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Monday, October 1, 2012

Fusion Project Faces a Frugal Congress!

Anonymously contributed: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ spectacularuva job, ed! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/science/fusion-project-faces-a-frugal-congress.html?hpw&_r=0&gwh=18DEA30D10FD779515763916DA842BD7

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Point "Even so, skeptics outside the government have long assailed the laser project, known as the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, as a colossal waste of money. Just operating it, officials concede, costs roughly $290 million a year. Some doubters have ridiculed it as the National Almost Ignition Facility, or NAIF. "

Counter Point
"Contrary to what some people say, this has been a spectacular success,” said Edward Moses, the laser’s director. Even so, he added, “science on schedule is a hard thing to do.”


Point
"On one hand, the laser’s defenders point out, hard science is by definition risky, and no serious progress is possible without occasional failures. On the other, federal science initiatives seldom disappoint on such a gargantuan scale, and the setback comes in an era of tough fiscal choices and skepticism about science among some lawmakers. The laser team will have to produce a report for Congress about what might have gone wrong and how to fix it if given more time. "

Counter Point
"Dr. Albright, the laboratory’s director, insisted that the big laser would still end up being the first on the planet to make a tiny star. The question is when. "


Verdict: Winner NIF by a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Tidbit from the NY Times article:

Dr. Moses, the laser’s director at Livermore, called many of the critics misinformed and defended the project as fundamentally sound. He said that China, France and Russia all have similar laser projects under way that use NIF as a model.

“They’re betting with their pocketbooks to recreate what we’re doing,” he said.


I'm sure many cannot refrain from "completing the sentence"

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to see how Livermore will survive this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Skeptics have a sometimes useful way of looking at the world, one which is more accurate when disappointment looms, less accurate when success is on the horizon. It argues for caution at the expense of risk-taking. Examples of both failure and success abound in daily life, so with selective observation, a skeptic can reinforce his position.

Similar can be said of other points of view. The point-of-view of the author of this piece was that failure to achieve this one goal in the specified time frame, constituted a failure of the whole endeavor.

An objective scientific point-of-view, that is, absent competing for the same funds as Dr. Bodner does, asks the question, with the tools available, where doe we go from here?

That question has been answered in previous plans and will again be asked d answered during future planning. Right now, there are many other DoD programmatic goals as important as the Laser fusion goal. These will form the core of the effort going forward, as target physicists understand the shall we say "not unprecedented" distance between experimental results and the weapons physics models.

The Nevada test site is pock-marked with the evidence that orginal models did not match expectations. I think the total number of large-scale shots numbers something short of 10,000. With many of the first ones complete duds ( and some quite interesting surprizes).

The country has decided to forgo underground testing with a suite of smaller, more environmetally favorable test beds to temporarily replace full-scale UG, NIF is only one of those test beds.

The History of science suggests that there will be some surprizes in the endeavor.

Anonymous said...

Sun Tzu reminds us to make sure sufficient resources are available to conduct a successful campaign prior to the undertaking.

Anonymous said...

October 2, 2012 10:15 AM

Does Ed Moses rate as on of those surprises?

Anonymous said...

Come on Parney, provide some leadership. Yeah right!

Anonymous said...

Come on Parney, provide some leadership. Yeah right!

October 3, 2012 4:25 AM

Parney "came off" as the Livermore "savior" when he took over. He's nothing more than a Washington bureaucrat with wing- tipped shoes. What a disappointment!

Anonymous said...

Counter Point

"Contrary to what some people say, this has been a spectacular success,” said Edward Moses, the laser’s director. Even so, he added, “science on schedule is a hard thing to do.”

October 1, 2012 5:10 PM

What a fu**kin excuse. I am personally getting sick and tired of Moses and Parney (and his predecessors) blaming "science" for their failure to meet their goals. Typical OVERSOLD LLNL product! X-ray lasers, brilliant Pebbles, MFTF, NIF, .......

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