Fusion vs Breeder Reactor:
The fusion reactor holy grail is only 60 years old; yet it's prospective commercial value is every bit as obscure as DaVinci himself could have intended in his art. As reported in the London Observer last month:-- Stemming from the G8 summit "will be a much-awaited decision - the winner of the race to build the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (Iter)",..."The pounds 3 billion project is intended to pool the world's best scientific resources to prove once and for all that electricity can be produced by nuclear fusion"..."Leading scientists, including the government's chief scientific adviser, David King, believe that within 30 or 40 years Iter could unlock a carbon-free energy future. If successful,it will deliver what could be the world's most important energy source over the next millennium...". [Credit for the image to Aaron Gage, who's work may be found via this link.]
"Nuclear fusion works by heating a large volume of gas, containing deuterium, found in sea water, and tritium, derived from lithium, to 100 million degrees centigrade, 10 times the temperature of the sun. This causes the atoms to collide and fuse, releasing enormous amounts of energy and leaving only helium as waste. King says that the 'the lithium from one laptop battery and deuterium from a bath of water would generate enough energy to cover the needs of a UK citizen for seven years".
Elsewhere in the article:-- "....there is a danger it [fusion reactor technology] could be overtaken by a new generation of breeder reactors the Russians have been developing that use uranium 60 times more efficiently than thermonuclear reactors - though with 100 times the plutonium".
TreeHuggers don't have much to add to a 40-year long cold war over which new nuclear technology is best. But, while the 50/50 odds play out, we have some unrelated ideas we'll be working on without government help. And. along the way, TreeHuggers would be delighted to see the energy bills and the carbon emissions stemming from the Fusion engineers' globe-trotting, construction, and operation of the various prototypes. Send us the data and we'll try to do the posting for you, 'cause we know things will be very busy.