Nuclear fusion: the laboratory that is about to reach a milestone in the quest for unlimited energy

Large internal laboratory structure photo

Credit, LLNL

Photo caption,

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California has set a new record in its nuclear fusion research

A science institute in the United States is about to make a breakthrough in nuclear fusion research.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, Calif., uses a powerful laser to heat and compress hydrogen fuel and is one step closer to achieving nuclear fusion of massive proportions.

From an experiment carried out in August 2021, the laboratory will soon reach the goal of “ignition”, when the energy released by the fusion will exceed that released by the laser.

Fusion is a type of nuclear energy that is different from the fission process, which has been used since 1950 in atomic energy reactors. In fusion, energy is generated from the union of atoms, while in fission it is a by-product of the splitting of atoms.