Once Only the Subject of Science Fiction, Scientists Move Closer to Limitless Free Energy.
Previously only seen occurring in stars, people have been trying to achieve nuclear fusion for over 60 years.
What some have called ‘a leap into the future’, late last year scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) made a significant breakthrough in nuclear fusion research, demonstrating an experimental fusion power output that exceeded the energy used to ignite the reaction.
More energy is produced than expended, resulting in a free net gain of energy. This breakthrough marks a critical step towards achieving clean nuclear fusion energy, which could provide a near-limitless source of energy for the world.
This breakthrough exhibited that significant progress is being made towards achieving commercially viable fusion power, and that nuclear fusion could eventually replace all other energy types.
The LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), uses a process called inertial confinement fusion (ICF) to generate nuclear fusion reactions. The NIF is designed to create conditions similar to those found in the center of the sun. As the fuel (typically a mixture of deuterium and tritium) is compressed, the hydrogen atoms are forced to come into close proximity to each other, which causes them to fuse together and release a large amount of energy in the form of light and heat.
The implications of this breakthrough for the energy industry are momentous. Nuclear fusion has long been touted as a potential game-changer for the energy sector, as it has the potential to provide clean, safe, and virtually limitless energy.
After decades of research, this scientific discovery has brought us to the cusp of a new renewable energy source.