Carlos Alejaldre on Executive Board of HiPER Project
ITER is making progress, and so is another fusion project: HiPER, the UK-led European High Power Laser Energy Research Facility, which will demonstrate the feasibility of laser driven fusion as a future energy source. HiPER has just completed a two-year design study involving senior scientists from 12 nations.
The conclusions of this study allowed HiPER to be included in the European roadmap for future large-scale science facilities. HiPER is now preparing for a three-year project to resolve all the issues in preparation for construction: financial, legal, strategic, technical, etc. On 5-6 June, the Executive Board met for the first time, one member being ITER Deputy Director-General Carlos Alejaldre. Why build HiPER if ITER is already being built, says one of the FAQs on the project's homepage? The project's coordinator, Mike Dunne, from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory gives the answer: "Fusion represents a very attractive energy source for the future in that the fuel supply is almost inexhaustible and there are no carbon emissions or long lived radioactive isotopes produced. ITER represents one route for producing fusion but it is sensible to investigate other options to ensure fusion technology can be fully developed to meet our long-term needs. Multiple routes exist for fossil fuel sources (oil, gas, coal, etc) and renewable sources (wind, wave, solar, etc). Similarly, we must plan for multiple routes for our long-term energy requirements."