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The United States has come close to fusion energy

The United States has come close to fusion energy

American scientists have made a breakthrough in the field of fusion energy, because according to sources familiar with the preliminary results of the experiment, net energy gains were achieved for the first time during the fusion reaction.

Photo: Gary MacLeod/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (illustration)

Fusion energy was 20-30 years away decades ago, but since the 1950s it has not been possible to extract more energy from such a reaction than is required to carry it out.

In the past two weeks, researchers at the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have achieved a long-awaited breakthrough in a process called self-entrapment fusion. In this method, hydrogen plasma is fired with the world’s largest laser to create nuclear fusion.

Although most researchers believe fusion reactors are still decades away from commercial use, the technology’s potential is promising.

The fusion reaction involves no carbon emissions and does not produce radioactive waste, unlike conventional nuclear power plants.

Plus, the fuel for energy production, hydrogen, is plentiful.

As the world struggles to replace previously used fossil energy sources with clean ones due to climate change, which the Biden administration is allocating $370 billion to support, the results achieved at the government facility are remarkable.

The 2.5 megajoules of energy extracted is 120 percent of the 2.1 megajoules needed for the lasers used in the reactions, which is certainly a huge achievement from a scientific point of view, but the difference between the two is just over a tenth of a kilowatt-hour. . So

According to the US Department of Energy, Secretary Jennifer Granholm and her deputy in charge of nuclear safety, Jill Hruby, will announce a significant scientific breakthrough on Tuesday, but no further information has been disclosed.

The laboratory confirmed that, according to preliminary data, a successful experiment was conducted at the National Institute of Flammability of the institution, but as they write, the data is still being processed, and therefore the release of information will be premature. The financial times However, two of them confirmed that the power output was higher than expected and damaged some diagnostic tools, making it difficult to analyze the results.

The National Ignition Institute was originally established to test nuclear weapons, but at the same time it also plays an increasingly important role in the field of fusion energy research.

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