Scientists at the Livermore National Laboratory in the USA conducted a successful experiment on thermonuclear fusion. Now its results have been verified by an international group of experts. According to experts, humanity has become one step closer to a source of endless energy. Andrey Kuznetsov, director of the LaPlaz Institute, commented on this issue for Russian news agensy 'Novosti'.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States is the world's largest inertial-type facility. Small targets with thermonuclear fuel (hydrogen isotopes - deuterium and tritium) are irradiated here with beams of ultra-powerful laser beams.

The main goal of the NIF, like any other controlled fusion device, was to achieve energy break-even—the state at which the fusion energy gain exceeds unity.

“Energy break-even is calculated as the ratio of the energy obtained as a result of thermonuclear combustion to the supplied laser energy,” explains Andrey Kuznetsov, director of the Institute of Laser and Plasma Technologies of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI. “This does not take into account the energy that is taken “from the outlet,” but in tokamaks so far We couldn’t reach this target either.”

The NIF complex was launched in 2009, but the synthesis reaction could not be obtained for many years. Only in 2018, after a series of technical improvements, it happened, but only 3.6 percent of the input laser energy was released. By August 2021, the figure was raised to 70 percent. And in December 2022, when using lasers with an energy of 2.05 megajoules, they received one and a half times more energy – 3.15 megajoules.

During 2023, success was confirmed three times. Moreover, once we got an even better output – 3.88 megajoules with the same input energy of 2.05 megajoules. That is, the thermonuclear energy gain factor was almost 1.9.

“This is the event of the fiftieth anniversary in thermonuclear physics,” comments Andrei Kuznetsov. “The main thing is that the Americans have shown that this in itself is possible. Now everyone else will strive to repeat the result. Similar experiments are being carried out in Russia, France and China, but so far no one except the Americans , didn’t reach that level of energy.”