Chapter 524: Kick Them Out
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Interestingly enough, while Lu Zhou was relaxing and drinking coffee while watching a video of Perry talking to reporters, across the Pacific Ocean, in the United States Department of Energy office, Perry was looking at a photo of Lu Zhou.
However, Perry wasnt as relaxed as him
Two weeks ago, the Jinling controllable fusion research institute made a breakthrough in plasma confinement time. This shook the entire plasma physics community.
Over the past two weeks, Perry had received at least 30 written letters regarding this matter.
Some were from the National Academy of Sciences, others were from the PPPL at Princeton.
In particular, the letter from the National Academy of Sciences contained a signature of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and former Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
Not only did this letter portray the importance of controllable nuclear fusion energy, but there was also one central idea, which was money.
Also, there were letters from the CIA, but they didnt contain anything worth noting.
Rather than learning about Lu Zhous personal information and his shining academic achievements, Perry wanted to know about Chinas controllable nuclear fusion advancements as well as how far China was from mature nuclear fusion technology.
Unfortunately, this all happened too fast.
Before the STAR machine completed a one hour magnetic confinement time, no one believed that they would succeed. Even the Chinese people didnt believe it.
Didnt they say even two minutes would be difficult?
Thats what the head of the China International Nuclear Fusion Energy Program Execution Center told me!
What a complete idiot
Perry threw the document on the table and couldnt help but curse.
He didnt need anyone to tell him the importance of controllable nuclear fusion technology, he was well aware of its significance.
However, he also knew how expensive this research would be.
Instead of the useless CIA reports and information, what he needed was advice from experts.
Perry sat in his office chair and thought for a bit. He made up his mind, stood up from his chair, and walked out of the office.
He looked at his assistant sitting outside his office and demanded.
Gather the NIF 1 project directors, and the head of the PPPL controllable fusion energy project I dont care where they are, I want to see their a*ses here by tomorrow.
I understand, sir.
Looking at how serious Perry was, his assistant immediately knew the importance of this matter, and he immediately began to reach for his telephone.
Perry nodded and was ready to leave.
Before attending the meeting, he had to go to the White House first.
But he suddenly remembered something. He stopped his footsteps and looked back at his assistant, who was on the phone.
Also contact the CIA, remember to ask them to send someone reliable.
Around six or seven years ago, the US$3.5 billion NIF project failed, which tumbled the American controllable nuclear fusion research industry. It even affected the entire international nuclear fusion field.
The inertial confinement fusion technical route was almost terminated. If it werent for this laser ignition machine, which could still undergo some nuclear tests, the entire project would have been scrapped by the Congressional Budget Office.
The tokamak was the only device that could still receive some research funding, but it wasnt as easy as before.
Especially because none of the countries wanted to spend more than the others on ITER funding, not to mention America had intentions on withdrawing from the ITER Organization. The future of the controllable fusion was gloomy.
However, no one expected that the light under the Purple Mountain would illuminate the entire world
Right now, Ed Moses, head of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the National Ignition Facility, was sitting in the office of the Department of Energy.
Sitting next to him was Terrence Brog, head of the PPPL controllable fusion laboratory, and several of his friends, who were also in the controllable fusion field.
This wasnt their first time being summoned by the higher authorities.
Every month or so, they would be summoned by the Department of Energy or the Congressional Budget Office, who would ask them why they needed their budgets to be increased.
They were big money spenders; negotiating with bureaucrats on the topic of research funding was almost a part of their daily research.
However, unlike the past, this time the Department of Energy didnt summon them regarding budgeting issues
The pair looked at each other with surprise in their eyes.
Obviously, there were other people outside of the Department of Energy in this room. There was a low-key man in a suit, who didnt fit in with his surrounding environment.
Let me introduce myself, Im Helms, CIA.
When Ed Moses heard the word CIA, he raised his eyebrows in interest.
When did the CIA become interested in the NIF?
Im not very interested in the NIF. Rather, Im more interested in the PPPL. Helms spun the pen in his hand and looked at Brog as he said, Mr. Terrence Brog, Ive heard that you have worked with Professor Lu Zhou in the past, is this true?
Brog nodded and said, Yes.
Helms: What type of person do you think he is?
Brog said, You should ask his supervisor or his students about this question. I dont know about his personal life, our communication is strictly professional.
His professional side is what I want to know. Helms flipped through his notebook and said, Our people have noticed that around two years ago, a transaction happened from an overseas account into the research fund account.
Brog: During his time at Princeton, he served as a consultant for the PPPL on the He3 project. We ran into funding issues at the time, so he helped out a little.
Helms asked, Can you explain in detail the contents of the He3 project?
Brog: Its about the insertion and observation of He3 particles in the fusion machines plasma If you think that this project gave the STAR Institute critical technology, then rest assured. Nuclear fusion technology is important, but the research results itself is available to the public. If you dont know what I mean, you can go ask your physics professor.
Helms twisted the ballpoint pen in his hand and wrote on his notebook as he said, Unfortunately, my major in university was psychology, I havent studied physics before.
Brog quietly muttered, You must have learned it in high school.
Helms either pretended like he didnt hear it or he really didnt hear it. He ignored Brogs comment and looked at Moses for a second.
If they didnt use the technology from PPPL, I want to know why a research institute that was established less than a year ago, using a second-hand stellarator, was able to produce such incredible results.
Ed Moses coughed and said, The answer is simple. The Chinese are willing to invest money into this technology. Even though most of our problems cant be solved with money alone, but when this money is correctly used by the right people, the situation is different.
Perry, who was sitting at the other end of the conference table, said, Your research funding is almost just as much as theirs. Are you saying that you didnt use the money in the right places?
Ed Moses looked at him with an awkward expression as he said, Of course Im not saying that, I can guarantee that every penny is used in the right place But, trial and error is part of research.
Helms didnt care for Ed Moses reply, he looked at his notebook and continued to ask a lot of questions.
Some were regarding their cooperation with ITER, others were about the STAR Stellarator Research Institute.
The meeting lasted for around two hours.
After the meeting was over, Perry dismissed the summoned experts and asked Helms.
What do you think?
Helms used to work in the diplomatic system, so Perry obviously wouldnt take his advice too seriously, but it was worth consulting.
Helms looked at the notebook in his hand and thought for a bit before speaking.
According to our reports, China has already launched a controllable fusion demonstration reactor project. However, judging from the meeting just now, other than that Science thesis, our experts have no understanding of the STAR research institute whatsoever.
Combining the facts, we can assume that China has borrowed a lot of technology and research from the ITER project. They stole their technology from us, but they dont want to share their research. I think this is unreasonable.
Perry raised his eyebrows with interest. So?
So, I suggest to negotiate with the Chinese, to let the STAR research institute disclose more technical details. Helms paused for a second and said in a serious tone, Otherwise, well kick them out of the ITER project.