News of the WeekFUSION SCIENCE

Report Calls for Improvements At Livermore's Giant Laser

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Science  16 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5976, pp. 293
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5976.293-a

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Will the world's biggest laser—designed to simulate the nuclear fusion that occurs in stars and thermonuclear weapons—ever work as advertised? A new U.S. government audit of the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California says the $4 billion behemoth faces "scientific and technical challenges and management weaknesses." But scientists associated with the project believe that the machine will do great science if Congress gives it a chance to flex its muscles.