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Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough

Hype or hard evidence?

A recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion is being heralded as revolutionary by many scientific journals and even major news outlets. Electrical Apparatus is reaching out to additional sources for more information and will have an expanded report on this development in our upcoming February issue. In the meantime, here are some excerpts from the original report from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the facility to achieve the milestone:

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today (Dec. 13) announced the achievement of fusion ignition at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) — a major scientific breakthrough decades in the making that will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power."

On Dec. 5, a team at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) conducted what it describes as "the first controlled fusion experiment in history to reach this milestone, also known as scientific energy breakeven, meaning it produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it."

The target chamber of LLNL’s National Ignition Facility, where 192 laser beams delivered more than 2 million joules of ultraviolet energy to a tiny fuel pellet to create fusion ignition on Dec. 5, 2022.

The apparent first-of-its-kind feat could provide unprecedented capability to support NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program as well as offering "invaluable insights into the prospects of clean fusion energy," which would be a game-changer for efforts to achieve the U.S. goal of a net-zero carbon economy.

“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting our world-class scientists — like the team at NIF — whose work will help us solve humanity’s most complex and pressing problems, like providing clean power to combat climate change and maintaining a nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing.”

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