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Breakthrough nuclear fusion experiment could ‘revolutionise the world’ with clean energy

Scientists in the United States have conducted the first ever nuclear-fusion experiment that achieved a net energy increase. This opens the door to a new “clean energy source” that could revolutionize the world.

Officials revealed that the successful fusion experiment was carried out last week during a news conference at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California.

It happened: A’miracle’ scientific breakthrough could produce unlimited energy

It was the culmination of 60 years of global research and development, engineering, experimentation, and testing, which eventually led to commercial electricity generation.


This would boost the shift to renewable energy around the world, and help combat climate change.

Jennifer Granholm, US energy secretary, said that the breakthrough would “go down in history”.

She added, “This is one the most impressive scientific feats in the 21st Century.”

Science & Tech: More

How was this experiment done?

This experiment consisted of firing 192 laser beams at a capsule with the elements tritium and deuterium. It was heated to more than three million degrees Celsius, which briefly simulates the conditions of a star.

Dr Marvin Adams stated that it had been done “hundreds and times before” but had never produced more energy than what was consumed.

He said, “For the first-time, they designed the experiment so that fusion fuel stayed warm enough, dense enough and round enough to ignite, and it produced more power than the lasers had deposited.”

“About two megajoules in, approximately three megajoules out – a gain 1.5, the energy production took fewer time than it takes to travel one inch.

He said it was “kinda fast”.

Image High powered lasers were used to target a target that was ‘about as big as a peppercorn.’

Although the target was only a pea-sized, the lasers (part of the NIF system) were powerful enough to produce more energy than the entire power grid that sustains the US.

Jean-Michel Di Nicola, chief engineer, said that it had a “dimension equivalent to three football fields” and could produce energy of more than two million joules at peak power of 500 trillion watts.

He said, “For a very brief amount of time, a few trillionths of a second it exceeds all the US power grid.”

Image NIF’s 192 lasers are featured in the NIF system.

How long will it take for the process to produce usable energy?

Following the news briefing, everyone was curious about how long it would take to create energy we can use.

Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Dr Kim Budil admitted that it would take “probably years”.

President Joe Biden stated that he hopes to have a commercial fusion reactor in place in 10 years. Officials acknowledged that the private sector would need to play an important role in moving from laboratory experiments to commercial electricity generation.

Other nuclear fusion projects may also be involved. The scientists in California mentioned the work of an Oxfordshire team that earlier this year used its JET machine to generate approximately 11 megawatts.

This was far greater than what was generated in NIF’s experiment, and – most importantly – it did not result in net energy gain.

This is a significant scientific breakthrough, but lasers require enormous power

Tom Clarke

Science and technology editor


Dr Marv Adams held up the cylindrical target that contained the “peppercorn-sized,” pellet of fusion fuel and confirmed that they had “ignition”.

He also disclosed that scientists used about 2MJ energy in their fusion reaction to get about 3MJ out.

This is the proof of the “energy gains” this announcement is all about.

This is the important scientific milestone: The discovery that a fusion reaction can produce more energy than it uses.

They had to use 300MJ electricity to power their lasers.

From a production standpoint, they still have to put in 99% of the energy they get out.

Gianluca Gregori from the University of Oxford, a specialist on the type of lasers used in the lab, stated that the energy produced was less than what is needed to power a plug.

He said, “While this plant is not yet economically viable, it is a clear path to the future.”

Professor of plasma physics at Imperial College London Jeremy Chittenden said that scientists will need to “find a way to replicate the same effect more often and more affordably”.

It would be a major boost for the push to renewables in the world.


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