Exciting Progress Is Being Made in Fusion, Just Not in the U.S.
Dec. 20, 2016 (EIRNS)—As the existing experimental fusion devices have fulfilled their goals, and reached their limit of being capable of breaking new ground, in Europe, China, Japan, and Korea, these older machines are being up-graded to tackle the next level of challenges in fusion research. They are being configured with combinations of stronger magnets, additional external heating to raise plasma temperature, internal components to mitigate or eliminate plasma disruptions, and many other innovations, all geared to make the international ITER tokamak being built in France, a success.
The annual Fusion Power Associates meeting in Washington gathers many of the leaders in the world’s fusion programs, to report on results and exchange ideas. This year’s meeting, on Dec. 13-14, saw less participation from U.S. scientists than in the past, and more contributions from Asia. The encouraging results that were discussed were on machines mainly in China, Korea, and Europe.
As this new administration takes the reins of office, there will be the opportunity to put the future back on the table. In that endeavor, it should be made clear what the state of fusion research is here, and around the world, and what the necessity and potential of fusion are.