Fusion Milestone at National Ignition Facility

February 25, 2014, 7:00AMANS Nuclear CafeDr. Mike Dunne

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California is the world's largest and most energetic laser system. The facility completed construction in 2009 and is designed to achieve fusion "ignition"-the achievement of a self-sustaining, burning plasma that releases a net amount of energy. If achieved, it would mark the culmination of more than 50 years of research into fusion. In 2012, the NIF laser met and exceeded its design criteria for energy and power, but it has not yet attained the goal of ignition of the fusion fuel.

Nuclear Matinee: Scientists announce nuclear fusion breakthrough

February 14, 2014, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Researchers at the National Ignition Facility in California announced this week that they had achieved a major milestone on the path toward nuclear fusion as an energy source, as described in a paper published in the science journal Nature. For the first time, the energy produced in a nuclear fusion reaction in a confined hydrogen fuel exceeded the energy put in to start the reaction.  Science reporter Gautam Naik explains at the Wall Street Journal: