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Laser Fusion Project Alters Goals, Fueling Concern Over Its Strategy

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Science  06 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6064, pp. 23
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6064.23

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The hopes of fusion researchers worldwide are pinned to the fortunes of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a $3.5 billion laser center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which is trying to show that it is possible to create a self-sustaining fusion reaction that could serve as a source of energy. But a change in its milestones, revealed in an internal NIF document Science has seen, has highlighted the concerns of some in the field that the path NIF researchers have taken may not be the right one.