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Fusion tests set at new Livermore facility - Goal is limitless supply of clean electrical energy with no carbon waste.

May 30, 2009View for printing

If the coming years of experiments, which start next year, are successful, a truly limitless supply of clean electrical energy with no carbon waste would be created using the limitless hydrogen fuel in the world's oceans.

Outside a concrete slab of a building 10 stories high that holds the most powerful array of lasers and high-precision optics ever assembled, the scientists, engineers and workers who created the massive structure at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory celebrated its dedication Friday.

It's purpose is to focus the immense energy in an array of 120 laser beams onto a tiny glass target the size of a BB shot, which is filled with hydrogen. This is all done under immensely high pressure to make the target heat like the fiery interior of a star at a 180 million degrees Fahrenheit.

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

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