The proposed European High Power Laser Energy Research (Hiper) facility — a device intended to demonstrate the feasibility of laser-driven fusion as an energy source — is entering the preparation phase after completion of a two-year study by an international team of scientists.
Fusion energy is an attractive, environmentally clean power source using sea water as its principalÂ source of fuel. No greenhouse gases and long-lived radioactive wasteÂ are produced. Demonstration of the scientific proof of principle is expected between 2010 and 2012 as part of an ongoing international program. What is now needed is to move from the scientific proof of principle stage to a commercial reactor. HiPER provides the critical next step along this route.