Monday, May 23, 2005

CNN on the National Ignition Facitity

Take a look here. The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Lab has long been something I have been curious about. It's intended to simulate nuclear explosions - so the scientists convinced the administrations past/present and Congress. It's had its serious - and sometimes embarassing - ups and downs. The scientists believe that they will get a fusion reaction out the system once they've had some time to iron out bugs. Right now they are saying they'll be finished in 2008 with the construction. They think they'll get a fusionr eaction in 2010. This style of fusion is not one that can be used for powerplants, unlike what is being proposed for ITER. The differences are that one is magnetohydrodynamic fusion (ITER) and the other is inertial confinement fusion (NIF).

There is one use that the article doesn't mention: its more than half way to a fusion drive for spacecraft.

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