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National facility takes tips from Mother Nature


Narrator:       
This is Science Today. The National Ignition Facility, or NIF, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the world's largest laser. Jeff Wisoff, principal associate director of NIF says their mission is to generate the same fusion energy that makes the stars shine and powers the sun.

Wisoff:            I personally believe we should take a hint from Mother Nature - Mother Nature powers the stars with fusion energy. It is a limitless supply, it is carbon-free supply of energy and the natural resource is needed to do it or are very abundant on the earth and so it's a natural fit for going forward and sustaining a worldwide economy on fusion energy by harnessing this power. And I believe the NIF will be that enabling milestone in history that will allow us to have that conversation and demonstrate that we can do it here on Earth.

Narrator:        Plans are set for the first ignition experiment to take place in 2010, marking the 50th anniversary of the laser. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.