ABC report "Lasers could create clean nuclear energy", 6/04/2010, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/06/2865472.htm?section=justin
The following is the first section of the report:
An Australian-led team of scientists may have found a way of creating a cheap and abundant source of clean energy through nuclear fusion.
The process could generate no radioactivity and produce little pollution.
The scientists have used computer models to simulate nuclear fusion without the extreme temperatures currently needed for other fusion methods.
Emeritus Professor Heinrich Hora, of the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of New South Wales, is leading the research effort, and says the process relies on a new generation of extremely powerful and very fast lasers being developed.
"The key is a very carefully controlled extremely short laser pulse essential for ignition. The pulse would ignite a fuel made of ordinary hydrogen and boron-11," Professor Hora said.
"The idea of a hydrogen and boron fusion reaction is interesting because it wouldn't cause neutron production. Neutrons are a problem because they generate radioactivity."
The team's findings appear in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
Professor Hora says his team was originally developing computer models using next generation lasers to duplicate the work being done at the new $4.34 billion National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States.
The US scientists are developing what is currently the world's largest laser to ignite highly compressed spheres of deuterium-tritium fuel in a nuclear fusion reaction.
The second section starts with the following:
Fast and furious
The laser can produce a pulse of a few billionths of a second duration which produces 500 times more power than all US power stations combined.
If that is true and confirmed, then it will be good for human bings in terms of energy and dealing with climate change.