US scientists achieve a major breakthrough in nuclear fusion energy

In a first, the scientists conduct Nuclear Fusion resulting in Net Energy Gain

US scientists achieved a major breakthrough in nuclear fusion energy on Tuesday.

The announcement was made on December 13 that the Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), California, the National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy, have achieved a milestone.

On December 5, 2022, a team at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) reached this milestone by conducting the first controlled fusion experiment in history, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said in a statement.

For the first time, scientists successfully conducted a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain.

According to LLNL, 192 laser beams delivered more than two million joules of ultraviolet energy to a tiny fuel pellet to create fusion ignition.

The researchers at LLNL heated a capsule of deuterium and tritium, and briefly simulated the reactions taking place in a star, Arati Prabhakar, Science Advisor to the President, said during a press conference Tuesday.

She added that this feat pushes towards a “clean energy future”.

The milestone is called scientific energy breakeven, which means that it produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it.

Fusion ignition refers to the moment when the energy from a controlled fusion reaction exceeds the rate at which X-ray radiation losses and electron conduction cool the implosion (an instance of something collapsing violently inwards).

In other words, more energy comes “out” compared to the amount that went “in”.


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