Fusion Breakthough: More Energy Out Than In Reported at Nuclear Ignition Facility

Here’s a report from the UK’s Independent newspaper about a breakthrough at the Nuclear Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. (Thanks to Brad Lowe at vortex-l for sharing this)

“Scientists in California said on Wednesday night that they have for the first time managed to release more energy from their nuclear fusion experiment than they put into it, which marks a critical threshold in eventually achieving the goal of a self-sustaining nuclear-fusion reaction.”

At the NIF, researchers have been focusing 192 lasers on a fuel pellet composed of tritium and deuterium applying enough pressure to fuse atoms together, releasing more energy than the lasers consume — for a billionth of a second. The breakthrough apparently came after laser pulses were modified so as to apply even pressure on the fuel pellet.

Achieving OU is considered a major milestone for a hot fusion project — this is what researchers have been working towards for decades in this field. I am sure this will be seen as great news among supporters of fusion energy, and will encourage intensified research and support for fusion programs. I’m not sure there will be any knock-on effect for cold fusion, however.