This Week in Northern California, with host Belva Davis, airs Fridays at 7:30pm on KQED 9HD

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News Panel: Spring Wildfires / Fusion Troubles

Watch Complete Episode: May 3, 2013 »

Early spring wildfires are burning, threatening homes and scorching hundreds of acres throughout the state. As snowpack data comes in, California faces one of the driest years on record. With forests and grasslands already tinder dry, firefighters are gearing up for what could be a nasty fire season.

Using the world's largest laser, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab have been trying to ignite a nuclear fusion reaction in a laboratory essentially mimicking a tiny sun. Called the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the $5 billion project hopes to revolutionize energy by laying the groundwork for a potentially endless supply of clean energy. But after missing several deadlines and a management shake-up, the facility is now adjusting expectations.


  • Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News & KQED
  • Amy Standen, KQED Science

Also on this week ...

The Leap
Taking "The Leap" — KQED's New Podcast

A new KQED storytelling podcast about people making dramatic, risky changes, told by award-winning public radio reporters Amy Standen and Judy Campbell.

Film School Shorts
Watch Film School Shorts Online

KQED's national half-hour weekly series showcases short student films from across the country. Watch well-crafted films online now.

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