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Submission + - Has the time for nuclear fusion finally arrived? ( 1

another random user writes: Harnessing nuclear fusion to create cheap, safe and sustainable energy used to be a futuristic joke. But its day is almost upon us

A fusion reactor called Iter is currently under construction in France and is due to start operation in 2020. Its principal goal is to determine the viability of fusion at the scale of a power station. Success is widely anticipated and there are already plans afoot to build a "demonstration power plant" to start operating in the 2030s.

The construction phase of Iter is projected to cost €13bn ($17bn), a sum that is dwarfed by the annual subsidy to the fossil fuel industry, which the International Energy Agency estimated to be at least $400bn in 2010 alone. Moreover, the cost is shared between the seven Iter members (the European Union, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US) and amounts to a UK contribution of a mere few tens of millions each year. The stakes are surely too high to quibble about funding at this level.

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Has the time for nuclear fusion finally arrived?

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  • The Polywell [] guys estimate they could see net energy production by 2020 as well. Despite the promise of their research, it sounds like funding has been a struggle for them. Whoever reaches it first, it'll change the game for the entire world. I hope they hit their estimates, because I'd love to watch those changes take place.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead