Dennis Whyte MIT
MIT professor of nuclear science and engineering Dennis Whyte, pictured here, helped lead a tour of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He believes that a power plant able to produce electricity with fusion could be built in 10 to 15 years with an annual research budget of $20 billion, but the machine would probably not be reliable or economic, he said. The prevailing view is that nuclear fusion needs to be pursued for decades before a practical energy-producing system can be made.
Behind him are incredibly close-up images, or micrographs, of the surface of materials from inside a nuclear fusion reactor. With so much heat and electromagnetic energy, materials get melted and damaged, even tungsten which has the highest melting point.
June 29, 2011 8:42 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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