(Washington, DC) Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) released a statement congratulating Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) for achieving a critical milestone in the quest for fusion energy.

Researchers at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility announced that they had surpassed the breakeven point, at which the energy produced by fusion is equal to the energy required to initiate fusion. For fusion to become a viable source of power, it will need to produce far more energy than the total system requires. This experiment sets us on the path towards that goal, and with a net energy gain, it is the first time this scientific potential has been demonstrated in the lab.

“Today’s announcement by Lawrence Livermore National Lab is incredibly exciting,” Lucas said. “Fusion is the ultimate clean energy source and achieving ignition is a critical milestone in its development. This achievement also highlights the value of basic research. The complexity and magnitude of the National Ignition Facility are far beyond what any private company could support. But the fundamental knowledge we gain through federally funded experiments like this will ultimately be translated into commercial energy sources by the private sector. This approach to research and development is what has kept America at the cutting edge of technological development for generations. I’d like to extend my congratulations to the researchers, scientists, engineers, technicians, and other staff at LLNL that made this happen, and I look forward to their next breakthrough.”