Friday, May 17, 2024

US scientists announce fusion energy breakthrough

by Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced a “major scientific breakthrough” Tuesday in the decades-long quest to harness fusion, the energy that powers the sun and stars.

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California for the first time produced more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it, something called net energy gain, the Energy Department said.

The achievement will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power, Granholm and other officials said.

Granholm was appearing alongside Livermore researchers at a news conference in Washington.

“This is a landmark achievement for the researchers and staff at the National Ignition Facility who have dedicated their careers to seeing fusion ignition become a reality, and this milestone will undoubtedly spark even more discovery,” Granholm said, adding that the breakthrough “will go down in the history books.”

White House science adviser Arati Prabhakar, appearing with Granholm, called the fusion ignition “a tremendous example of what persistence can achieve” and “an engineering marvel beyond belief.”

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