WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 -- The US Department of Energy (DoE) said that, according to the findings of an independent technical review panel, construction of the world's most powerful laser would take until the year 2008. The report also found that the project will cost about $2.2 billion -- two times more than originally projected. The General Accounting Office of Congress estimated the cost of The National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser project at more than $2.8 billion, but the DoE disagreed with that estimate. The NIF laser project, which was originally slated for completion in 2002, came under the review of the DoE after the project met with a slew of managerial and technical difficulties last year. The laser will have 192 laser beams focusing energy on a single target, allowing nuclear scientists to simulate a thermonuclear explosion in laboratory conditions.