Jacob Long/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Researchers have now evaluated the details that they had of the 2022 laser-powered fusion reaction generating more energy than it consumed.
This milestone was reached on December 5, 2022, when the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California experiment produced 3.15 megajoules (MJ) of fusion energy output from 2.05 MJ of laser energy.
Part of the inertial-confinement-fusion system at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California
Subsequent experiments in 2023 further validated this achievement, with the highest yield of 3.88 MJ achieved on July 30, 2023.
This series of successful experiments demonstrates NIF’s capability to consistently produce fusion energy at multi-megajoule levels, marking a significant step forward in the quest for practical fusion energy.
Beyond its implications for energy production, achieving fusion ignition represents a groundbreaking advancement with potential applications in enhancing the reliability of nuclear stockpiles and offering a safe, clean, and virtually limitless energy source for the future.