With the nuclear issues in Japan, where are we with nuclear fusion technology as an alternative to fission?

The horrible events in Japan raise an important question. Nuclear fission power has many risks, waste by-products being a big one, not to mention instability in processing, risks of explosion, etc. Nuclear fusion technology is less unstable (potentially) and doesn’t not generate the waste issues that fission does. I like the idea of alternate energy sources like solar, wind, etc and also wish the USA would look to natural gas as a transition source. Nuclear fusion power offers solutions as it is hydrogen based. Where is the world with this applied technology?
the Lawrence Livermore folks have a good take, thanks:

Fusion, nuclear fission and solar energy (including biofuels) are the only energy sources capable of satisfying the Earth’s need for power for the next century and beyond without the negative environmental impacts of fossil fuels. The simplest fusion fuels, the heavy isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium), are derived from water and the metal lithium, a relatively abundant resource. The fuels are virtually inexhaustible – one in every 6,500 atoms on Earth is a deuterium atom – and they are available worldwide. One gallon of seawater would provide the equivalent energy of 300 gallons of gasoline; fuel from 50 cups of water contains the energy equivalent of two tons of coal. A fusion power plant would produce no climate-changing gases, as well as considerably lower amounts and less environmentally harmful radioactive byproducts than current nuclear power plants. And there would be no danger of a runaway reaction or core meltd


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