Fusion Ignition Achieved by DOE

Last month, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA), in cooperation with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently announced a breakthrough in fusion energy. They have achieved a reaction called “fusion ignition,” which can make fusion energy realistically possible to use in the future. Fusion ignition, as defined by LLNL, is “also known as scientific energy breakeven, meaning it produces more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it.” This means that fusion energy, which had for a long time been considered unsustainable, is now able to be used for power generation and other applications. Fusion power has been a long sought-after source of green renewable energy, along with also being a relatively safe alternative to nuclear power, and a much more efficient power source than solar or wind power. 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories “Target Chamber”, where Fusion Ignition was achieved on December 5th, 2022 (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/Department of Energy)

“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.” stated US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. She also praised the Presidential Administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for consistently funding and supporting the project, along with members of the US Congress and other assistants to the project and its funding. The achievement of Fusion ignition made by LLNL and the DOE means that Fusion energy can realistically be made into a sustainable and safe power source. Much of the United States’ power sources come from Natural Gas, Coal and Nuclear Energy, with Coal being the second largest source of energy in the US. As a result, pollution is still an issue in many major cities which rely on Coal for power. But with the advent of potential Fusion energy, it can potentially lead to a reduction in pollution and CO2 emissions. 

LLNL’s interior view of its Target Chamber. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/Department of Energy/theconversation.com)


Department of Energy Announcement

Lawrence Livermore National Labratory

Department of Energy Fusion Energy Explanation

The Conversation

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