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Nuclear fusion breakthrough: Bay Area lab takes big step in creating clean energy

A Bay Area lab has taken a big step toward creating what some believe is the Holy Grail of clean energy. 

The Lawrence Livermore National Lab has super charged the physics world by successfully generating energy via nuclear fusion for a second time.

By doing it twice, they’ve proved their process is no fluke. Scientists say they’re excited, but need to figure out how to scale it up.

“The reason people are so excited about it is, people have been trying to do this for decades, and finally it looks like we’re on the precipice of being able to actually generate energy in this way,” said Ken Wharton, physics professor at San Jose State University.

What was long thought to be science fiction is now reality. Repeating, with even better results, what Lawrence Livermore did last December. 

“We want a fusion power plant that will power the power grid, the fuel would be hydrogen coming from seawater, and it would not generate hardly any carbon in the atmosphere at all,” said Wharton.

But for those working on cleaner energy sources now, the timeline is a little too long to call the lab’s breakthrough a quick fix for climate change. 

“Well, I think this is a first step, and it is a critical step,” said Severin Borenstein of the Energy Institute at Berkeley. “This is not in the quiver of arrows for fighting climate change in the next 10 or 20 years, it is in the incubator stage for being part of the solution 30 years or 40 years from now.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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