- Engineers inspect the fusion chamber at the National Ignition Facility || LLNL
- Positioning the target for the National Ignition Facility’s lasers || Eddie Dewald/LLNL
- SOURCE: Nature: Laser fusion put on slow burn 
- LEFT: Schematic ignition target showing a cut-away of the gold hohlraum and plastic capsule with representative laser bundles incident on the inside surface of the hohlraum.
RIGHT: X-ray image of the actual capsule
SOURCE: Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature13008: Fuel gain exceeding unity in an inertially confined fusion implosion
Laser fusion experiment extracts net energy from fuel
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / Nature News & Comment 12 February 2014
Using the world’s most powerful assembly of lasers, a team of researchers say they have, for the first time, extracted more energy from controlled nuclear fusion than was absorbed by the fuel to trigger it — crossing an important symbolic threshold on the long path toward exploiting this virtually boundless source of energy.
The latest feat, achieved at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, is still a way off from the much harder and long-sought goal of ‘ignition’, the break-even point beyond which a fusion reactor can generate more energy than is put in. Many other steps in the current experiments dissipate energy before it even reaches the nuclear fuel.