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£2.2 billion Superlab Where Scientists are Creating a Miniature Star on Earth

The following construction may look like any other average building, but its door could hide the answer to safe renewable energy of the future.

Scientists at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore California are working on building the world’s first sustainable fusion reactor by creating a miniature star on Earth.

This is a £2.2 billion project and the officials at NIF estimate that a prototype power station version of the fusion reactor could be functional by 2020 and that by 2050 the fusion power will supply almost a quarter of the United States energy.

NIF is housed in a ten-storey building the size of three national fields, and inside its 130-ton target chamber the neutrons are fired by the 192 lasers and stimulate the fusion reaction. The temperatures inside the chamber will reach more than 100 million degrees and will produce pressures more than 100 billion times Earth’s atmospheric pressure.

The fusion power is safe and relatively green and there is no chance for it to produce accidents such as the 1985 Chernobyl disaster created by the fission power, which is utilized at nuclear power stations.


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