Doctor Evil would be thrilled at what the European Union is set to spend $900 million on. The EU will spend $900 million to build the world's most powerful laser hoping that the technology can destroy nuclear waste and possibly provide new cancer treatments. The project is called the Extreme Light Infrastructure project and the $900 million in funding will be used to build two lasers.
The lasers will be built in the Czech Republic and Romania according to a spokesperson for the European Commission on regional policy named Shirin Wheeler. A third research center will also be constructed in Hungary under the plan. The lasers to be built will be 10 times more powerful than any laser built to date.
The lasers are expected to be powerful enough to create subatomic particles in vacuum. Supporters of the project hope that eventually laser beams would be powerful enough to be used to deteriorate the radioactivity of nuclear waste in a few seconds and to target cancerous tumors. Nicolae-Victor Zamfir is a Romanian coordinator for the project and he says that the team expects the first results from research within one or two years after the center becomes operational.
The Romanian laser will be located at the Magurele research center and will consume 10 MW of energy. That is enough energy to supply 2500 average homes in the US. The massive amount of power will come from geothermal pumps installed at the site expected to become operational in 2017.