Oct. 8, 2012 – Article by New York Times, Photos by Steven B. Krivit –
The world’s most energetic laser has failed to meet its latest deadline for achieving ignition, the New York Times reports.
After spending more than $5 billion to build and operate a giant laser installation the size of a football stadium, the Energy Department has not achieved its goal of igniting a fusion reaction that could produce energy to generate power or simulate what happens in a nuclear weapon.
The latest deadline for achieving ignition was last Sunday, Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2012, but it passed amid mounting concerns that the technical challenges were too great to be mastered on a tight time schedule.
Congress will need to look hard at whether the project should be continued, or scrapped or slowed to help reduce federal spending.
Here are some photos I shot of NIF during a tour last year. Click each one to see larger versions.
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