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Russian scientists dismiss US company's statement on thermonuclear fusion breakthrough

October 16, 2014, 18:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The company claims that in the next decade it will present a commercial sample of a compact thermonuclear reactor
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Lockheed Martin plant in Arizona

Lockheed Martin plant in Arizona

© AP Photo/Matt York

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Russian physicists dismissed as a promotional action on Thursday the statement by the US company Lockheed Martin about its technological breakthrough in the thermonuclear fusion field.

Skunk Works (a subsidiary of the Lockheed Martinweapons producer) on Wednesday reported a breakthrough in the field of practical use of controlled thermonuclear fusion. The company claims that in the next decade it would present a commercial sample of a compact thermonuclear reactor.

President of the National Research Center Kurchatov Institute, Academician Yevgeny Velikhov told TASS in an interview that first it was necessary to develop such a project and present it. He added he knew nothing about this kind of research by the company.

“I don’t know anything about this, I think it’s fantasy. I know nothing of Lockheed Martin’s projects in this sphere,” he said. “Let them state what they please. If they worked it out, they should show.”

Skunk Works has promised that the new reactor will be 90% smaller in size than similar units. The developers claim it will be possible to place their unit in an ordinary truck. The reactor’s thermal output will be equivalent to 100 megawatts, they say. The first trial sample of the unit is to appear in a year.

According to head of the ITER Russia office, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Anatoly Krasilnikov, the statements by the American corporation is “a promotional action” that has nothing to do with science. According to Krasilnikov, Lockheed Martin is not disclosing the details of its discovery, fearing that the professional community will at once expose it.

Krasilnikov said Russia also develops a pilot thermonuclear reactor project. According to previous reports, its construction may begin no earlier than 2030.

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