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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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Fusion!
By Xavian on 5/26/2006 6:34:27 AM , Rating: 2
Finally, i believe once we create Fusion reactors, all of our energy concerns and radioactive waste concerns will be gone.

Definately the Holy Grail, no Greenhouse Gases, vastly reduced radioactive waste (compared the Fission), far less dangerous then Nuclear Fission and far far more energy provided.

That Earth group is probably against anything un-natural, but the fact is, it would take an incredibly long time to obtain enough renewables to quench our incedible thurst for energy. Nuclear Fusion seems to me the only logical step to keep Civilisation/Social/Technological Development going at full speed, while not worrying about damaging the environment.

Not to mention the sheer incredible things you would be able to accomplish with a reactor that uses the most abundant elements in the known universe.




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