Thursday, December 15, 2022

PBS NewsHour and CNN report on nuclear fusion breakthrough

I mentioned that "nuclear fusion passed an important milestone" and "I plan on writing more about that in the near future." Watch PBS NewsHour report on the achievement in Breakthrough in nuclear fusion technology could dramatically alter clean energy landscape.

For the first time, scientists have produced a fusion reaction that created more energy than was expended, a breakthrough to tap into the same kind of energy that powers the sun and stars. It could have huge implications for potentially creating clean and limitless energy. Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien joined Judy Woodruff to discuss what was achieved and what still needs to happen.
Miles O'Brian saying that nuclear fusion has been twenty years away for as long as he's been following the topic is more optimistic than the thirty to thirty-five years I cited a decade ago.* However, I think that optimism is actually warranted now. Also, while the U.S. can claim this milestone, we are not alone, as Stephen Dean pointed out. Researchers from other countries could beat us to making nuclear fusion a practical source of energy. While that doesn't bother me as a scientist, it worries me as an American.

Bill Nye echoed those concerns on CNN in Bill Nye explains why nuclear fusion breakthrough is a big deal.

For the first time in history, US scientists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain. Science educator Bill Nye explains why this is such a big breakthrough.
Everything you say, Bill, I agree.

Stephen Colbert's monologue Tuesday night prompted me to write this, so it's only appropriate I return to his show for There Were Many Attempts To Achieve A Fusion Reaction Before The Breakthrough.

Considering nearly 200 lasers were used, someone could have probably seen this coming.
Meow. BOOM!

I probably will include this advancement in a planned 2022 year in science post. Until then, stay tuned for Time Magazine's Icon and Athlete of the Year.

*The couple who sold my ex-wife and I our first house in Ann Arbor worked for a company working on fusion power that went under. That was thirty-one years ago. I wonder what they think of this announcement.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This has nothing to do with energy or science, so I'm zapping it with a laser. Deleted.