I have just read this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14842720I have been very interested in nuclear fusion in the past and although my knowledge of this is out of date (I think I last looked into this about 1 year ago), unless things have radically changed laser fusion is much further away from commercial viability than the various magnetic containment options.this paragraph hints at the problem"Both Hiper and Life, a similar effort at Nif, estimate that a functioning laser power plant would need to cycle through more than 10 fuel pellets each second - a million each day. Nif, since its completion in 2009, has undertaken only 305 such shots in its quest for ignition."Basically when I last looked at this they could go through 2 cycles a day with the pellets costing about $50 000 each. To be commercial they need at least 10 a second and the pellets need to cost about $0.05. Last I heard they had no real idea how they were going to achieve this, it's a bit more complicated than just 'economies of scale'. I listened to a podcast (admittedly a biased one as the engineer being interviewed worked at IPP http://www.ipp.mpg.de/ippcms/eng/index.html) where he suggested that laser fusion was only really feasible for military applications. Basically our best shot is ITER http://www.iter.org/ , I think we should be concentrating our energy (no pun intended) on this.jNote : I tried to check up about the pellet cost thing as I wrote this post from memory, a quick google came up with this, which is a pro laser fusion article but confirms my ball park figure.http://www.mrcattclass.com/nuclear-fusion-by-2020.html"Each one of these costs between ten [thousand] and a hundred thousand dollars," Mauel said. To use the pellet method to generate nuclear fusion power, "they'll have to cost less than ten cents a piece."
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