Inertial confinement fusion involves bombarding a tiny pellet of hydrogen plasma with the world’s biggest laser

Monday, December 12th, 2022

The federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California achieved net energy gain in a fusion experiment, using a process called inertial confinement fusion that involves bombarding a tiny pellet of hydrogen plasma with the world’s biggest laser:

The fusion reaction at the US government facility produced about 2.5 megajoules of energy, which was about 120 per cent of the 2.1 megajoules of energy in the lasers, the people with knowledge of the results said, adding that the data was still being analysed.


The $3.5bn National Ignition Facility was primarily designed to test nuclear weapons by simulating explosions but has since been used to advance fusion energy research. It came the closest in the world to net energy gain last year when it produced 1.37 megajoules from a fusion reaction, which was about 70 per cent of the energy in the lasers on that occasion.


  1. Lu An Li says:

    I believe is project was originally called Shiva for many decades ago the amount of money that they put in the fuse in research over a period Of decades as resulted very little results when they say that they’re getting almost as energy out as they are putting into it that’s usually for a period Of less than a second perhaps even only a million or microsecond so Fusion research has been at a dead end for long. Of time ask yourself if it’s worth it

  2. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Be careful about the details! Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder had a video a while back on claims that a tokamak fusion device had reached “net energy gain”. It turned out that they had referred only to part of the system, conveniently ignoring the additional energy required to create the necessary magnetic fields and run the cooling pumps.

    It is like claiming wind-power is free — while ignoring the high costs of building & erecting a bird-whacker in the first place.

  3. Jim says:

    I endorse nuclear fusion as I endorse walkable cities, bullet trains, flying cars, mass emigration, and women’s liberation from Corporate America and American Government, because it’s futuristic and cool, but let’s take a step back and acknowledge that the reason that the publications feel comfortable talking about nuclear fusion and not nuclear fission is because nuclear fusion doesn’t present a credible, imminent threat to the international banking dynasties and their Great Reset World Order.

  4. bob sykes says:

    “mass emigration” ??

    I could support that. May I choose the emigrants?

    PS. 1,000 people crossed the border en masse at El Paso alone yesterday, mostly Cubans (?), Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans. This supposedly the largest mass crossing on record.

    We are running at over 2 million illegal immigrants per year, and another 700 thousand plus legal immigrants.

  5. Altitude Zero says:

    The payoff for fusion research is so huge if it works, I’m in favor of funding it, but there’s no doubt that it’s been a huge disappointment so far. There are those like Scott Locklin who maintain that the wrong approach is being used, and there might be something to that.

  6. Jim says:

    Bob Sykes: “I could support that. May I choose the emigrants?”

    Regrettably not. It must be a scientific process, conducted by scientists wielding calipers. There is hardly any role for discretion in this sort of business. The calipers will speak to us if only we will let them. Shalom.

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