US scientists have announced an historic achievement which could “pave the way” for clean power through nuclear fusion ignition.
Calling it a “major scientific breakthrough” the experts at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) conducted the first ever controlled fusion experiment in history.
The experiment, which took place on 5 December, involved getting more energy out of a fusion reaction than it took to trigger it, meaning it could reduce the need for fossil fuels, and help in the fight against climate change.
The experiment, backed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is set to provide insights into a future of clean fusion energy.
This would be a “game-changer” for efforts to achieve net zero and also to shore up US defence against reliance on foreign power.
According to the Telegraph, a professor of physics at the University of Oxford who specialises in high power lasers and fusion energy, Gianluca Gregori, said fusion had been seen as the “holy grail of the world’s energy problems” for a long time as it would offer “ a limitless and clean energy source”.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said: “This is a landmark achievement for the researchers and staff at the National Ignition Facility who have dedicated their careers to seeing fusion ignition become a reality, and this milestone will undoubtedly spark even more discovery,”
Dr. Arati Prabhakar, the President’s Chief Advisor for Science, said “we have had a theoretical understanding of fusion for over a century, but the journey from knowing to doing can be long and arduous. Today’s milestone shows what we can do with perseverance”.