theodp writes "Edward Moses and his team of 500 scientists and engineers at Lawrence Livermore's National Ignition Facility are betting $3.5B in taxpayer money on a tiny pellet they hope could produce an endless supply of safe, clean energy. By the fall of 2010, the team aims to start blasting capsules containing deuterium-tritium fuel with 1.4 megajoules of laser power, a first step towards the holy grail of controlled nuclear fusion. Not all are convinced that Moses will lead us to the promised land. 'They're snake-oil salesmen,' says Thomas Cochran, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Moses, for his part, seems unfazed by the skepticism, saying he's confident that his team will succeed."