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So you spent 17 years and $5 billion to build a fusion experiment. You built a facility wider than the length of three football fields. You built a 400-foot-long laser with more than 33,000 optical parts; it is currently the highest energy laser in the world. You've been through more budget overruns and management problems than you'd care to admit.Now, you finally turn the thing on at full power and carry out your experiment. And it fails monumentally. Now what?This is the dilemma facing the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Built with the promise of providing ignition -- creating fusion energy greater than the energy needed to release it -- NIF fell 28,000 times short of its goal. No one knows how to fix it. So NIF has now been finding other things to occupy its time.
Spent fuel isn't much of a scientific problem as it is concentrated and concentrateable:
Most used fuel from nuclear power plants is stored in steel-lined concrete pools filled with water, or in airtight steel or concrete-and-steel containers.
Used nuclear fuel is in storage at the nation’s nuclear energy facilities. Most plants store used fuel in steel-lined, concrete pools filled with water, which acts as a natural barrier for radiation. The water also keeps the fuel cool while radiation decays. The water itself does not leave the used fuel pool.
The water itself does not leave the used fuel pool.
Quote from: alancalverdSpent fuel isn't much of a scientific problem as it is concentrated and concentrateable:That's not what they do with it though. See http://www.nei.org/Issues-Policy/Nuclear-Waste-Management
What I don't get is why not fusion other than the notion "it works, don't fix it" which in this case I don't think that motto applies. All the problems with storage are nowhere as severe as they are with fusion waste. The products of fusion is helium as you know. Fill children's balloons with it, as they say.