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A Discussion on the Merits and Issues surrounding Fusion Technology

In a previous conversation I used Fusion Technology as an example to support an argument I was making. The nature and subject of that debate is immaterial to this topic of discussion. The question I pose is this, what do we need to bring this technology into maturity? A number of drawbacks and technical issues have prevented this so far, and I am curious if anyone else has any thoughts on the matter.

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    Apr 20 2012: We should begin from education for society, especially for young people. In Europe, we talk about ITER-generation, generation of young scientist who will create a technologies for ITER. I think nuclear fusion using inertial confinement has a big future. It's cheaper than magnetic confinement and requires small space in comparison to magnetic confinement.