Fusion is done by our sun really, really well and for free. Here on Earth in reactors … not so much. And so the famous saying, “fusion energy is fifty years away — and always will be.”
I have never been a big fan of earth-bound fusion, in part because I was an M.I.T. undergrad in October 1983 when Prof. Lawrence Lidsky published his famous critique, “The Trouble With Fusion,” in the MIT-edited magazine, Technology Review, with that unforgettable cover quoting his devastating conclusion.
What made the critique doubly devastating was that Lidsky was then associate director of the Plasma Fusion Center and editor of the Journal of Fusion Energy! More on Lidsky at the end.
Things haven’t changed much in three decades. Technology Review reported earlier this year, “researchers still say practical fusion power plants remain decades away.”
The New York Times editorialized Sunday on the latest fusion failure, “A Big Laser Runs Into Trouble“:
After spending more than $5 billion to build and operate a giant laser installation the size of a football stadium, the Energy Department has ...