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star on earth

Is this really safe?

Scientists are working on newer ways on creating safer renewable energy to address the energy woes of the planet. At the National Ignition Facility in Livermore California, scientists are working on building the world’s first sustainable fusion reactor which they claim would be like “creating a miniature star on Earth” which will provide endless energy.

Last two weeks were critical where some key experiments were conducted which paved way on going ahead on building and completing the $4 billion project which is said to fully be tested and to begin functioning by 2012. Last week, a team of scientists fired up about 192 lasers at the center of the reactor aiming at a target containing tritium and deuterium gas. The result was the release of energy of about 1.3 million mega joules with a temperature of about six million degrees Fahrenheit. This was a new record considering the temperatures at the center of the Sun is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists said that they now aim to make this recent experiment self-sustaining which will result in endless supply of energy provide that it was controlled. NIF experts predict that the fusion reactor could be operational by 2020 and that by 2050, quarter of the US energy needs could be supplied by fusion power.

star on earth

The entire reactor would sit inside a 130-ton target chamber where the neutrons are fired by the 192 lasers that stimulate the fusion reaction. The chamber has holes which are 10 meters in diameter and are covered in 30 cm thick concrete which allow the 192 laser beams to enter the chamber. When the reactor goes live, it will generate unprecedented temperatures and pressures in the target materials which are held in a tiny glass ball.

Scientists say such hight temperatures and pressures that this would generate are similar to those in stars. Latest technology including about 850 computers would work in sync controlling the lasers and the reactor as the whole.

So will this be real? You can read more here.

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