that by working together today we stand a much better chance of tackling the challenges of tomorrow, so energy is an issue of concern for all of us," according to the  EU science and research commissioner, Janez Potocnik.

The end result of the experimental fusion project should be a cheaper, cleaner and safer source of energy.  Global oil demand and greenhouse gas emissions will also theoretically drop if the nuclear fusion reactor is successful.  Fusion is a viable energy source because of natural abundance and availability, while no greenhouse gas emissions will be present.  Another advantage of fusion is that it will not produce any radioactive waste. 

But not everyone is pleased with the news.  Several environmental groups are against the project.  For example, one of the members of the Friends of the Earth group believes it would be a wiser choice to invest in renewable energy and energy conservation.



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Earth Groups
By Zoomer on 5/26/2006 5:56:15 AM , Rating: 2
"Earth group believes it would be a wiser choice to invest in renewable energy and energy conservation."


They are misguided. Fusion is the holy grail. Imagine fission, already a rather good source of energy, with practically zero radioactivity for the waste.




RE: Earth Groups
By beemercer on 5/26/2006 4:46:54 PM , Rating: 3
Fusion reactors would have significant radioactive waste, but the halflife of the produscts is like under 10 years instead of millions of years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power


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