Scientists make major breakthrough in fusion energy

Photo by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/

The fusion reactor at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory produces more energy than the amount used to ignite it, for the first time in human history 

A major breakthrough was announced on Tuesday, December 13, after scientists managed to generate more energy from a fusion reactor than what was used to start it. The success of the project was reported by Euronews in an article that said, researchers in California at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved what is known as net energy gain.  

“Fusion ignition is one of the most impressive scientific feats of the 21st century that will go down in the history books”, said Jennifer Granholm, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the report said. She added, “Ignition allows us to replicate for the first-time certain conditions that are found only in the stars and the sun”. Granholm also said that this milestone is a step closer to achieving “zero-carbon abundant fusion energy powering our society”.  

The process of Fusion happens when hydrogen atoms are pressed into each other with enough force to form helium. This creates enormous amounts of energy and heat without creating any radioactive waste. The report said, as the temperature and pressure produced in fusion reactions are incredibly difficult to control, the goal of attaining net energy gain has been impossible until now. 

But a reality where fusion energy is used for commercial use is still quite far said Kim Budil, director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in the report. “There are very significant hurdles to jump before the commercial use of fusion technology becomes a reality”, said Budil.

SHe further added that the advancement in fusion technology until now means that it could be widely used in the next few decades and much earlier than previously expected.

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