Scientists Set New Record in Energy Production through Nuclear Fusion
British scientists from the JET laboratory have achieved a world record in energy production through nuclear fusion, which is a key process for providing energy like stars. This was reported by the BBC news agency.
According to scientists, within five seconds of the experiment, they managed to create 69 megajoules of energy, equivalent to a power of 11 megawatts. This result was obtained from the latest experiment of the laboratory after more than 40 years of research into nuclear fusion.
"The new results from the latest JET launch are very exciting. This achievement really underscores the power of international cooperation; these results would have been impossible without the work of hundreds of scientists and engineers from across Europe," said Professor Stuart Mangles, head of the Space, Plasma, and Climate Research Community at Imperial College London.
Although the reactor is located in the United Kingdom, it is primarily funded by the EU nuclear research program "Euratom" and operated by the UK Atomic Energy Agency. Over four decades, scientists from the UK, EU, Switzerland, and Ukraine have worked on it.
The reactor was supposed to operate for only about ten years, but multiple successes have allowed extending its operational term. Today's announced result triples the one achieved during similar tests in 1997.
Nuclear fusion is a process that powers the Sun and other stars. It works by heating and coaxing tiny particles to merge into heavier particles, releasing a large amount of energy. If successfully scaled to a commercial level, it can generate an infinite amount of clean energy without carbon emissions. And unlike wind and solar energy, it will not depend on weather conditions.
To replicate the processes that occur inside stars on Earth, extremely high temperatures reaching about 100 million degrees Celsius are necessary. Also required are high atomic density and significant duration.
The Gaze publication also reported that at the end of last month, record falls in gas and electricity prices were recorded in Europe due to powerful storms, which boost wind energy.