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The Frauds, Criminals, Megalomaniacs, and Human Rights Activists that Almost Solved Nuclear Fusion

While nuclear fusion cannot yet produce a reliable source of power, it seems to always generate substantial amounts of drama.

Ivy MIKE Thermonuclear Test

Defense behemoth Lockheed Martin swept the science world last week with their announcement of a new concept for the Holy Grail of energy technologies, a nuclear fusion reactor. Over the last 70 years, many have tried and failed to capture the wild potential of fusion, the process behind the barely-fathomable power of a burning star, but a number of prominent disappointments have created an open skepticism in the scientific community regarding the future of the field. Now Lockheed claims its breakthrough will produce an operational reactor 10 times as efficient as current nuclear plants in the next decade. In the company’s promotional video unveiling their ongoing research, after a dubstep intro, project leader Tom McGuire brags: “We can achieve that grand vision and bring clean power to the world. The true atomic age can start.”

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