Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Solano project that almost was may soon see its end

stevenson column sig 2

By
From page A13 | October 10, 2012 |

It was going to be an enormous economic event that would transform northern Solano County and even the city of Davis.

There was a strong possibility, or so we thought, that a facility would be built between Vacaville and Davis that would rival World War II’s Manhattan Project with its economic impact. It was around 20 years ago that a location near Interstate 80, about 25 miles up the road, was in the running for the construction of the Superconducting Supercollider. That facility, if its goals were accomplished, would lead to the harnessing of a process known as controlled fusion.

Instead of choosing the Solano-Yolo counties site, the giant laser was built at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in the East Bay. Controlled fusion is a process that would “potentially offer a boundless and inexpensive source of energy,” according to an article in The New York Times. Many of us followed the site selection process eagerly, and you can imagine the disappointment when Lawrence Livermore was selected.

Now, two decades later, the revolutionary facility has probably come to the end of its days.

One can only imagine what the impact on Fairfield would have been if the $5 billion had been spent not far from here. If the goal of the project had been achieved, it would have had impact far beyond Northern California.

Now it looks like Congress will not approve funds for the continuation of the research and perhaps construction of the facility. We can’t say that the $5 billion spent so far has been wasted, but the end of the fusion project, if that is indeed what happens, has disappointed many in the scientific and energy communities.

Controlled fusion has been on the fantasy list of scientists since, I would guess, the 1930s. It has a science fiction quality to it, since, if successful, it would reduce the costs of energy dramatically. Many in the scientific community, of course, support continuation of the funding, but some of their associates are more skeptical.

The director of a rival facility located at the Naval Research Laboratory said of the Livermore installation, “The question is whether you continue to pour money into it or start over.”

Again, from The Times article, “Skeptics outside the government have long assailed the laser project, known as the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, as a colossal waste of money.”

If you weren’t around northern Solano County at the time, you might not appreciate the excitement that was building up in anticipation of the site selection. The failure of the NIF is described by some doubters as National Almost Ignition Project, or NAIF.

Supporters of the project point to the importance of, for example, the space telescope, which has a price tag of $8 billion. European countries have spent $10 billion on their 17-mile circular accelerator, which has been the site of some extremely important discoveries.

In spite of our disappointment over losing out to another city, we can take comfort in the economic progress we have witnessed in the past 20-plus years. Jelly Belly has become more famous than the soon-to-close accelerator in Livermore.

Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 38 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

 
Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7