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Friday, June 11, 2010

Penny Wise But Pound Foolish

Europe vacillates over funding for an experimental nuclear fusion reactor. Article link HERE.

I know that budgets, whether they be at home or in Brussels, are tight these days. However, even in the worst of times it makes sense to invest for the future. However it seems that the Euro-crates may be hedging on funding commitments associated with the development of an experimental nuclear fusion facility in France. This is a mistake; no make that this is a potentially enormous mistake.

Yes, research into nuclear fusion has been going on now for decades without much to show for it. However it's important to keep one simple fact in mind when it comes to this topic: nuclear fusion IS possible. We have a universe of stars that proves the fact of nuclear fusion. There are enormous technical issues associated with creating a controlled, self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction on Earth, but that still doesn't change the fact that this is more science fact than fiction. We just need to figure it out.

Given the magnitude of the science required to "figure this out", it will take more money and it will take more time. But the payoff is a game changer for humanity: Clean energy that can be created from Hydrogen without radioactive waste. Again, it's important to remember that the basic science here is very well known; it's really just the technical aspects of how you practically do this on Earth that need to be resolved.

I am a very big fan of basic scientific research, and an even bigger fan when that research can lead to practical solutions that help humanity. Let's all hope that governments don't forget that part of being the collective representation of the people is to invest our money in projects that have the potential to improve the lives of humans for decades to come. That's what we do when we are at our best as a species.


The Catholic Apologist said...


What is with the Crimson color? Did you decide to make some changes?

Stephen Albert said...

Rockin...yes, every once in a while I just get the urge to mix it up a bit. Besides, I am rather fond of the darker shades of red.