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Submission + - Nuclear Fusion Energy Research Inches Closer To Elusive Break-Even Point (huffingtonpost.com)

mdsolar writes: "Fusion energy has proven an elusive goal — a running joke is that humanity is 20 years away from a practical power plant, and has been for 60 years.

That could be changing, said John Edwards, associate director for inertial confinement fusion and high-energy-density science of the National Ignition Facility.

In a recent piece published in the journal Physics of Plasmas, Edwards said NIF scientists are getting closer to reactions that produce more energy than they need to get going, and added that the obstacles to realizing nuclear fusion involve engineering problems rather than basic physics."

Japan

Submission + - Sensors pick up North Korean radioactivity (nature.com)

gbrumfiel writes: "A global network of sensors has picked up faint traces of radioactive gas that probably seeped from last week's underground nuclear test by North Korea. The detection of xenon-133 in Japan and Russia provide further evidence of the nuclear nature of the test, but offer no hint as to the type of weapon used. Atmospheric modelling by the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna shows that the gas likely seeped from North Korea's test site on 15 February, three days after the original test. That indicates that the test was well sealed deep underground."

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