US nuclear fusion breakthrough could eliminate need for fossil fuels

A nuclear power plant. Photo credit: Lukas Lehotsky (Unsplash)

US scientists have announced today their breakthrough in nuclear fusion, which could replace the need for fossil fuels.

The experiment took place at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California.

Scientists have tried to duplicate this nuclear fusion on earth since as early as the 1930s, making today’s breakthrough even more historic.

In simple terms, nuclear fusion is a process where hydrogen atoms are forced together so hard that they produce helium and release a huge amount of energy and heat.

This process does not release any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It is hoped that this method could one day produce an unlimited supply of energy that is not as damaging to the environment as the use of fossil fuels. Although, so far, the amount of energy produced is only enough to make a few cups of tea.

Some are doubtful that the findings will revolutionise energy production, at least not for a few decades. There are questions as to whether the experiment can be repeated effectively on a larger scale and just how much energy can be produced each time.

Only time will tell if nuclear fusion is our next source of clean energy.

Words: Yana Trup | Video: Yana Trup | Subbing: Nadya Salie

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