Alright. we admit it -we’ve been banging on about nuclear fusion here since at least 2020, and some of the more elderly members of the Board were boring their classmates with it back in 1973. The promise of endless abundant, renewable energy, with no more rising sea levels and choking smogs. And yet, with many of the world’s best brains and biggest budgets on the job we are no further forward than when Slade topped the popular charts with their hit song Mama we’re all crazy now.
Or are we? The key thing about nuclear fusion research is: to be successful, you have to get more energy out than you put in. And for the first time, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California claims to have done just that. We’ve got two links for you   , from CNN and The Guardian, so you can read for yourselves. But in the meantime, here are our questions
Is this a reputable claim? Definitely. The Lawrence Livermore is one of the world’s top research institutes and always have been.
What’s the energy balance? They claim to have put in at least 2.1 MJ and got out 2.5 That’s a positive.
Has it been confirmed? Weeelllllll……there’s the rub. The best scientists are like the best journalists. They wait for confirmation.
Surely that’s a bit old and fuddy duddy? Generally, it seems to work in practice. Imagine if journalists at The Sun were in charge of housebuilding-we’d still be living in caves.
What are the next steps? First Lawrence Livermore have got to repeat it. Then other researchers must. Remember the excitement around cold fusion back in 1989? Then, of course they have to turn fusion into safe, reliable power stations.
Overall, it’s a step in the right direction. But we at LSS think it’ll be a long time before you turn on the light and the electrons flowing through it came from a terrestrial fusion reactor.
With thanks to contributions from P Seymour
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