To say that Robert Hunter has made enemies in his first year as director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Research is an understatement. In fact, the real question may be just how many friends he still has left. Earlier this month, Congress held a rare three-day hearing on the troubled magnetic fusion program largely to build a case against Hunter and his plans to deemphasize tokamak fusion in favor of more work on a laser-based method known as inertial confinement fusion. After two days of consensus building with a stream of scientists who support building the $700 million Compact Ignition Tokamak at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, the House Science, Space, and Technology investigations subcommittee spent its third day trying to learn from Hunter why he disagreed. “If we build a CIT that does not ignite, we can’t rely on it to lead us in our future...

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