A “Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough:”
On Dec. 5, 2022, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California conducted a fusion reaction and succeeded in releasing more energy than was used to initiate the reaction. As the Forbes article notes, “The net energy gain from the fusion reaction is the first in human history. While more research (a lot more research) is needed to make the technology replicable, scalable and more efficient, it’s an essential step on the path to clean energy.
As noted by MIT’s Technology Review, “This advance demonstrates the basic viability of fusion energy, a goal researchers have been chasing since the 1950s.”
Further noted in the Technology Review, “This puts a lot of wind in the sails of the community,” says Anne White, head of nuclear science and engineering at MIT. But, she adds, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to see fusion power on the grid tomorrow: “That’s not realistic.”
I do find the “wind in the sails” comment ironic as there will ultimately be little need for unreliable commercial wind once the safe, net positive, demand driven energy from nuclear fusion generation hits the market. I won’t live to see it, but my offspring will be all the better for it!
Hooray for real science!