Official speaks during a US Department of Energy news conference to announce a breakthrough on fusion energy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on Tuesday. Reuters
US researchers announced a historic nuclear fusion breakthrough on Tuesday, hailing a "landmark achievement" in the quest for a source of unlimited, clean power and an end to reliance on fossil fuels.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California said an experiment it conducted this month "produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it."
The US Department of Energy described the achievement of fusion ignition as a "major scientific breakthrough" that will lead to "advancements in national defense and the future of clean power."
LLNL director Kim Budil described it as "is one of the most significant scientific challenges ever tackled by humanity."
Scientists have been working for decades to develop nuclear fusion -- touted by its supporters as a clean, abundant and safe source of energy that could eventually allow humanity to break its dependence on the fossil fuels driving a global climate crisis.
The LLNL said a team at its National Ignition Facility (NIF) conducted the first controlled fusion experiment in history on December 5, achieving what is known as "scientific energy breakeven."
"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," US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said.
Nuclear power plants around the world currently use fission -- the splitting of a heavy atom's nucleus -- to produce energy.
Fusion on the other hand combines two light hydrogen atoms to form one heavier helium atom, releasing a large amount of energy in the process.
That's the process that occurs inside stars, including our sun.
On Earth, fusion reactions can be provoked by heating hydrogen to extreme temperatures inside specialized devices.
Researchers at the LLNL use the massive National Ignition Facility -- 192 ultra-powerful lasers all pointed into a thimble-sized cylinder filled with hydrogen.
Like fission, fusion is carbon-free during operation, but has many more advantages: it poses no risk of nuclear disaster and produces much less radioactive waste.
However, there is still a long way to go before fusion is viable on an industrial scale.
"Many advanced science and technology developments are still needed to achieve simple, affordable IFE to power homes and businesses," LLNL said.
Other nuclear fusion projects are also in development around the world, including the major international project known as ITER, which is currently under construction in France.
Instead of lasers, ITER will use a technique known as magnetic confinement, containing a swirling mass of fusing hydrogen plasma within a massive donut-shaped chamber.
Working together, ENEC and KEPCO’s achievement of 75 million safe work hours without a Lost Time Injury, LTI, represents a significant industrial safety accomplishment and is the result of their exceptional safety culture, dedication to the continuous improvement of everyday work practices and empowerment of employees to ensure their own safety through a range of safety-related practices and tools.
Together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UAE continues to support the development of civil nuclear energy around the world and call for operational transparency.
The emergence of problems in a new-generation nuclear reactor in China threatens to undermine efforts by its French designer to sell it elsewhere, and could hurt Beijing’s nuclear industry, analysts said. French energy giant EDF and the Chinese
The nuclear fusion startup Helion, which announced last week that it has raised $500 million, says it has developed new technologies that may make nuclear fusion viable — practically, economically and environmentally. It is too early to tell if its claims will pan out,
The campaign, initiated by the UAE, seeks to provide relief to Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip by offering urgent assistance.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed discussed with guests the bilateral relations between the UAE and their respective countries, along with regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The price of Super 98 dropped from Dhs3.03 to Dhs2.96 per litre for December, and so did the price of Special 95, which dropped from Dhs2.92 to Dhs2.85 per litre for December.
As the 70,000 delegates expected to attend COP28 descend on the gleaming Emirati city of Dubai, governments are preparing for marathon negotiations on whether to agree, for the first time, to phase out the world's use of CO2-emitting coal, oil and gas.