Scientists and U.S. officials have hailed a major milestone in nuclear fusion technology, igniting hopes the breakthrough could help lead to a clean energy future. Researchers at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory last week successfully achieved net energy gain through fusion ignition, generating more power than is used to create the reaction. Unlike fission, which is currently used by nuclear power plants, fusion does not produce long-lasting nuclear waste or carbon emissions.
However, scientists say it will likely be decades before the technology is perfected enough to begin producing energy at scale. The experiment is likely to more immediately benefit the U.S. military and its nuclear weapons arsenal. This is Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm: “Simply put, this is one of the most impressive scientific feats of the 21st century. … This milestone moves us one significant step closer to the possibility of zero-carbon, abundant fusion energy powering our society.”