Saturday September 13, 2014

The Next Big Thing: Fusion power and ITER

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ITER under construction in France

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Our series on Big Science begins with a look at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER.

Over the course of this season, we'll be taking a look at some of the biggest projects in science, and the unique challenges and struggles they face, with a series we're calling "The Next Big Thing."  This week, we're looking at ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, currently under construction in France. According to Dr. Stewart Prager, the Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the US government's leading fusion research facility, ITER is meant to prove the practicality of generating electricity using nuclear fusion, which has the potential to produce clean, safe, and plentiful energy.  ITER is the largest and most expensive experiment in history, but early in the project, it is a decade behind schedule and many billions of dollars over budget.  Quirks producer Jim Lebans explains why.

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