Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
It was getting closer and closer to the end of the month.
Finally, all of the contradictions were coming to an end.
Soon, the next ITER conference would be held in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France. In this meeting, the United States would once again question the Chinese representatives on the STAR research institute and other intellectual property related issues.
If everything went well, this might be the last time the ITER Council talked about this issue.
Because there were various signs that showed the outcome of this conference would likely determine Chinas future participation in ITER.
The world knew that China would not compromise and cooperate.
There were even ITER employees that wanted to remain anonymous, who said this might be the trigger for the collapse of ITER.
Even though this sounded like an exaggeration
But in fact, this could happen.
As everyone knew, ITER had seven major participating countries or continents, namely Europe, America, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, and India. In addition to ITER, almost every participating country had its own independent controllable nuclear fusion project.
There was a consensus among all of the countries to establish their own controllable fusion technological advantage.
Because of this competition, it wasnt difficult to predict that an international cooperation project such as ITER would collapse.
This could all be seen from the insufficient funding ITER had been receiving recently.
Obviously, no one believed that this giant ship with all of the countries on board could sail for long.
Not to mention the captain of the ship was Europeans.
If the US suddenly created a problem regarding intellectual property rights, it would cause a lot of trouble.
The ignited fusion light was like a candle in the wind, vulnerable as it trembled in the cold winter night.
However, no matter what happened internationally, the scholars in the field still had to do their experiments.
Just after Lu Zhou received the good news from Daya Bay, a magnetic confinement experiment was well underway in the Wendelstein 7-X laboratory in Germany.
37 minutes 6 seconds. Kervin looked at the computer screen and said, This is probably our best result this month.
Even though they were still far from STARs one-hour mark, at least they were able to produce a stable magnetic confinement fusion time for more than half an hour.
Professor Millek said, Can we start an ignition experiment?
Professor Keriber shook his head and said, We havent solved the radiation problem yet.
Professor Millek said, Is there any progress?
Progress? Professor Keribers voice became even more bitter as he said, The only progress we made is probably the fact that we are now aware that this technical pathway wont work. The swelling from the metallic materials from neutron radiation is too significant. Its hard to fix this, no matter what we do Unless we can restrain the neutrons? But that sounds crazy.
The latest technology was the use of a molybdenum and zirconium alloy that was actually quite effective against the swelling effect from neutron radiation. However, alloys doped with molybdenum were much more difficult to weld than normal austenitic steels.
Not just that, but no matter how little molybdenum was doped into the metal, there was always the unstable factor from its radioactive metamorphic products.
Millek thought for a bit and pondered, If the alloy doesnt work, what about non-metallic materials?
Kervin shrugged and said, There are a lot of non-metallic materials, but do you have a good suggestion?
This wasnt the first time someone thought of using non-metallic materials in the field of controllable fusion research. The problem was that this technical pathway had never made much progress.
Kervin began to contemplate.
If Lu Zhou were here, what would he do?
However, Kervin didnt have a single clue.
He couldnt help but sigh.
If only we can cooperate with the STAR Stellarator Research Institute on the stellarator research
If he had Professor Lu on his team, he was confident that he could shorten the time to commercialize controllable fusion by at least 20 years.
The completion of this technology would benefit the entire human civilization.
But now, it looked like there would be no cooperation.
Outside of the laboratory, Helms sat in the laboratory lounge while sipping coffee. He looked at his watch from time to time.
A few months ago, he was only a mid-level official at the CIA. However, because of an evaluation report that he wrote on controllable fusion research, he became highly recognized by the CIA higher-ups.
Right now, he was the CIA intelligence commissioner for the controllable fusion problem. He was fully responsible for collecting important information in the relevant fields and had a certain amount of decision-making power in some matters.
The reason he came to Germany was to understand the latest stellarator developments the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics had made. He also came here to meet with senior officials from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The Chinese countermeasures worked very well. At least on the surface, it looked like Chinas research on controllable fusion had stopped progressing.
The STAR-1 and HL-2A machines had gone out of operation, while the cooperation between the EAST machine and the General Atomics company had been suspended. Everyone couldnt help but wonder how far China could go without any help from the international community.
Regardless, right now was the time to attack.
Even though on the surface the plan was going smoothly, he would never underestimate his opponents.
Just the name Lu Zhou alone made him cautious about this whole situation.
From their limited intel, it seemed that the failure of these two machines was related to Lu Zhou.
Right now, Lehman was sitting next to him. Lehman was a CIA intelligence officer operating in the German region.
Unlike the other agents who were underground, his identity was open to the public and was registered with the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany. His main responsibility was to sit and drink coffee in the office or exchange information with the German intelligence departments.
He was the one that organized the meeting with Helms and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology of Germany.
When the two people were chatting, they happened to start talking about Lu Zhou.
Even though Lehmans work wasnt focused in this area, he still raised his eyebrows with interest.
So, how many professors do you think this Professor Lu guy is worth?
Helms: If you really know him, you wouldnt ask such a dumb question. His value cant be measured in professors. It should be measured in Silicon Valleys or Seattles.
Lehman didnt care about Helms calling it a dumb question. Instead, he smiled and said, When did Silicon Valley and Seattle become measuring units?
Helms: Silicon Valley and Seattle are not, but their potential economic values are. One person can create 10 billion or even 100 billion of GDP value, and I think he has this potential.
Lehman: A Nobel Prize laureate creating 100 billion of GDP value? Is this Zimbabwe or Venezuela money?
Obviously its in USD, and this is just a conservative estimate. The more I research about this guy, the more confident I am on my estimate. Helms put down the coffee cup and said, Both the CIA and White House are not paying enough attention to this kid, and I think this is extremely dangerous.
Lehman leaned back in his chair and said, Maybe you should write a detailed report and send it to the White House. Trump loves publicity.
Helms: Actually, thats exactly what I plan on doing.
While they were talking, a group of people entered the lounge.
The person leading the group was the secretary-general of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Norbert.
Helms stood up and reached his hand out with a smile.
Hello, Mr. Norbert, Im glad to meet you again.
Hello, Mr. Helms. Norbert shook Helmss hand. He skipped the small-talk and said, You didnt fly all the way from America to drink coffee with me, just give it to me straight.
Heres the thing. Helms organized his thoughts, and he said, Our Congress has reassessed the controllable fusion project and decided to invest around US$2 billion. This new stellarator machine is expected to be built at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. This means that German companies will receive at least a billion or so in contracts, thus creating tens of thousands of jobs. Im sure you will be interested in this.
Oh yeah? Norberts raised his eyebrows and said, Im interested in this topic, but why is the CIA talking about this with us?
He was more confused about why the CIA officers were disclosing this information to him.
Because the specific bidding plan will come out next month. If you are interested in this project, I have a small proposal.
Norbert said, What proposal?
The ITER Council conference at the end of the month. Helms looked at Norbert and smirked as he said, I think its time for China to leave.