"a $12 billion nuclear reactor that mimics the sun to produce electricity" ? I sure hope not -- trying to fuse protons likely wouldn't give us even a few kilowatt-hours in a million years of operation. But it would certainly mimic the sun's great age :-) (now if we were to mimic thermonuclear bombs, using deuterium and tritium, we might have something !) "ITER would use strong magnetic fields to squeeze ionized hydrogen gas to reach temperatures of 100 million C, the same as on the sun." Really ? ....that's news to me -- and an awful lot hotter than the sun's interior, at about 15 million C. Even Wolf-Ryet stars don't have a surface that hot -- maybe supernovae ? Jaro ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Artic le_Type1&c=Article&cid=1064873412342&call_pageid=970599119419 Sep. 30, 2003. 01:00 AM Election delays Ottawa decision on reactor PETER CALAMAI SCIENCE REPORTER OTTAWA-The federal cabinet is waiting until after Thursday's provincial election to decide whether to support Ontario's bid for a $12 billion nuclear reactor that mimics the sun to produce electricity. The Eves government has been pressing Ottawa to match its own pledge of $1.15 billion toward the construction and operation in Ontario of an International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), an experimental nuclear fusion reactor planned by the world's major industrialized nations. As well, Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty has promised to support the project by matching any federal financial contribution. But the federal cabinet won't consider the ITER proposal until its regular meeting next Tuesday at the earliest to avoid any suggestion of trying to influence the provincial election, say sources close to the deal. That timing would leave Canada's bid team with just one day's preparation before a crucial Oct. 9 session of the ITER negotiating committee in Vienna. "It's tight and we have to have a decision by then. The committee members are already ranking the sites competing against us," said Murray Stewart, president of the ITER Canada host team. Canada's ITER site is at the Darlington nuclear power station in Clarington. Competing sites are being offered by Japan, France and Spain. ITER partners include the U.S., Russia, Japan, China, the European Union and Canada. "Time is of the essence," agreed Toronto MP Art Eggleton (York Centre), head of the GTA Liberal caucus. Liberal MPs from the GTA and Ontario caucuses have been urging the cabinet to sweeten the Canadian bid with $2.3 billion backing to be split between Ottawa and the province. Eggleton said the real cost amounts to $30 million for each government annually over the 30-year life of the ITER project to "put Canada on the leading edge of fusion research." The industry-led team that made the initial ITER bid two years ago said then that no federal cash was needed because of the natural advantages of the Darlington site; electricity from the nuclear power station, tritium fuel as a byproduct from Candu reactors and a nearby source of concrete to construct the 13-storey ITER structure. But competing bids from Japan and Europe upped the stakes and the Darlington site now has no chance without $2.3 billion in government backing. The ITER team originally hoped to get federal funds in June. But the proposal ran into serious objections because Ottawa scrapped support for fusion research during federal cost-cutting in the late 1990s. "There has been some natural reluctance to get back into it," Eggleton said. Fusion energy rests on the same atomic reaction that produces the sun's heat and light by naturally fusing forms of hydrogen to produce helium. [not quite -- proton fusion involves the weak nuclear force, heavy hydrogen fusion involves the strong nuclear force, with vastly different reaction rates - Jaro] ITER would use strong magnetic fields to squeeze ionized hydrogen gas to reach temperatures of 100 million C, the same as on the sun. ITER got a boost last week when U.S. experts said it was the most promising and mature design for what physicists call a burning plasma experiment. But scientists are also pursuing two other techniques for nuclear fusion and no approach is expected to produce usable amounts of electricity for up to 40 to 50 years.