"WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was set to announce a “major scientific breakthrough” Tuesday in the decades-long quest to harness fusion, the energy that powers the sun and stars.
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California for the first time produced more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it, something called net energy gain, according to one government official and one scientist familiar with the research. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the breakthrough ahead of the announcement.
Granholm was scheduled to appear alongside Livermore researchers at a morning event in Washington. The Department of Energy declined to give details ahead of time. The news was first reported by the Financial Times.
Proponents of fusion hope that it could one day produce nearly limitless, carbon-free energy, displacing fossil fuels and other traditional energy sources. Producing energy that powers homes and businesses from fusion is still decades away. But researchers said it was a significant step nonetheless."