Paul-Henri Rebut

Energy of the Stars Controlled Nuclear Fusion Publication date : November 1, 1999

Nuclear fusion can be likened to God or the devil. Out there among the stars, it is godlike, creating atoms and giving birth to life. But down below, on earth, nuclear fusion is the devil: it has been used to make bombs that can annihilate everything, including all forms of life. Now that the devil of thermonuclear destruction seems to have been locked back in its box, nuclear fusion — kept under tight control in civil reactors — offers the hope for long-term economic development. Isn’t it the only inexhaustible, non-polluting form of energy that offers no limits — except that of human technical knowledge? Paul-Henri Rebut, who has designed some of the most advanced projects in the field of nuclear fusion, describes the hope it holds for the future.

Paul-Henri Rebut, a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, was in charge of JET, Europe’s nuclear-fusion project, and later of the international project ITER. He is a member of the Academy of Science, and a consultant for France’s atomic energy commissioner.