The sun appeared on the horizon, startling the birds sleeping in the trees.
Ten minutes earlier …
The night sky over the southern French countryside was cool and quiet, yet the interior of the ITER control room was anything but. Engineers and scientists jabbered into their headsets in a multilingual cacophony as beads of sweat pooled on the balding heads of their supervisors. Wall clocks changed to midnight in unison. Nine minutes to the first full power up.
ITER is Latin for “the way.” It was also an acronym for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor … the world’s first hydrogen fusion power reactor.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/abd4/ (out of stock)
https://www.etsy.com/listing/176132788/a-day-without-fusion-is-like-a-day (text only)
Which reminds me of a story …
The astronomy professor just completed her lecture on the life cycle of the sun and had commented that the latest theories suggested that the Sun would run out of hydrogen in 2.8 billion years, killing all life on Earth.
A hand frantically waved in the back of the lecture hall.
“Question?” the professor asked.
“How much longer until the sun runs out of hydrogen?”
“Approximately 3 billion years.”
“Oh thank god,” the student uttered in obvious relief. “I thought you said million years.”
Can this be real?
The Skunk Works mind-set and “the pace that people work at here is ridiculously fast,” he says. “We would like to get to a prototype in five generations. If we can meet our plan of doing a design-build-test generation every year, that will put us at about five years, and we’ve already shown we can do that in the lab.”
The early reactors will be designed to generate around 100 MW and fit into transportable units measuring 23 X 43 ft. “That’s the size we are thinking of now. You could put it on a semi-trailer, similar to a small gas turbine, put it on a pad, hook it up and can be running in a few weeks,”
Thomas McGuire, AviationWeek interview (see link below)
Introducing SunPower® X-Series Solar Panels
Unmatched Performance, Reliability and Aesthetics