‘Groundbreaking’ news on nuclear fusion I’m coming from the USA. For the first time, scientists would in fact have produced a fusion reaction capable of creating more energy than that used to start the process. And the Department of Energy, writes the Washington Post, would be preparing to communicate the news today. The ‘Holy Grail of energy’ could therefore become reality: the goal would have been achieved at the National Ignition Facility of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the announcement should be made by US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Undersecretary Jill Hruby at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In the meantime, the Californian structure admits the success of an experiment carried out in the National Ignition Facility, but it is underlined that the researchers are still refining the analyses.
“For most of us, it was just a matter of time,” said a scientist involved in the venture. The first information on the results obtained was released by the Financial Times and confirmed by two people involved in the research. The Department of Energy and lab managers did not comment.
The Washington Post states that energy production required the use of one of the most powerful lasers in the world: in essence, enormous resources would be needed to recreate the reaction on the scale required to make fusion ‘practical’ for energy production are immense . Furthermore, scientists should develop technologies and machinery capable of transforming – at all in all sustainable costs – the reaction into electricity which can then be concretely distributed through the grid. The process should also take into account another element in particular: the process creates neutrons which subject the machinery to enormous stress, with the real risk of destroying the equipment during the process itself.
In any case, the results achieved by the Californian scientists would represent the culmination of a journey that began in the 1950s. The white smoke, the Washington Post reiterates, would have no short-term effects in the industrial and commercial spheres: to arrive at the standard production of ‘clean energy’ through fusion “there is at least a decade, perhaps decades away”, writes the newspaper, convinced however that “the latest developments will in all likelihood be exhibited by the Biden administration” as a result produced “by the massive investments made by the government over the years”.
Join us LIVE tomorrow at 10 am ET / 7 am PT for a special announcement and press conference regarding a MAJOR scientific breakthrough. Remarks will be given by @ENERGY leaders @SecGranholm, @NNSANews‘ @NNSAHruby and #LLNL Director Kim Budil. tune in: https://t.co/H2Lwto2naD pic.twitter.com/XdugB3UhEz
—Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (@Livermore_Lab) December 12, 2022