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December 06, 1977 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-12-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

F

CASH
Your Discontinued Textbooks
are worth real money!
If sold to Ulrich's WITH your currently good ones
YOUR BEST DEAL-FIGURE IT OUT

Page 12-Tuesday, December 6, 1977-The Michigan Daily
Laserfusion:Safe
nuclear power source?

Ulrich's

sells your

discontinued books

to over 600

By MARTHA RETALLICK
With the help of a forthcoming fed-
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college bookstores. This way we get the highest pos-
sible prices for YOU.

eral grant, a local firm can step up
research on a nuclear energy source
said to be' far more safe and
abundant than current sources.
Since 1971, KMS Fusion, Inc. of
Ann Arbor, has been developing a
technique called "laser fusion"
Which uses laser beams to generate
nuclear energy from hydrogen.
LAST MONTH, President Carter
signed a $116.2 million Energy Re-
search and Development Adminis-
tration (ERDA) appropriation for
civilian and military research on
laser fusion. But ERDA is now being
combined with the Federal Energy
Administration (FEA) and several
divisions within the Departments of
Labor and the Interior to form the
new Department of Energy.
KMS will get its $7 million research
grant from the Department of Ener-
gy once that department is formed.

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The laser fusion process, KMS
president Henry Gomberg explained,
uses a laser beam to fuse hydrogen
nuclei together. The resulting heat
can be used to boil water for steam
turbines in electrical generating
plants.
LASER fusion can also be used to
split molecules to form new prod-
ucts. Some interesting possibilities
are chemical fuels - like a synthetic
gas to replace natural gas or a
synthetic liquid fuel which could
replace gasoline.
Gomberg says laser fusion also has
great promise as an additional tool in
cancer treatment. Current radiation
therapy uses X-rays or gamma rays
to keep tumors from spreading.
However, current radiation ther-
apies suffer from serious disadvan-
tages, one being a tendency to kill
noncancerous as well as cancerous
tissue. Laser fusion technology could
be used to develop a safer form of
radiation for cancer treatment, he
said.
LASER fusion does not produce
any radioactive wastes like other
forms of nuclear energy, said Gom-
berg. Tritium, a form of hydrogen
generated in fusion, is radioactive -
but far less dangerous than other
nuclear byproducts such as pluton-
ium.
A big advantage that laser fusion
has over other types of nuclear
energy is that its raw material,
hydrogen, is inexhaustible. When
water molecules are broken up, they
produce the hydrogen necessary for
fusion. Then, once fusion has taken
place, the hydrogen can be burned
back into water again.
"What we have here is almost pure
energy," Gomberg said.
If laser fusion does prove to be a
viable source of energy, American
industry will have the "safe, reliable
and inexhaustible" energy source it
needs, he said.
"If we're right, we've also created
a whole new industry."
S. Africa
creates a
new black,
'homeland'
M M A B A T H 0, Bophuthatswa-
na (AP) - With a 101-gun salute, the
raising of a leopard head flag and the
lighting of an independence flame
South Africa created a second black
homeland state at midnight yester-
day.
A part of South Africa's system of
racial segregation, the new state of
Bophuthatswana received no recog-
nition beyond that of South Africa
and of its sister state, Transkei. Since
it was carved out of South African
territory to be a home state for
blacks a year ago, Transkei has been
recognized as independent only by
Johannesburg and ridiculed abroad
as a puppet state unworthy of
independent status.
DESPITE THE foreign view, thou-
sands of Tswanas gathered on the
dusty plains surrounding Mmabatho
to witness Bophuthatswana's inde-
pendence ceremonies. A tent city for
12,000 was hastily erected for the
busloads coming to town from the
rural countryside.
Even Botswana, the former British
protectorate which is Bophuthat-
swana's closest neighbor, has said it
will not recognize an independent
Bophuthatswana, although the two
territories share a common origin,
language and culture.

No foreign government representa-
tives are, expected at the three-day
,celebrations in Mmabatho, Bophu-
thatswana's capital, other than South
Africa's President Nicolaas Dieder-
ichs, Foreign Minister R. F. Botha
and Transkei's chief minister, Chief
Kaiser Matanzima.

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