Nuclear Fusion breakthrough sees a possible future clean energy source

Bill Nye talks about the current nuclear fusion breakthrough and investing in new energy alternatives.

by Brock Fortman

The announcement by US Department of Energy officials on December 13 revealed a nuclear fusion breakthrough that resulted in the first reaction to produce more energy than was put into creating the reaction. According to CNBC, “This is a scientific achievement, not a practical one,” said Omar A. Hurricane, a chief scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

This is huge for all things energy-related and climate change related, as this is a clean energy alternative that could be the power of future generations. If fusion can be deployed on a commercial scale, it can offer a clean source of power without the harmful effects of greenhouse gasses, fossil fuels, and the waste produced by nuclear power plants.

This breakthrough, however, is only the beginning of breakthroughs to come for attaining net energy from fusion reactions. US officials have hailed this as a “landmark achievement” and a “milestone” according to CNN.

Nuclear fusion is an inorganic recreation that replicates the same energy that powers the sun. Nuclear fusion occurs when two atoms fuse together in order to create one larger atom which results in a massive accumulation of heat. Scientists officially passed the dividing line where the energy created by fusion equals the energy put into creating the fusion that resulted in a factor of 1.5 megajoules in energy gains.

According to The New York Times, “In August they achieved a much larger burst of energy, 70% of the laser light’s energy, which encouraged them to run tests that bettered their understanding of their success in August. This, in turn, increased the energy of the lasers by 10%,” Mark Herrmann said, program director for weapons physics and design at Lawrence Livermore.


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