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Aug 20, 2021

Fusion breakthrough: 70% yield from input energy

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California has achieved a major breakthrough in the quest to develop nuclear fusion power.

The NIF is the world’s largest inertial confinement fusion (ICF) device and contains the world’s largest laser. Its 192 beams are housed in a 10-story building the size of three football fields. When combined, these can generate over a million joules of energy, or about 0.1% the amount of a lightning bolt.

Scientists have been using the immense power of this laser to heat small capsules of deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen) in an effort to reach “ignition” and kickstart thermonuclear fusion. This process, the same reaction that powers our Sun, could one day provide a limitless source of clean energy.

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