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September 21 2012

Fusion Power Advances in Magnetic Crushing Test


A crushed tube the size of a thread spool has brought the United States one step closer to harnessing nuclear fusion as a clean, almost limitless power source.

The experiment at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico tested how well a tiny cylinder could withstand the crushing magnetic force from the lab's "Z machine" a pulsed-power accelerator that zapped the cylinder with 25 million amperes of electric current. The "liner" cylinder collapsed on itself, as would be expected, but remained intact enough to theoretically squeeze together deuterium or tritium fuel, triggering nuclear fusion.

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