The U.S. Lawrence Livermore National Lab has created the most powerful laser ever built, and expects to use 192 of these to ignite a fusion explosion of 3 million degrees Celsius in 2-3 years. If this goes well, this approach could beat the ITER fusion reactor in France to the goal of producing the world's first net energy gain in a fusion reaction. ITER uses magnetic fields to ignite nuclear plasma, while this approach concentrates laser beams to cause a small pellet of Hydrogen to ignite. Either way, researchers estimate we could see a commercial fusion reactor operating in about one decade.
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