The U.S. Department of Energy announced on December 13 that a net positive fusion reaction achieved at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. While impressive, this one last aside raises another substantial barrier:
“(T)he fusion reaction creates neutrons that significantly stress equipment, and could potentially destroy that equipment.”
While the momentary burst produced about 150% more energy than the input from the lasers, the lasers required about 150 times more energy than their output.
The technology won’t be ready for use until at least 2060, which is a decade after the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions. That means that we need to plan and progress without relying on this energy source.