Michel Laberge, plasma physicist and founder and Chief Scientist of company General Fusion, describes how his company is working to change our energy sources from fossil fuels to nuclear power (I wrote about General Fusion in a Dec. 2, 2011 posting).
He and his company are currently involved in a large international collaboration, ITER (China. European Union, India, Korea, Russia, and USA as per the website tagline) in the south of France. From the ITER project page (images not included),
ITER is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate that it is possible to produce commercial energy from fusion.
The Q in the formula on the right symbolizes the ratio of fusion power to input power. Q ≥ 10 represents the scientific goal of the ITER project: to deliver ten times the power it consumes. From 50 MW of input power, the ITER machine is designed to produce 500 MW of fusion power—the first of all fusion experiments to produce net energy.
During its operational lifetime, ITER will test key technologies necessary for the next step: the demonstration fusion power plant that will prove that it is possible to capture fusion energy for commercial use.
The science going on at ITER—and all around the world in support of ITER—will benefit all of mankind.
We firmly believe that to harness fusion energy is the only way to reconcile huge conflicting demands which will confront humanity sooner or later.
The issue at stake is how to reconcile the imperative, constantly growing demand of the majority of the world’s population to raise their standard of living … with the enormous environmental hazards resulting from the present energy supply …
… In our opinion, the use of fusion energy is a “must” if we want to be serious about embarking on sustainable development for future generations.
Laberge is speaking very quickly and since I’m not at all familiar with his area of expertise all I can say is he’s clearly very excited about his work and its potential to shift how we produce energy. He provides more than one technical explanation and I look forward to viewing his presentation again when it’s made public.
As for other speakers in this session. they were very interesting but as I noted yesterday I am am trying to focus on speakers whose topics have been covered here in one fashion or another.