World’s Most Powerful Laser Beams to Zap Nuclear Waste

World’s Most Powerful Laser Beams to Zap Nuclear Waste

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The European Union will spend about 700 million euros ($900 million) to build the world’s most powerful lasers, technology that could destroy nuclear waste and provide new cancer treatments. The Extreme Light Infrastructure project has obtained funding for two lasers to be built in the Czech Republic and Romania, Shirin Wheeler, spokeswoman for the European Commission on regional policy, said in a phone interview. A third research center will be in Hungary.

The lasers are 10 times more powerful than any yet built and will be strong enough to create subatomic particles in a vacuum, similar to conditions that may have followed the start of the universe. Eventually, the power of the light beams could be used to deteriorate the radioactivity of nuclear waste in just a few seconds and target cancerous tumors, the project’s Romanian coordinator Nicolae-Victor Zamfir said in an interview. “We can’t find in nature any phenomenon with such an intense power like the one that will be generated with this laser,” Zamfir said.

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