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The Quest for a Fusion Energy Reactor: An Insider's Account of the INTOR Workshop [Hardcover]

Weston M. Stacey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 26, 2010 0199733848 978-0199733842
At the Geneva Superpower Summit in November 1985, Secretary of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Regan agreed to pursue an international effort to develop fusion energy for peaceful purposes. At a time when tension between these cold war nations was very high, how were these leaders able to come together to work towards making nuclear fusion a feasible energy source?

The Quest for a Fusion Energy Reactor is the story of the INTOR Workshop (INternational TOkamak Reactor) which brought together scientists and engineers from Europe, Japan, the United States, and the (then) USSR from 1978 to 1988 to share their individual research and work cooperatively on the design and development possibilities for harnessing nuclear energy. Drawing on his insights while serving as Vice Chairman of the INTOR Workshop, Weston Stacey offers an insider's account of both the participants' technical work and their fascinating political interactions under the blanket of the cold war. An accessible presentation of their research on the viability of designing, constructing, and operating a Tokamak experimental power reactor is combined with personal anecdotes of the obstacles Workshop leaders and participants faced as they strove to make progress on the global future of nuclear fusion technology while balancing their own countries' priorities. The Workshop led to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), construction of which began in 2009 with the goal of demonstrating the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power.

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The Quest for a Fusion Energy Reactor: An Insider's Account of the INTOR Workshop + Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking + A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy
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Editorial Reviews


"...highly recommend this book to all those involved in fusion research, administration, and policy. It is well written, in an engaging style, while also being unusually candid and thorough. Well-done and thanks, Bill Stacey." -- 21st Century Science & Technology

About the Author

Weston M. Stacey is a plasma physicist and nuclear engineer with more than 40 years of teaching and research experience in nuclear reactor and fusion research. He currently holds the position of Callaway Regents' Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199733848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199733842
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Weston M. Stacey is a research physicist, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Georgia Tech, and author of leading textbooks on nuclear fusion and nuclear reactor physics. From 1979-88 he led the IAEA INTOR Workshop (documented in his history "The Quest for a Fusion Energy Reactor") which led to the ITER project in which Europe, Japan, the USA, Russia, China, S. Korea and India are collaborating to build the first experimental fusion power reactor (to operate in the 2020s). He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and of the American Physical Society. The history of his family, who were among the early settlers of Georgia, and of his own rise from a childhood of hunting and fishing in rural south Georgia to become an internationally recognized applied nuclear physicist, is documented in his memoir "From Midway Church to Nuclear Fusion".

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book June 22, 2011
For those concerned about our energy sources in the years to come, this book is an important read. Written so most people can understand, the book recounts complex efforts of representatives of diverse nations over a period of 20 or so years in bringing about the reality of a Fusion Energy Reactor. When fusion energy is a way of life in the years ahead, this book will be a classic, in my opinion. The international makeup of the members of INTOR overcame practical and political problems to reach a successful solution in the development of a reactor. As our fossil fuels deplete over the next 30 years or so, fusion energy may be man's salvation for civilized living. Then, if not before, this book will be greatly valued as a historic account of the successful venture.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a journey June 28, 2011
This book is a story of patence, perseverance and achievement in an international scientific venture. Can be enjoyed by all who have an interest in science.
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