Chapter 554: Everything Is Ready
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
A helicopter landed smoothly near the STAR-2 demonstration reactor construction site.
Even though Lu Zhou didnt prefer this kind of transportation, this was his fastest option.
After Lu Zhou got off the helicopter, he didnt hesitate for a second. He carried his computer bag in one arm and walked toward the construction site.
He walked straight into the main building and found Academician Wang Zengguangs office.
Lu Zhou knocked on the door and walked in.
When Academician Wang Zengguang saw Lu Zhou walk in, he stopped writing and smiled.
Oh? Youre back already? Academician Li Jiangang told me to inform you that their modified ion cyclotron resonance heating antenna is ready. It fits your requirements.
Were also doing well, we might even be able to finish before the end of the year.
The most important part is the liquid lithium neutron recovery system, have you got it or not?
Academician Wang was half-joking when he said this. He wasnt rushing Lu Zhou at all.
Because he understood clearly that the reason he was able to ride so smoothly was that Lu Zhou paved a smooth road for him.
It was not an exaggeration to say that from the plasma turbulence model to the PGC-1 material, these research results had saved them at least 20 years.
Therefore, even though the most important liquid lithium neutron recovery system hadnt made any progress, it was completely acceptable.
After all, ones energy was limited.
However, he didnt expect Lu Zhous answer.
He saw Lu Zhou take out a stack of files from his computer bag.
I should be the one asking you this. The design is finished. Building it depends on you guys.
Academician Wang stood up from his chair in shock. He quickly walked around his desk and took the stack of drawings from Lu Zhous hand. He began to carefully read them.
Time slowly passed by.
Academician Wangs expression began to look more and more serious.
When Lu Zhou noticed his expression changing, he yawned and casually asked, Is there a problem?
Academician Wang shook his head and said, Nope.
It was so perfect that he couldnt even give any constructive advice.
Also, the engineering difficulty of the design was within their acceptable range.
Academician Wang closed the drawings in his hand and looked at Lu Zhou. He couldnt help but exclaim, Youre literally a genius.
Lu Zhou smiled awkwardly.
This isnt just my own work, the people from the STAR research institute also
Of course, there was the system.
But these problems could be solved even without using the general points.
However, it would just take a lot more time. Also, it wouldnt be as perfect as it was.
Academician Wang didnt seem to buy Lu Zhous humbleness. He waved his hand and said, Okay, okay.
Yeah yeah, this is everyones hard work, I totally believe you.
Lu Zhou: ?
What are you talking about?
The weather was slightly cold in mid-November; the red brick tiles in the Forbidden City were stained with frost.
In a nursing home not far from the Forbidden City, two men were sitting under a big willow tree while staring at a chessboard.
On this rare sunny day, these two old men were sitting across from each other while playing Chinese chess.
The battle on the chessboard was intense.
Suddenly, the situation on the board changed.
The red-side knight killed the black-side elephant, forming a dead-corner with the red-side, and the black-side king was forced into this dead-corner.
There was undoubtedly only one outcome.
The old man stared at the chessboard and thoughtfully said, I shouldnt have moved my pawn, if I moved my elephant
When the other old man saw him reaching out to move the chess pieces, he immediately stopped him.
Hey hey hey, what are you doing, I dont care if other people make do-overs, but not you!
The old mans hand was touching the edge of the chessboard. He paused for a second and smiled.
Chief Designer, you are right, I lost this match!
Sitting across from him was Academician Ren Changming, the former chief designer of the Chinese linear exploration project.
Are you busy?
Old man: You could say I am, or you could say Im not.
Ren Changming: You look pretty relaxed to me, you even have the time to play chess with me.
The old man shook his head and said, The international situation isnt looking good, Im just trying to clear my mind.
Ren Changming: I heard Jinling is doing controllable nuclear fusion?
The old man nodded and said, Yeah, they are.
Even though many old experts didnt think this project was achievable, they felt like it was worth a try.
Maybe this technology could be the key to the future?
Controllable nuclear fusion Ren Changming looked emotional as he said, I talked with Qiao Gong about this problem. Back then, we all thought that either America or Russia would be able to create this technology within twenty years, and we would be able to catch up. But nearly 40 years have passed since then, and I still have no idea when it will happen.
In the 1990s, everyone was researching inertial confinement fusion, and they claimed they could achieve fusion ignition within ten years and could commercialize within 20 years. China was witnessing the potential birth of controllable fusion, and they obviously didnt want to fall behind. In 1993, the inertial confinement fusion project was launched, and it was selected into the 863 government initiative. China followed the international trend to launch a research attack on inertial confinement fusion.
However, the project did not go as smoothly as planned. Americas inertial confinement fusion machine failed to achieve fusion ignition, which depopularized the field. Then, the unpopular tokamak began to become popular, while the once popular inertial confinement fusion became a deserted island.
If it wasnt for the military application of laser ignition, the investment into inertial confinement fusion could be considered a total loss.
What was happening now at STAR-2 was just like a cycle of the past.
Even though Ren Changming wasnt in the nuclear engineering field, he personally witnessed all of this happen.
Honestly speaking, he was more worried than optimistic.
Of course, deep down in his heart, he still looked forward to this project to be successfully completed.
Isnt Lu Zhou in charge?
Old man: You know him?
More than just know. The old academician had a smile on his face as he said, A few years ago, that kid was still studying at Jin Ling University, I knew of him back then.
I think it was the expert interview section for a mathematical modeling competition. I was sitting at the judges table, and I asked him what his views were on the moon landing project. This kid was interesting. He was different than the other interviewees, and he turned the question on me and asked my opinion on the Great Wall? We began to talk about the history and the future. It was a great conversation.
Back then, I instantly knew he was a talented person. I felt like it was a waste for him to be stuck in the mathematics field, so I personally went to Jin Ling University and tried to convince him to come to Yan University. I asked if he wanted to learn about rocket science with me, guess what he said?
The old man smiled and asked, What did he say?
Ren Changming slapped his thigh and smiled. He told me, Professor Ren, I dont want to fly yet!
These two old men began to laugh out loud.
When Ren Changming began to reminisce about the past, he couldnt help but feel a little depressed.
Back then, he could travel all over the country. Even if he wanted to travel now, his old body didnt give him the time of day.
Ren Changming stopped laughing and spoke emotionally.
You know what happened after that This kid is an enigma. Even though he didnt build rockets, he was basically flying in the sky.
Ren Changming paused for a second and continued, If he doesnt succeed, dont be disappointed. After all, scientific research isnt building infrastructure. The input and output arent necessarily proportional. Im actually more optimistic about his future. Compared to us old folks who are about to go six feet under, his research career has just begun.
The old man smiled and said, I know this, dont worry about it.
Ren Changming felt relieved, and he nodded.
Even though it was entirely possible for Lu Zhou to succeed, he still had to tell the president these things.
Because if he didnt say anything, no one else would dare to say it.
A security guard came over and reported to the old man.
Director Lu is outside.
The old man nodded and said, Let him come in.
The security guard saluted and turned around.
Soon, Director Lu walked over excitedly while being followed by the security guard.
The old man noticed the letter Director Lu was holding in his hand, and he smiled as he asked, Whats making you so excited?
Director Lu replied energetically, Theres good news from Haizhou! The demonstration reactor project is in its final stage! I have a letter from Professor Lu!
Ren Changming looked astonished.
The chess piece in the old mans hand fell onto the chessboard, and he immediately stood up.
What did he say in the letter?
Director Lu took a deep breath and said enthusiastically, The demonstration reactor is in its final countdown mode. Its expected to achieve fusion ignition at the end of the year! Theyre requesting approval from the Communist Party of China!
The old man smiled heartily and said, Okay, good.
He changed his demeanor and gave an order.
Fusion ignition is approved!