A nuclear-fusion fuel target emitted more power than it received from a massive laser array during a recent experiment in California, bringing the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory close to its goal of obtaining more energy from a reaction than its giant lasers produce, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The laboratory's multibillion-dollar National Ignition Facility previously faced significant scrutiny from congressional appropriators after it failed to meet a fiscal 2012 deadline for achieving fusion "ignition."
Unanticipated technical hindrances in the energy effort prompted NIF operators to increasingly shift the site's attention toward nuclear-arms science. However, last month's scientific achievement could boost the ignition goal as priority for the site, according to the BBC.
Personnel cuts from the U.S. government shutdown prevented participating scientists from announcing their own achievement, CBS News reported.