In April, the White House hosted a summit to accelerate business merger efforts.
“Developing an economically attractive approach to fusion energy is a major scientific and engineering challenge,” said Tommy Ma, who leads the feasibility study effort at Livermore. “Without a doubt, it will be an enormous undertaking.”
A report commissioned by the Department of Energy to provide a framework for laser fusion energy research will be released soon, Dr Ma said.
“Such a project will inevitably require participation from across the community,” including academia, startups and public utilities, in addition to national labs like Livermore, he said.
The results, announced Tuesday, will benefit scientists working on the NIF’s primary mission, the nuclear arsenal. By performing these nuclear reactions at a less destructive scale in a laboratory, scientists aim to replace the data they used to collect from underground nuclear explosions that the US stopped in 1992.
More fusion output from the facility will generate more data “which allows us to maintain confidence in our nuclear deterrent without the need for further underground testing,” Dr Herman said. “An output of 30,000 trillion watts of power, creating extremely intense environments” that closely resemble an exploding nuclear weapon.
“The goal is to first demonstrate that we can ignite a thermonuclear fuel in the lab. Time,” said Ricardo Petti, chief scientist at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energy, who was not involved in this particular Livermore experiment.
“It’s done,” he added. “So it’s a great decision.”
Henry Fountain And Zach Montag Contributed report.
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