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  • Question of the week | Will fusion run out of fuel?

    One of the paradoxes of fusion, the virtually inexhaustible energy of the future, is that it relies on an element that does not exist—or just barely. Tritium, o [...]

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  • Image of the week | Bullseye

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  • Art and science | Seeking new perspectives on fusion

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  • Worksite photos | The view one never tires of

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Of Interest

See archived entries

A call to arms for making fusion happen

Sabina Griffith

''The world energy industry is worth trillions of dollars—divert only a tiny fraction of that into researching fusion and we will soon know if it is workable.'' Dan Clery, in ''A Piece of the Sun.'' (Click to view larger version...)
''The world energy industry is worth trillions of dollars—divert only a tiny fraction of that into researching fusion and we will soon know if it is workable.'' Dan Clery, in ''A Piece of the Sun.''
To the members of the wider fusion community, the name Dan Clery most likely rings a bell. News editor for the magazine Science since 1993, Dan has closely followed the excitement and frustrations of the quest for fusion energy and, of course, the "making of" ITER. Over the years he has gathered more than enough information to fill regular magazine pages and so he decided to, temporarily, swap the fast beat of a news reporter for the reclusiveness of a book author.

A Piece of the Sun draws the bow from the Big Bang, to Prometheus, to the first scientists working out the details of the fusion reaction, the first machines and experiments, and finally to modern times. None of this is new and may have appeared before in print, but don't be mistaken! Dan is not only an eloquent writer, but also a skilled journalist with a mission. In his hands, the book is far more than a technical narration of the good old days: it is a political statement ... a rousing call to arms for making fusion happen.

"The world energy industry is worth trillions of dollars—divert only a tiny fraction of that into researching fusion and we will soon know if it is workable," Dan passionately argues. "Some technological dreams just take time to come to fruition," he writes, drawing the parallel with the Wright brothers and Virgin Galactic's spacefaring pleasure aircraft. "The cost and time it will take to make fusion work has to be balanced against the enormous benefits it will bring. It won't damage the climate, won't pollute and it won't run out. How can we not try?"

Read an interview of Dan Clery on the PPPL website.


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