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[cdn-nucl-l] ITER funding debate continues
In a message dated 12/30/02 11:13:34 PM, email@example.com writes:
The real question is when the rest of the industrialized world sees the advantages and merits of investing in fusion research, why don't we?
Just because everyone else is doing something stupid, that does not mean that I have to join in. My children know that they will never get their requests approved if their main justification to me is "everyone else has one."
Also, why assume that fission and fusion programs have to compete at all? If anything, given the great deal of overlap between research areas (materials response to nuclear particles and high temperatures, thermalhydraulics, nuclear heating and decay, radiation, health, etc.), fission and fusion should compliment each other.
No basic research is necessary in order to produce fission power plants. Perhaps that is what frustrates scientists. They seem to think that actually producing useful products is less interesting than producing papers that no one ever reads in order to qualify them for degrees that allow them to teach other impractical people. Never, ever confuse scientists with engineers or builders!
The stuff that AECL is doing and calling fission research is probably more on the order of paying paper pushers to more carefully polish the regulatory cannonball or to answer questions about the behavior of plants in ever more hypothetical situations.
As for whether or not the systems compete for attention or money, it should be obvious to the most casual observer that allowing fission to do what it already does would remove all incentive for most rational taxpayers to continue to support fusion research. After all, if there is already an essentially unlimited, emissions free, cheap source of power why keep looking? Of course, there are plenty of other interests in the world that see unfettered fission power as extremely threatening to their interests (oil, coal, gas, railroads, pipeline suppliers, tanker builders, emissions control producers, etc.)