US researchers have taken an important step in nuclear fusion. The Ministry of Energy there did not want to say more. According to the media, nuclear fusion has succeeded with “net energy gain”.
Scientists at a US laboratory have apparently made an important advance in nuclear fusion research. US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm will announce “a significant scientific breakthrough” on Tuesday, the US Department of Energy and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California announced on Sunday (local time). Several media had previously reported that scientists at the federal laboratory LLNL had succeeded for the first time in using an experimental fusion reactor to generate more energy than was consumed during the process.
A “net energy gain” of 120 percent was achieved, the British “Financial Times” reported on Sunday, citing three people involved in the research. The Washington Post also reported on the alleged breakthrough and quoted a fusion scientist as saying: “For most of us it was only a matter of time.”
Nuclear fusion reports not yet confirmed
The US Department of Energy and the laboratory initially did not want to confirm the reports because the “analysis was still ongoing”. However, they announced a statement from the minister for Tuesday.
In nuclear fusion, atomic nuclei are fused together at extreme temperatures. Enormous amounts of energy are released in the process. Conventional nuclear power plants generate energy from the fission of atomic nuclei.
Significant energy expenditure in nuclear fusion
In order to bring about nuclear fusion, a considerable amount of energy is required. According to its supporters, nuclear fusion could eventually become an alternative to burning fossil fuels and controversial nuclear fission. Although dozens of experimental reactors have been built since the 1950s, none of them has managed to generate more energy than is required for the process.