For tree-huggers and wind-generator lovers, any radioactive waste will be devil's work even if the radioactive fusion by-products have a very low danger potential. Even the possibility of getting abundant energy by fusion technology for centuries to come drives these Caspar Milquetoasts crazy. Why? Making energy like our sun should be a priority even for Eco-Greens who have the sunflower logo as their party embodiment.
The ingenuity of German researchers, engineers, technicians and specialists (technical workers) at Germany's Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics at the Greifswald facility in Mecklenburg-W Pomerania has been of amazing quality for years when the Wendelstein Fusion Experiment was implemented and funded.
Hoards of students and scientists have made their graduations, diplomas and scientific publications with diverse plasma physics' experiments and models there. Software for the more complex Stellarator in comparision to the Tokamak concept has always been "home made".
The "Stellarator-type" electro-magnetic inclusion of a 100 million Kelvin hot plasma has led to a 'weird construction manifold' of the device.
The uphill battle for finalizing the concept is mainly political and a matter of convincing the profit-orientated energy-industrial complex which is mainly currently focussed on coal, natural gas and renewables. One scientist, I spoke with, was quite a bit disappointed about the lack of support and enthusiasm this revolutionizing concept has been causing to the decision-makers of domestic politics and energy-industry, namely EON.
He said, " A lot of people in these sectors would rather see us die with this innovation of energy production."
His bet is that the Chinese will be leaving the Tokamak approach first which is currently in the building phase in France, because it just takes too long for realization - planned for the end of the decade.
Their thinking is understandable. Having the knowledge by participation and the extensive ressources of smart people and abundance of money, they will be able to make their own "Chinese peaceful variant of the Manhattan Project" for solving their long-term energy shortages in relation to their economic expansion policy.
Time is always a key factor. I am convinced that the Chinese are able to get their first working Tokamak facility before the European and American co-partners finalize their project.
The second bunch of Asian nations participating with the urge to get the technology faster than planned are South-Korea and Japan - but do they have the financial ressources like the Chinese have?
Not making it to the end with the more complex version of the Wendelstein Stellarator device would really be a lost opportunity then - let us hope there are still a lot of savvy, scientifically "radiated" politicians and some industry big-brains who have a sense of imagination for this future technology besides renewables which I regard as only complementary.
Photos were supplied by courtesy of Ms. Jasmine Hamurcuoglu, Kiel - taken with her cell phone camera at the IPP Greifswald location.