Last year, which coincidentally also happens to be last month. researchers at LLNL made scientific history. https://www.llnl.gov/
NIF’s monumental, first-ever demonstration of fusion ignition marks a breakthrough for fusion energy and an initial step in a decades-long quest for clean energy, according to U.S. government officials and LLNL scientists.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy DOE, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy OSTP, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and LLNL announced that an experiment at NIF—just after 1 a.m. on Dec. 5—reached ignition, producing more energy from the self-sustaining fusion reaction than was put in to create the reaction.
NIF produced 3.15 megajoules MJ of fusion energy output using 2.05 MJ of laser energy delivered to the target, demonstrating the fundamental science basis for inertial fusion energy. The results were peer-reviewed and verified by outside experts, scientists said.
The achievement was celebrated as the culmination of 60 years of exploration and experimentation in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) by generations of scientists at LLNL and collaborators around the world in industry, academia, and other DOE national labs, including Los Alamos and Sandia. Officials from DOE and the OSTP congratulated researchers on the milestone and said replicating ignition in NIF—the world’s largest and most energetic laser—could set the stage for fusion to become a viable clean-energy option. This accomplishment will strengthen national security and will move the world closer to the possibility of an abundant, carbon-free energy source for the future.
In 2022, DOE unveiled a 10-year strategy for developing commercial fusion energy that included a $50 million funding opportunity to support the design of a pilot magnetic fusion plant.
Article about the press conference: https://www.llnl.gov/news/
Press conference: https://www.llnl.gov/news/
LLNL panel Q&A: https://www.llnl.gov/news/
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