Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What's French for nuclear fusion?

An interesting story in the Times: "France won an international competition today to be the site of the world's first nuclear fusion reactor, an estimated $12 billion project that many scientists see as essential to solving the world's future energy needs."

It's not so much that France won the competition that matters -- however galling (De Gaulling?) that may be to those of us with Francosceptic inclinations -- but rather the fact that the six members of the international consortium (U.S., Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and the E.U.) have finally put aside their differences (and their bickering) to launch what could turn out to be a revolutionary development in energy generation -- and a long-term solution to many of the world's most pressing problems. It may take several decades for nuclear fusion to achieve anything in the way of commercial success, but it certainly makes sense for the international community to cooperate with an eye to that future.

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