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The most recent nuclear fusion milestone may not be for the benefit of humanity

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In this week’s Gossage Gossip, our columnist discusses the potential motives behind the recent nuclear fusion experiment, and why it may not be for the benefit of humanity. 

In all the euphoria about the potential electricity generation implications of the nuclear fusion experiment in California, there has been little public acknowledgement that this research exercise may not be that much about non-fossil fuel electricity. Rather, it forms a key aspect of the campaign to maintain the current regime of certifying the US (and the UK) nuclear stockpiles WITHOUT underground testing.

Keep in mind two key factors.

This experiment was funded by the NNSA, the National Nuclear Security Administration (which runs the US nuclear weapons design and manufacturing enterprise). Additionally, it was carried out at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the two US nuclear design labs, at a facility which was funded under the “Science-based” Stockpile Stewardship Program of the NNSA.

So, has sustained nuclear fusion ever been achieved before? The obvious answer is, of course, yes. On November 1, 1952, at Enewetak Atoll, when the US detonated the first ‘hydrogen bomb’. This research work is most definitely not all about ‘atoms for peace’.

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