Is it possible that the mythical power of cold fusion could be the source of carbon-free energy we’ve always dreamed of? Today, France was selected for the ITER site, an experimental fusion reactor. This is one step short of a real deal, dubbed the DEMO, but since the EU is paying half the bill, and since France already has more nuclear reactors than mostly anybody else out there, perhaps this will give rise to new interest in fusion. Nature, reporting here. The BBC reports as well, while sporting a fun, interactive fusion graphic slideshow.
Environmentalists, as often is the case when being cited in articles, appear as luddite pariahs. Ironically, this could be the very best thing to happen to climate change environmentalism. It doesn’t hurt to have precautions, but it does hurt your reputation if that’s all you can offer. Here, they are worried about an earthquake faultline residing under the proposed location for this facility.
Greenpeace offers its fireback, saying that the astronomical expense could purchase 10,000 megawatts windfarms. The unprofessionalism really comes out in this quote:
“Governments should not waste our money on a dangerous toy which will never deliver any useful energy. Instead, they should invest in renewable energy which is abundantly available, not in 2080 but today.”
Jan Vande Putte, quoted by BBC
My intuition tells me that environmentalists are not well received in the scientific community, though this insight comes largely from what media tribulations I’ve come across.