The Department of Energy posted a video on a lab breakthrough that has occurred at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a DOE-sponsored lab working on fusion energy research. The lab has developed an anti-terrorism device that was a byproduct of fusion research. The device, called Miniature Integrated Nuclear Detection System (MINDS), can be used to detect radiation that may be used in a terrorist device, such as a “dirty bomb.” Since radiation occurs at low-levels in nature as well as in a variety of consumer products, it is often difficult to distinguish between normal occurrences of radiation and those that may present a threat. This development represents the positive spillover effects from investments in scientific research, and in particular, the benefits that could accrue to society from investments in fusion energy. You can watch the video describing the breakthrough below.
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