US scientists repeat nuclear fusion success with a higher yield

© Steve Jurvetson from Los Altos, USA, CC BY 2.0

The scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, who successfully conducted a nuclear fusion experiment in December 2022, repeated the feat in July 2023 – with a higher yield.

Previously, they achieved 3.15 megajoules yield from an input of 2.05 megajoules. The latest experiment produced 3.5 MJ of energy.

Fission vs. Fusion

Currently, the nuclear reactors worldwide use a method called fission, where a heavy atom’s nucleus is split to produce energy.

Fusion, conversely, merges light hydrogen atoms into a heavier helium atom, releasing energy. This fusion is achieved by heating hydrogen at extreme temperatures.

The success in producing energy via nuclear fusion could mean a carbon-free and cleaner atmosphere, but the implementation of the process on an industrial scale is yet afar.