EU to build $700M Euro lasers to zap nuclear waste and cure cancer..can it cure world hunger to?
The EU is to spend €700 million to build the world’s most powerful lasers, in Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The technology may be used to destroy nuclear waste and provide new cancer treatments.
The lasers are ten times more powerful than any yet built, and will be strong enough to create subatomic particles in a vacuum, similar to the conditions that may have followed the start of the universe.
Scientists are hopeful that the lasers could be used to deteriorate the radioactivity of nuclear waste – some of which takes thousands of years to decay – in just a few seconds; they also hope to use them to target tumors.
Experimentation with such a powerful laser could significantly expand knowledge in nanoscience and molecular biology.
Called the Extreme Light Infrastructure project, two lasers will be built in the Czech Republic and Romania, with a third in Hungary, each specializing in a different area of research. The project will culminate in the development of a new fourth laser in a yet-undecided location, which is expected to have twice the power of the initial three.
The project’s Romanian coordinator, Nicolae-Victor Zamfir, told Bloomberg in an interview, “We can’t find in nature any phenomenon with such an intense power like the one that will be generated with this laser.”
The laser will allow scientists to practice “a new sort of nuclear physics,” he explained.
The Romanian laser, The Extreme Light Infrastructure Nuclear Physics Facility (ELI-NP), will be located in the Magurele research center and will consume about 10 megawatts of energy, enough to supply about 2,500 US households. The power will come from geothermal pumps installed on the site. The laser is expected to become operational in 2017.
The light beam technology could be used to reduce the amount of time it takes for atomic waste to lose its radioactivity from thousands of years to a few seconds. This would remove the need to build underground stores to keep the waste safe for centuries.
Zamfir said that although there has been interest from computer companies in the project, there has been no contact yet with the nuclear industry.
“We haven’t advertised the project properly yet”, Zamfir explained, adding that funding has only just been given the green light by the EU.
“will be strong enough to create subatomic particles in a vacuum, similar to the conditions that may have followed the start of the universe”
how do you know how the universe started???