nuclear fusion | A “major” scientific breakthrough in energy production

nuclear fusion |  A “major” scientific breakthrough in energy production

(WASHINGTON) The US Department of Energy said Sunday that it is preparing to announce a “major scientific breakthrough this week” in the field of nuclear fusion.

British Daily financial times I reported hours ago that scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), located in California, recently got a “net energy gain” from an experimental fusion reactor.

This will be the first time that researchers have been able to produce more energy in a fusion reaction — like the one that powers the Sun — than they consumed in the process, which would be a significant breakthrough in the search for carbon-free energy.

Asked to comment on the FT article, spokespeople for the Department of Energy and LLNL told AFP that the US Secretary of State for Energy, Jennifer Granholm, will organize an event on Tuesday “during which she will herald a major scientific breakthrough”.

“The analysis (was) still ongoing,” the association’s spokesman added.

“We look forward to sharing more information on Tuesday when this process is complete,” she added.

The fusion reaction that resulted in a net energy increase of 120% took place over the past two weeks, the Financial Times reported, citing three people familiar with the preliminary findings.

Nuclear fusion is considered by advocates to be the energy of tomorrow, especially because it produces little waste and no greenhouse gases.

If this hack […] California Congressman Ted Liu said on Twitter after the Financial Times report was released.

Fusion differs from fission, a technology currently used in nuclear power plants, which consists in breaking the bonds of heavy atomic nuclei to recover energy.

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Fusion is the reverse process: two light atomic nuclei “pair” to form a heavier nucleus. In this case, there are two isotopes (atomic variants) of hydrogen, giving rise to helium.

The LLNL facility consists of approximately 200 lasers the size of three football fields, which target a small dot with high levels of energy to initiate a fusion reaction.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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