This achievement has been described as "amazing" and "the biggest breakthrough in energy generation in decades". It seems to indicate that no scientific hurdle stands in the way of nuclear fusion. Just 5-7 years of engineering and configuring about 60 next generation linear transformer drivers. Then refining the system for commercial use starting in 20 years or less. All the pieces are now ready and proven, we just need to put them together for commercial nuclear fusion.
As regular readers of The Kitchen will know, your humble Devil is a firm believer that technology will save us from any global catastrophe that may or may not be threatened. As it happens, I don't believe in the apocalytic vision that is being painted by the global warming scientists, but I do think that we should work to stop burning hydrocarbons—for both supply and political reasons.
Apart from anything else, the effect of our not needing to buy massive oil supplies will be a severe depletion of the influence of the Middle East. And, as I discussed some time ago in a Wanabehuman article, hopefully that will lead to a serious amount of liberalisation in that benighted area. And, coincidentally, easing the problem of the funding of radical Islam.
So, frankly, the day that we crack viable fusion power—the Holy Grail of power generation—the better.
Of course, another thing that is worth noticing is that none of the really exciting, radical breakthroughs are happening because of the EU. The zinc oxide power stations are tested in Israel and funded and researched by Swiss companies; the Fusor breakthrough in December was funded by the US government and this latest breakthrough has happened as a result of a collaboration between Russia and the US based Sandia Institute.
So, what price the EU's Lisbon Agenda?