American Security Project’s Andrew Holland, Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, was quoted in a recent article by Defense One’s Patrick Tucker.
In the article, “America’s Fusion Race With China is Heating up, so why is Washington Going Cold?“, it commented on the recent advancement of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California that showed fusion viability as a future energy source; but this achievement does not guarantee U.S. dominance in fusion research.
“The Chinese are training 2,000 scientists to take advantage of the gains in international research [into fusion],” Andrew Holland of the American Security Project said. “Similar things are happening in Russia and South Korea. The U.S. is very much in danger of being left behind.”
Holland rejects the argument that U.S. dominance in inertial (laser) fusion means that we can abandon research into the magnetic kind. The science is too young. “We can’t afford not to walk and chew gum at the same time. The size of the global energy market shows that there’s room for both types of reactors.”
But the U.S. is also in danger of losing its lead in laser-based fusion, too. This week’s big success aside, NIF in recent years is considered a facility under constant threat of budget cuts, especially after the formal program to which the ignition goal was attached — the National Ignition Campaign — expired in 2012. NIF failed to demonstrate fusion soon enough for lawmakers.
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