It was reported yesterday by BBC News that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has, for the first time, created a fusion reaction where the amount of energy released is greater than the amount of energy absorbed. While there is still a long ways to go to reach the ultimate goal of ignition, which is necessary if fusion energy will ever be a commercial energy source, this stepping stone is an important step in keeping hopes for fusion energy alive.
The article, which can be read here, explains how NIF conducts fusion reactions inside of hohlraums, laser targets that are manufactured here at Luxel.
This is a stage shy of the lab’s expressed objective of “ignition”, where nuclear fusion produces as much energy as the lasers supply. This is on the grounds that known “inefficiencies” in distinctive parts of the system mean not all the energy supplied through the laser is conveyed to the fuel.
However, the most recent accomplishment has been depicted as the absolute most important stride for combination as of late, and exhibits NIF is well on its way towards the coveted target of ignition and self-sustaining fusion.