Thursday, March 20, 2014
Raffi Khatchadourian: Can an Audacious Plan to Create a New Energy Resource Help Save the Planet? : The New Yorker
For the machine’s creators, this process—sparking and controlling a self-sustaining synthetic star—will be the culmination of decades of preparation, billions of dollars’ worth of investment, and immeasurable ingenuity, misdirection, recalibration, infighting, heartache, and ridicule. Few engineering feats can compare, in scale, in technical complexity, in ambition or hubris. Even the ITER organization, a makeshift scientific United Nations, assembled eight years ago to construct the machine, is unprecedented. Thirty-five countries, representing more than half the world’s population, are invested in the project, which is so complex to finance that it requires its own currency: the ITER Unit of Account.
Well, it's a cool idea (h/t Ravel -- google it!). They're trying to do the same thing (more or less) at Lawrence Livermore, but this has that je ne sais quoi Frenchy thing goin' on.