Historic Turning Point in the Energy Produced by Nuclear Fusion

Energy - January 13, 2023

An American Experiment Opens New Horizons on the Production of Clean and Potentially Unlimited Energy

During a press conference in Washington, the managers of a Californian laboratory defined the nuclear fusion experiment carried out in recent days as “revolutionary” and thanks to which, for the first time in history, they produced a quantity of energy higher than that used to trigger the generation process so as to hypothesize, in a relatively near future, the concrete possibility of obtaining inexhaustible and low-cost clean energy, as if one had a perpetual generator.

The technological and logistical difficulties envisaged for the development of the experiment in question are currently so numerous and important as to limit the easy enthusiasm even if, objectively, the relevance of a similar result is great which, in about 30 years, according to some estimates by experts, could have practical repercussions on the currently known concept of energy generation, such as to change the world forever.

All the professionals involved in the experiment, together with some of the senior officials of the various American scientific departments, underlined the importance of the result obtained, praising the perseverance, defined as exemplary, by the technicians who have worked hard over the years, in the study of new methods of energy production through nuclear processes.

The goal, according to Kim Budin, director of the White House science and technology office, will be to build a power plant based on the principle of nuclear generation through fusion, in no more than 30 years. The timing, as specified by all the entities concerned, may vary but can hardly be considered short since, to transform the experiment into a pragmatic use for commercial purposes, will be needed new and in-depth studies on the necessary technology, important investments and a lot of stubbornness.

During the experiment we witnessed the ignition, for only once, of a so-called “energy capsule” through a nuclear fusion but, in order to be able to count on a supply useful for commercialization, it will be necessary to produce many trigger events for casting every minute and a robust drive system to support them. In the event induced by the researchers, in the National Ignition Facility experimental structure, in the Lawrance Lovermore National Laboratory, in California, 192 laser beams were aimed at a single tiny cylindrical container just a few millimetres long, placed in a room from which it was pumped out the air. Inside the aforesaid cylinder, perforated for the cause, the elements necessary for a nuclear fusion deuterium and tritium, contained in a spherical capsule with a diameter of 3 millimetres, were indirectly hit by the laser beams which transformed the shell of the sphere into plasma which, expanding, compressed the 2 elements until obtaining the ideal pressure and temperature to trigger the fusion reaction. The energy produced by the fusion caused inside the sphere, in practice, for a fraction of a second, was greater than that produced, inside the cylinder, by the laser beams.

After hundreds of attempts already implemented in the past with the same modalities, therefore, for the first time, the best conditions of temperature, density and stability have been recreated, ideal for obtaining more energy than was needed to generate it, albeit in a very small time. With the passage of time, the improvement of technology and huge new investments by the state bodies in charge, it will be possible to make the energy production process through nuclear fusion stable and it will therefore be possible to consider this new energy source as clean and unlimited, perhaps enough to solve most of the problems caused by the growing costs of energy production in the world.

 

Alessandro Fiorentino