U.S. scientists have achieved a net energy gain in a nuclear fusion reaction for a second time—this time, with a higher energy yield, according to Axios.
What’s going on: The federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California announced Sunday that in an experiment on July 30, a fusion reaction produced more energy than it consumed, and more than a similar experiment produced last December.
- The December reaction used 192 lasers to produce a net gain of 1.1 megajoules of fusion energy, enough to power an average-size home for about half an hour, according to Extreme Tech.
- The July reaction is said to have netted even more, though specific figures for it are not yet available.
Why it’s important: “Scientists have worked for decades to develop nuclear fusion as a source of effectively limitless clean energy,” Axios reports.
- However … “Scaling up the technology to support the electrical grid will require increasingly powerful lasers—and more of them,” according to Extreme Tech.
The last word: “The net gain of fusion energy—for a second time, and in a larger amount—is a tremendous milestone,” said NAM Director of Domestic Economic Policy Brandon Farris. “It is further evidence of the enormous potential of nuclear power to help us meet our energy needs and energy-security goals.”