US ready to reveal ‘major scientific breakthrough’ in nuclear fusion

(ORDO NEWS) — The US Department of Energy said Sunday it would announce a “major scientific breakthrough” this week after media reports said a federal lab had recently reached a milestone in nuclear fusion research.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that scientists at California’s Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have achieved a “net energy gain” from an experimental fusion reactor.

This will be the first time that researchers have successfully produced more energy in a fusion reaction – the same type that powers the Sun – that was absorbed during the process, a potentially important step in the pursuit of zero-carbon energy.

Department of Energy and LLNL officials told AFP they could not comment or provide confirmation on the FT report, but said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm would “announce a major scientific breakthrough” on Tuesday.

An LLNL spokesperson added that their “analysis is still ongoing.”

“We look forward to war d to share more on Tuesday when this process is completed,” she said.

The fusion reaction that resulted in a 120 percent increase in net energy occurred in the last two weeks, the FT reported, citing three knowledgeable people. preliminary results.

The Washington Post later reported that two people familiar with the study confirmed the development, with a senior researcher telling the paper, “For most of us, it was only a matter of time.” .

Some scientists see nuclear fusion as the potential energy of the future, especially because it produces little waste and no greenhouse gases.

“If this breakthrough in fusion power is correct, it could be a game changer for the entire world,” tweeted Ted Liu, member of Congress from California.

Fusion differs from fission, the method currently used in nuclear power plants, in that two atomic nuclei are synthesized instead. splitting one.

The LLNL fusion facility consists of nearly 200 lasers the size of three soccer balls. fields that bombard a tiny spot with a high level of energy to initiate a fusion reaction.

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