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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

US announces fusion tech clean energy breakthrough for warming world

New York: The United States has unveiled a groundbreaking achievement in clean energy technology, heralding a potential transformation in global power generation. The breakthrough involves fusion technology, which seeks to replicate the process that powers the sun and stars, offering a promising solution to the world’s energy needs amidst a warming climate.
Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Science and Technology Policy, hailed the achievement as “an engineering marvel beyond belief” during the announcement in Washington, emphasizing its significance in advancing clean energy possibilities.
Fusion technology involves the fusion of two or more smaller atoms into a larger one, mimicking the natural process that fuels celestial bodies like the sun and stars. The breakthrough at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) of the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratory (LLNL) is noteworthy because it generated more energy than it consumed, marking a departure from current energy production methods that often require more power than they produce.
According to scientist Robbie Scott from the Central Laser Facility (CLF) Plasma Physics Group, the breakthrough is akin to “striking a match,” with the fusion process sustaining itself. Fusion holds immense potential as a safe, clean, and nearly limitless source of carbon-free energy.
The Biden administration has hailed the achievement as a significant milestone in the fight against climate change, highlighting its potential to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm noted that fusion technology could address humanity’s most pressing challenges, such as combating climate change, by providing clean power.
However, LLNL Director Kim Budil cautioned that commercializing fusion power plants would require further research and development over the next few decades. While the timeline is not as long as previously anticipated, concerted efforts and investments will be needed to realize the technology’s full potential.
Marvin Adams, Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Defense Programs, also underscored the military applications of the breakthrough. Apart from enhancing defense capabilities, fusion technology could enable the testing of nuclear weapons without conducting actual explosions, showcasing the technological superiority of the United States.

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