Fusion ‘Ignition’ Researchers Report Major Progress

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 9, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

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.


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