The story is concerned with British research work in controlled thermonuclear reactions - or fusion.?
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THERE IS AN EMBARGO ON THIS STORY UNTIL 1800 HOURS FRIDAY 24th JANUARY
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Background: The story is concerned with British research work in controlled thermonuclear reactions - or fusion. It concerns mainly the apparatus ZETA (Zero energy thermonuclear assembly) at Harwell, with which the latest experiments have been carried out.
Statements are to be issued simultaneously by the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Since 1956 there has been continuing and complete exchange of information between the British Authority and the United States Commission in this field.
Our film was taken in the Thermonuclear Laboratories at Harwell. In this Laboratory is set up the new apparatus known as ZETA. This apparatus is surrounded by ancillary equipment such as Power Plant for High and Low Tension supplies - Control Room - Neutron Laboratory - Birdcage Laboratory containing prototype apparatus - High Speed Photographic Unit for spectrum analysis in the Image Converter Laboratory.
The ZETA torus, the main element, is a ring-shaped aluminium tube with a bore of 1 metre - diameter of 3 metres containing Deuterium (hydrogen isotopes). The torus is partly encircled by the iron core of a pulse transformer. A bank of capacitors are charged in the H.T. plant area and these store 500,000 joules of energy. The capacitors are then discharged into the transformer winding. This ionises the Deuterium in the Torus, which heats the gas. Temperatures reached in this apparatus have been as high as 5 million degrees Centigrade, higher than the measured surface temperatures of any star.
IF IT PROVES ULTIMATELY POSSIBLE TO CONSTRUCT A POWER STATION OPERATING ON THE FUSION OF DEUTERIUM, THE OCEANS OF THE WORLD WILL PROVIDE A VIRTUALLY INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF FUEL.
Many major problems have still to be solved before its practical application can be seriously considered, and the work must be expected to remain in the research stage for many years yet.