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US Lab Bags Huge Achievement In Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fusion research has been going around in a number of labs around the globe. Scientists hope that one day, nuclear fusion will be a key source of energy for us. Now, National Ignition Facility (NIF) in US has been able to achieve a breakthrough by creating more energy from a nuclear fusion reaction than was absorbed by the fuel used.

Nuclear fusion in Sun

Nuclear fusion is not currently used as a practical source of energy because it needs to produce more energy than it consumes. Until now, this didn’t seem possible. But in a recent breakthrough at NIF, 192 ultra-powerful laser beams were used to heat a hydrogen fuel source.

The consequent nuclear fusion reaction that took place was able to yield more energy than was absorbed by the fuel. This is the first time such positive yield of energy has been achieved in a nuclear fusion reaction.

This is hailed by scientists around the globe as a huge step forth towards the goal of using nuclear fusion as a viable energy source. In nuclear fission reaction, atoms are split to create energy. It is commonly used in nuclear power generation in today’s nuclear plants.

Nuclear fusion reaction, on the other hand, involves the smashing together of atoms. Initially, a certain amount of energy is required to trigger the reaction so that it would start. However, once the reaction starts, it is able to yield huge amounts of energy.

Courtesy: BBC

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