[Editor's note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Wire.]
By Edward Moses
Real Clear Wire
Fusion energy powers our sun, all the stars in the universe, and sustains life on Earth. Fusion is the Holy Grail of energy – safe, sustainable, and carbon-free. Fusion fuel the size of a raisin, contains enough energy to power a typical home for several years displacing the burning of 12 tons of coal which would create 25 tons of carbon dioxide.
For more than 75 years, it has been a dream to recreate the sun’s fusion energy here on Earth. Even though tens of billions of dollars have been expended by teams of scientists and engineers working around the world on a variety of fusion approaches, there has been no experimental proof that the fusion energy dream could be realized.
TRENDING: AI's real target
That is, until a year ago when everything changed.
On December 5, 2022, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's largest and most energetic laser, 192 laser beams were pointed at a peppercorn-sized target and a tiny sun was created on Earth. More fusion energy was produced than the laser energy needed to ignite the fusion fuel.
The significance of this breakthrough cannot be overstated. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm referred to it as "One of the most impressive scientific feats of the 21st century." Some have likened it to the historic "Kitty Hawk moment” when the Wright Brothers were the first to successfully fly a manned aircraft. The Wright Brothers flight represented the first step towards commercial air travel and a vast aerospace industry.
Like Kitty Hawk, fusion energy gain at the NIF will be one of those historical “before and after” moments. The challenge now is to convert fusion physics to baseload commercial power, providing unprecedented megawatts of sustainable zero-emission electricity. Fusion energy can also be used for powering the hydrogen economy, creating low-carbon commodities including fertilizers, syn-fuels, cement, and steel, and de-carbonize the desalination of water. The fusion industry and its applications can be a multi-trillion-dollar business for decades to come.
As the former Director of the NIF, I am frequently asked what is the plan to accelerate the commercialization of this technological achievement and bring it to the marketplace?
During my time at the NIF, a laser fusion power plant design effort was initiated. Scientists and engineers, in collaboration with major U.S. utilities, leading technology vendors, NGOs, and regulatory experts, developed a fully integrated commercial laser fusion energy power plant concept and the plan for deploying it. It was founded on two basic assumptions — that fusion with energy gain would be proven — it has been, and that new laser and other technologies not available when the NIF was being built would be — they are. These include 30 years of parallel development of groundbreaking laser and associated technologies apropos to power plant construction and operation.
Of course, there is still more to do in all aspects of these technologies. The path ahead will require the same dedication and innovation that has been the hallmark of this field which, having been there, gives me great confidence. This will be instrumental in solving the most consequential challenges facing humankind — providing clean, renewable and sustainable energy, mitigating climate change, and providing for energy security.
The enormous potential for growth and opportunity in the emergent fusion industry requires that the U.S. maintains its clear leadership position and be aware of fusion energy efforts in China and around the world. Being ahead now reduces risk from foreign competitors later.
The Federal government, led by the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, has provided decades of funding and policy support for many fusion research approaches. Today’s breakthrough in laser fusion energy, and important advances in other fusion approaches, makes it essential that government and private capital work together to assure successful and accelerated fusion energy commercialization for our nation. The impact can be monumental.
As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of America’s fusion energy breakthrough, we are proud that the nation is still capable of doing big and important things.
Let us embrace a future underpinned by clean and sustainable fusion energy.
Dr. Edward Moses is the Chief Executive Officer of Longview Fusion Energy Systems. He was the Director of Livermore’s National Ignition Facility from 2000 to 2013 and was responsible for leading the design, technology development, construction and operation of the NIF.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO WND READERS: Shortly after Hamas terrorists fired over 5,000 rockets from Gaza into Israel on Oct. 7 and then proceeded to attack the Jewish state by land, sea and air – torturing, burning, beheading and murdering well over a thousand people, including women, children and infants, and wounding and abducting hundreds more – world reaction was, in its own way, almost equally shocking.
For after the biggest one-day mass slaughter of Jews since the Nazi Holocaust, what followed was an outpouring of celebratory demonstrations, unbridled Jew-hatred, deliriously gleeful support for Hamas and bitter condemnation of the nation of Israel. Not just in the Arab-Muslim world, but throughout the Western world as well, including all across America.
Why? What is behind the explosion of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, pro-terror sentiment in the United States, where Israel has long been one of America's closest friends and allies? Why are hordes of young "woke" LGBT demonstrators marching in support of Hamas – when Hamas wouldn't think twice about binding and blindfolding them and throwing them off the roof of a tall building – as they routinely do in the Muslim world?
It turns out there's one area of agreement that is so powerful, deep-seated and all-consuming that the vast differences between the deranged left and the murderous jihadists melt away into Kumbaya harmony.
All of this and much more is completely exposed in November's issue of WND's critically acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled ISRAEL VS. GLOBAL JIHAD: How Jew-hatred, radical Islam and Leftism are pushing us toward World War III. Beyond a deeply insightful dive into why leftists are surging toward radical Islam – which hates and dreams of raping and butchering them – this Whistleblower issue includes fantastic articles by everyone from top Israeli analyst (and former Israel Defense Forces officer) Caroline Glick to Harvest Christian Fellowship's Pastor Greg Laurie on the current war in Israel and biblical prophecies regarding the End Times … which he says are now upon us.
For 25 years, WND has boldly brought you the news that really matters. If you appreciate our Christian journalists and their uniquely truthful reporting and analysis, please help us by becoming a WND Insider!