Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku praised a recent nuclear fusion experiment at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
“This is a huge step towards the holy grail of energy research,” said Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at City College and the City University of New York. “To break even, to gain more energy than you invest, and that could end up being a game changer.”
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced a major achievement in nuclear fusion that it was able to produce 1.3 megajoules of energy at its National Ignition Facility as early as August 8, albeit for a very short time. Kaku told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the acquisition was a giant step towards clean energy.
“A fusion reactor is carbon neutral, it does not produce carbon dioxide, it does not produce large amounts of nuclear waste, which is found in nuclear fission plants with uranium, it does not melt,” said the author of “The God Equation: The Search for a Theory of Everything.” “The fuel is sea water, hydrogen from sea water could be the base fuel.”
Fusion, the lesser known and opposite reaction to nuclear fission, is when two atoms collide to form a heavier atom and release energy. This is how the sun generates energy.
Kaku explained some of the disadvantages of nuclear fusion and why it is not currently an easily accessible source of energy.
“It turns out that when you heat hydrogen to tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of the sun, things get unstable, and so this reaction took place for over a hundred trillionth of a second, just a snap of your fingers, so in other words, us want to have a continuous flow of energy, not bursts of energy like we found here, “said Kaku.