Nuclear Fusion: Still Just On the Horizon

by Dave Schuler on February 12, 2014

Remember my mentioning nuclear fusion as one of those development that’s always just on the horizon? Apparently, it’s still there:

For 60 years, experts have been saying that commercial fusion power could be 30 or 40 years away. While Hurricane is hopeful, he shies away from giving a timetable for future research.

“You picture yourself climbing halfway up a mountain, but the top of the mountain is hidden in clouds … and then someone calls you on your satellite phone and asks you how long it’s going to take you to climb to the top of the mountain,” Hurricane said. “You don’t know.”

He said the high-foot strategy was like a “base camp” on Mount Everest.

“What you do from these base camps is strike out in different directions and try to find the best way up,” he said. “The process repeats over and over again.” Researchers will continue to tweak the power profile as well as the shape of the fuel capsule and other components to reduce energy-robbing instabilities and inefficiencies.

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