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DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab Announces Breakthrough in Fusion Energy

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have achieved fusion ignition, a milestone that could provide insights into the development of clean fusion energy and lead to advancements in national defense.

A controlled fusion experiment performed at the National Ignition Facility on Dec. 5 applied 2.05 megajoules of energy to the target and resulted in 3.15 megajoules of fusion energy output, generating more energy from fusion than the laser energy used by scientists to drive the experiment, DOE said Tuesday.

NIF is a facility at LLNL that has the size of a sports stadium and can generate pressures and temperatures using laser systems.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting our world-class scientists—like the team at NIF—whose work will help us solve humanity’s most complex and pressing problems, like providing clean power to combat climate change and maintaining a nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

DOE said the achievement could lead to the development of capabilities to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

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