Scientists in Europe have claimed to have made significant advancements in nuclear fusion, a process that provides energy to stars and the sun. If scaled up to a commercial level, this could potentially provide vast amounts of clean, carbon-free energy.
The recent experiment in the lab resulted in the production of 69 megajoules of energy in just five seconds, which is a significant milestone on the path towards nuclear fusion power plants. However, creating nuclear fusion on Earth requires extremely high temperatures and a high density of atoms for an extended period, which presents a complex and challenging task.
The Joint European Torus (JET) facility in Culham, Oxford was once the world’s most advanced experimental fusion reactor until its final work ended at the end of 2021. The results from this facility’s final work were described as “very exciting,” demonstrating the strength of international collaboration in pursuing nuclear fusion energy.
While we are still far from having nuclear fusion power plants, these recent milestones have boosted confidence in the development of fusion energy and deepened our understanding of the physics behind it.