Fusion Controversy To Get Review

Dissident physicist R Leonardo Mascheroni, who made headlines last year when he attacked the fusion research program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, may finally get the technical review, he has demanded. The National Academy of Sciences has agreed to conduct a study for the Department of Energy on inertial confinement fusion programs, with a report due by September 1990. NAS officials say that the as-yet-unnamed panel will likely ask Mascheroni, who has remained unemployed since Los Alamos fired him in 1987, to present his view that the lab’s fusion program is based on lasers that are nearly 10 times too weak. Mascheroni believes that lasers generating at least 100 megajoules of power are necessary to drive a sustained fusion reaction, and he claims that he was dismissed by Los Alamos for objecting to a decision to focus exclusively on the smaller lasers. His case...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!