Researchers at the National Ignition Facility in California announced this week that they had achieved a major milestone on the path toward nuclear fusion as an energy source, as described in a paper published in the science journal Nature. For the first time, the energy produced in a nuclear fusion reaction in a confined hydrogen fuel exceeded the energy put in to start the reaction. Science reporter Gautam Naik explains at the Wall Street Journal:
Much work remains before the process, in theory, reaches the point of “ignition” in which a fusion reaction continues on its own and is self-sustaining. See Lawrence Livermore Laboratory’s report on the breakthrough, and interviews with some of the scientists involved at the Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.
Great science, breathtaking engineering, and a landmark achievement with the exciting prospect of continued progress and unforeseen future benefits along the way. The promise of massively abundant energy without pollution, radioactive waste, or greenhouse gases seems closer. And as James Conca suggests at Forbes… is it also already here?
Thanks to the WSJ Digital Network.