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US Joins ITER Tokamak Fusion Project 33

WannabePhysicist writes "Energy secretary Spencer Abraham announced at the Princeton Plasma Fusion Laboratory that the U.S. will join ITER , the international plasma fusion reactor effort. They're currently planning a tokamak (doughnut) design, and have some pretty optimistic energy production predictions for 2014. As many of us in science know, estimated times are usually off by a factor of two, and then sometimes and order of magnitude -- but hopefully they'll get it to work. Many people push this as the cleanest form of energy, but fusion reactors will most likely contain deuterium, tritium, and lithium (tritium's not exactly water) The deuterium and tritium fuse, giving off an alpha (4He nucleus), a neutron, and some energy. This energy causes more reactions (the controlled fusion part). The neutrons hit a 6Li blanket (surrounding the chamber) which then produces more tritium for burning."
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US Joins ITER Tokamak Fusion Project

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  • by ThePeices ( 635180 ) on Friday January 31, 2003 @02:24AM (#5194536)
    Its a pity that fusion based electricity generation will take so long to arrive. With fossil fuels being used at ever more larger rates, its THE technology that humanity needs to replace the current systems of electricity generation. The environmental benefits of using clean fusion to generate say, hydrogen for fuel cell powered cars as well as normal electricity use would be astounding. Unfortunately commercial greed would stiffle any hopes of that.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus