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Laser Fusion Project Takes One Small Step Toward Energy Leap

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~~~~NBCNewsScience1
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America’s multibillion-dollar, laser-blasting fusion machine has gotten more energy out of a smidgen of fuel than was put into it — but the most significant thing is how it was done.

The latest experiments, reported in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, marked a first for the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. They’re the first laser shots to produce a net gain in energy under any definition, and they’re also the first to show evidence of a mechanism that’s essential if controlled fusion is ever to become a reality.

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A closeup from the National Ignition Facility shows a cutaway view of a gold cylinder known as a hohlraum, with a spherical fusion fuel capsule gleaming inside. The hohlraum measures about half an inch (1 centimeter) in height, and the capsule is about a tenth of an inch (2mm) in diameter. Beams of light from 192 lasers are directed at the capsule to cause an implosion.
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Fusion Power a Step Closer After Giant Laser Blast

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FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DAILY NEWS

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Using the most powerful laser system ever built, scientists have brought us one step closer to nuclear fusion power, a new study says.

The same process that powers our sun and other stars, nuclear fusion has the potential to be an efficient, carbon-free energy source—with none of the radioactive waste associated with the nuclear fission method used in current nuclear plants.

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Nuclear fusion plant possible within a decade, physicist says.

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100128-nuclear-fusion-power-lasers-science/

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