Dec 12, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Nuclear fusion "breakthrough" reportedly arrives

The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Photo: Damien Jemison/Lawrence Livermore

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is expected to announce a major step forward in nuclear fusion energy on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Decades of effort have gone into fusion energy, which promises almost limitless carbon-free power — without the dangerous waste from traditional fission reactors.

Driving the news: The breakthrough came in the past two weeks at the National Ignition Facility of the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the Financial Times reported in a scoop.

  • Granholm will announce scientists for the first time have produced "a fusion reaction that creates a net energy gain — a major milestone in the decades-long, multibillion-dollar quest to develop a technology that provides unlimited, cheap, clean power," the Washington Post adds.

Reality check: Progress in showing conceptual viability would be just one stop on the long scientific, technical and financial road to commercializing this long-elusive holy grail.

What's next: Granholm's announcement tomorrow is billed as a "major scientific breakthrough."

Go deeper: Axios' Alison Snyder explored fusion energy earlier this year

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