The U.S. Department of Energy is expected on Tuesday morning to announce a breakthrough in ongoing research for nuclear fusion, long heralded for its potential as a source of zero-emissions and essentially, limitless, energy. The announcement is scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern time.
Nuclear fusion, if it can be produced at scale, has long been considered the Holy Grail in the push for clean energy and slowing the global warming that is intensifying natural disasters, acidifying oceans and bringing extreme heat and drought. The U.S. and much of the rest of the developed world have been promoting a combination of solar, wind
hydrogren and nuclear energy to replace the coal, oil
and natural gas
that send atmosphere-warming emissions into the air. Many nations, including the U.S., have said their economies must cut emissions by half as soon as 2030 and hit net-zero emissions by 2050. On Sunday, the Financial Times reported that federally-funded scientists with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory produced more energy than was consumed in a fusion reaction for the first time. Other major news outlets confirmed that reporting, although the lab has said it will wait until Tuesday to discuss the project. “The recent experiment is a first-of-its-kind feat that could lead to an effective process for producing a zero-carbon alternative to fossil fuels and [tradit …