California Scientists Produce More Energy Output than Input in Fusion Reaction


In a breakthrough experiment, scientists from The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have extracted more energy from a controlled nuclear fusion process than what was inputted.

They entered 2.1 megajoules of energy to simulate a process similar to the one in the sun and gained an output of 2.5 megajoules in return.

“In a breakthrough experiment, scientists have extracted more energy from a controlled nuclear fusion process than what was inputted“

Fusion merges atoms rather than dividing them, in contrast to the fission process currently utilised in nuclear reactors.

There is a lot of fuel available and not much radioactive waste, which are benefits. The drawbacks include that maintaining and managing harsh conditions like those at the sun's core is necessary to achieve it.

This technique has been coined “inertial fusion” and was initially developed to trial nuclear weapons by imitating explosions. The process involves squeezing hydrogen fuel pellets blasted at by strong lasers at high energy, putting them under immense pressure to merge together.

The US facility used to create this has been determined as too costly to serve as a model for something achievable by Nicholas Hawker of First Light Fusion, a UK start-up that employs a comparable fusion strategy.

But he also suggested the study has promise, saying that “there is a clear path to a power plant here.”

“It is now extremely clear what you need to do to get inertial fusion to work.”

“We are on the vanguard of a new industry. If confirmed, this is a holy grail moment. I’m buzzing.”

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