Taiwan said on Wednesday it plans to research key nuclear fusion technologies. The announcement came after news emerged that researchers in California had made a major breakthrough in the field.
The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) will provide grants for research teams in the fields of theoretical and experimental studies about laser-plasma interactions and magnetically confined high-temperature plasmas, China News Agency reported, adding that these areas are essential to creating conditions required for nuclear fusion.
The NSTC remarks came a day after US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm confirmed that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California had made a breakthrough on December 5, by generating a nuclear fusion reaction that resulted in a net energy gain.
The the US Department of Energy describes nuclear fusion as a process in which two light nuclei combine and form a single heavier nucleus, releasing a large amount of energy.
US officials said the “historic” news will provide invaluable insights into the prospects of clean fusion energy. However, analysts say it could take years for such outcomes to be achieved.
- Jim Pollard