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Hydrogen fusion ignition achieved at Livermore Lab inertial confinement lab


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A peer-reviewed paper has now confirmed results from a year ago, that an experiment at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) last August did achieve "ignition" which means that the fusion reaction became self-sustaining, for a brief moment.    The LLNL experiment is the latest achievement of the inertial confinement fusion work at the lab that began in the 1970's.  Although it isn't as well known by the public as is the work with magnetically confined plasmas, the LLNL experiments have always been focused on re-creating, in a controlled manner, the conditions which occur in a thermonuclear weapon. As a Department of Energy technical staff member, I played a small role in the development of the Shiva laser facility in the 1970's which was the distant predecessor of today's National Ignition Facility.

It should be noted that being able to utilize inertial confinement fusion as a power source would require development of a facility which could recreate such an experiment on a rapidly repetitive basis with an accompanying mechanism for extraction of the energy produced.   There are many steps yet to go.


Edited by docj
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