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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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Small Spark at National Ignition Facility
11 January 2000 5:00 pm
Managers of the half-built, overbudget National Ignition Facility (NIF) at last have something to smile about. An independent panel appointed to get the laser fusion project "back on track" (Science, 10 September 1999, p. 1647) released an interim report this week that gives a qualified thumbs-up to the facility, being assembled at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
The panel did find that the $1.2 billion project has "significant" managerial shortcomings, including inadequate oversight and a shortage of funds for unforeseen problems. However, says chair John McTague, a former vice president with Ford, "the panel has not uncovered any mechanical or technical obstacles that would prevent completion of NIF."
Some observers are less sanguine. The panel has underestimated the engineering challenge of getting a pellet of hydrogen to fuse and release scads of energy, argues the Natural Resources Defense Council's Chris Paine. Besides, he contends, "the report has very little credibility, because it is making an open endorsement for a system of potentially infinite cost."