Bill Nye explains why nuclear fusion breakthrough is a big deal

For the first time in history, US scientists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain. Science educator Bill Nye explains why this is such a big breakthrough. #CNN #News


  1. What a morale boost for humanity and all we’ve been going through. Feeling some serious hope today for a better future❣

    1. @UrGreatestEnemy
      Wrong. If that were true then fusion reactions would be EASY! But the fact that you think that fusion is atoms breaking the bonds on “modules” ( I assume you meant molecules) shows your UTTER ignorance. Breaking bonds in molecules is what happens everyday with chemical energy. Fusion, as the name implies, requires making atoms fuse together.

      Please! You are so scientifically illiterate and semi-illiterate in general, stop embarrassing yourself.

    2. @Randy Watsonwhistle blowing what? Like yeah it wouldn’t change the overal evo psych game, but reductions in costs of energy do always improve things for people.

  2. I grew up watching videos of Bill Nye as a kid. Now I’m watching him as an adult. I pray to God I may continue watching him for many more years to come.

    1. @Jason C. Those are all true, but none of them produced a net-positive power output, they always cost more than they created. This new design (which admittedly borrows a lot from a lab in the EU) will actually generate more power than it uses, since they figured out how to get the stronger magnetic bottles running with less power.

    2. @Andy Kaufman sorry, I wasn’t aware that being “grown up” is the same thing as being disrespectful.

  3. When you really think about it, this is completely nuts. Tell someone from a hundred years ago, 50 years ago that we are close to replicating the power of the sun. They probably wouldn’t even realise how incredible that is. Really hope they can safe proof the technology and use it for good.

    1. we will never replicate the power of the sun because we cannot recreate the gravity of the sun. this means that fusion on earth is different to fusion in the sun, in quite important ways. one difference is in thefuel source required. the sun fuses ‘normal’ hydrogen. On earth we need to use an isotope of hydrogen called Titium that is more reactive, and more tricky to get hold of, without creating more problems

    2. @Andy Lowe I seriously doubt that he meant “replicating the power of the sun” literally. Rather, he is stating it in such a way that the layman could understand it. How do you explain such a technological achievement to the cashier, or the kindergarten teacher, or the construction worker? By getting into the minute details of the exact science behind such an achievement, or oversimplifying it and simply stating that you are, in a sense, creating a sun in a box?

  4. I am excited and thrilled that scientists have made this break through. I may not see it during the rest of my life, but knowing that my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will be able to use this to heat their homes, fuel their oven, and fuel their vehicles gives me hope that we will be able to save our planet and have a secure future.

    1. Nice it finally is coming closer to reality and a sense of urgency from many due to climate change. It is the ultimate missing piece to zero emission energy. It is viewed as the holy grail of tomorrow’s energy. Looking forward to technology advancements it will bring once on the grid. Stuff you dream of in sci Fi movies. The long hoped for flying cars could arrive!

    2. @jlbueno0611 Going to take some major development on something like the Alcubierre drive or wormholes, not impossible though. Even if we achieved half the speed of light, which would be massive, it would take thousands of years to reach Alpha Centauri.

    3. @Enric Martinez or, and this is crazy, the government can fun a few and power the country, using way less of our money from taxes, then we pay to the corporations.
      Now is when you whine about government control and socialism.

  5. if I remember correctly they powered the lasers with 3kw producing a 2kw laser beam that caused the deuterium pellet to emit 3kw of energy. technically, they didn’t produce a net gain but it proves the science behind it. the rush now is producing energy-efficient lasers that will produce a net gain with the data they have. once a 2kw laser only uses 2.3kw or less of power and an auto-feed pellet system that can feed 60+ pellets per second is created we will see huge facilities with thousands of server rack sized fusion generators powering cities. I think in the next 3-5 years there will be a huge jump in laser tech making fusion cost viable and mass production will start.

    1. What I read was they used 300MJ to power 200 lasers that delivered 2MJ pulse and release a 3MJ of heat via fusion, so a factor of 100 more power in than out. This enough to heat a kettle and they can do it once a day. So the challenge is to scale up the energy produced/reduce energy required by more than a factor of 100. And instead of once a day with a target capsule that cost on the order of $100, they have to do it 10 times a second with target capsule that cost a few pennies.

      This is a step forward, but hardly a breakthrough.

    2. @Dave Sutherland Thank you for your reality check. I’m waiting to hear how (if) this will scale up to commercial production of energy.

    3. Are folks so clueless that they really think we can put 3KW into any current laser and get 2KW optical power out. This is so laugably false. Think there is a factor of 100 difference right that.

    4. @A T since you can power a 1MW laser in your home without a powerplant… Yes.
      The optical output of a laser can be significantly higher then the electrical input through pulsing the output. Basicly, you input 1W for 10 seconds, then release a 10W pulse once every 10 seconds.
      Thas the basic principle, yt has several creators like styropyro to demonstrate how it actually works.

  6. As someone in the energy industry for 30 years, I completely agree with everything Bill said. Very well put Sir. I am going to borrow a lot of how you phrased things. Fusion will be awesome.

    1. @chris mcmanaman A wise man once said ‘Science Fiction is just Science Fact that an engineer hasn’t been bored or drunk enough to make real yet.’

  7. I loved watching Bill Nye “The Science Guy” when I was younger. Nuclear fusion is indeed a major step in producing cleaner energy. It’ll take more time in order to be more efficient.

  8. I don’t know about how anybody else feels in hearing this good news on clean infusion energy source but excited and hopeful about our childrens future. I hope I’m around to see this transition.😊

  9. I understand that this needs to be tempered with the reality that we are quite a bit aways from this research being applied practically, but.. the fact that fusion seems to be on its way to becoming a usable source of energy is absolutely enormous for all of us. Humanity needed a win and it looks like we got one.

    1. We desperately need some wins……. Our transportation system is a nightmare consuming a bunch of resources, our food is consuming a bunch of resources, our energy is consuming a bunch of resources.

      And the main problem with all of that is that the consumption of resources is in turn slowing us down to even find solutions out of this mess lol………………. We desperately need SOMETHING to just give us a flipping break already.

      Metal is constantly corroding and deteriorating, electricity is expensive to produce and we become more and more dependent on it, we are reliant on a fuel that is limited, we have everyone switching to EVs which rely on precious metals……….

      We need SOMETHING.

    2. @Jo Ol You cannot charge higher prices for something than what the market allows. No-one will buy fusion-sourced energy if it is more expensive than fosil fuel-sourced energy, so the only logical conclusion for a new energy source usage is the lower of costs not the increase of them. The other option is what we are doing with renewables, socialize the loss

    3. @Jo Ol Nah, in that sense they would try to delay its implementation as long as possible. Keep an eye out for any “dangers of fusion” scare pieces trying to turn public opinion away from it in the next few years. Conveniently funded by the fossil fuel industry that would be put out of business by it of course.

  10. As somebody who works in clean energy, this is the most important thing that happened this year, and the most important precedent for the next 500 years.

    1. @mistercohaagen deuterium is easy. Tritium could be manufactured on earth from any old hydrogen. It’s hard to make but it would be worth it with the energy output we could get. Or: there’s also a ridiculous amount of it on the surface of the moon we could utilize. Again, not a cakewalk to get back to earth but it would be very worth it with the amount of energy we would get from a single trip

    2. As someone who works as a manager of French fry production At sonic…. This is very important

  11. It has taken a long time to get to this point, but I predict that next steps will take place much more quickly. Ten years from now we’ll have our first fusion power plant, and it will be amazing.

  12. I’ve always like Bill. Took me 26 years of living to finally start learning how amazing science is and what it’s done for us. Thank, Bill! 👏

    1. Just think of what you have in your life right now that was just science fiction only 50 years ago. Like computers that fit in your hand and allow for video communication with anyone on the planet.

  13. Very interesting information. I remember one of my high school teachers 52 years ago, talking about this process and the research scientists were doing on it.

  14. My dad worked on this for years. He also got a patent on a plasma containment device back in the 90’s. This was his dream and I am sure he is smiling in heaven right now.

    1. There Was Fraud In Brazil, Bolsonaro Was Elected The polls were rigged. and now no one has done anything there are demonstrations all over Brazil. The supreme federal court of Brazil is blocking the social networks of all those who demonstrate, it is taking away the freedom of the Brazilian population. 🤯🇧🇷🇧🇷

  15. I remember a few decades ago they were lauding a milestone in nuclear energy – they had actually contained a fusion reaction for like a millionth of a second. We are still a very long way from being able to use fusion energy to power our cars and heat our homes. It is still way too early to put a time frame on how long it will take to get usable energy from fusion. In the meantime we will ignoring very productive sources of energy like wind and solar. There have been major breakthroughs in both, and more are on the way. There have been major breakthroughs in battery technologies, a key part of renewable energy. There was another massive oil spill, this time on land, from the Keystone pipeline. We are going to regret poisoning our water for fossil energy.

  16. This is a great step forward, it’s going to be decades before we see commercial fusion power plants. Sure the output of the fusion reaction released more energy than energy the lasers put in, but NPR had an article that also explained this doesn’t take into account the massive amount of energy needed to generate the lasers. In the end the fusion reaction only generated about 1-1.5% of the total energy needed for the experiment.

  17. I’m a big booster of fission energy and have poo-poo’d almost every article about fusion I’ve ever read but this is legit encouraging… that being said, it’s not a good reason to wait on ‘clean’ nuclear power. Nuclear power is already the cleanest energy source we have, by a huge margin, and should be standardized and proliferated everywhere it’s feasibly possible. Also, I appreciate that they at least mentioned that ‘the private money will follow the public’ – reminding us that this happened because tax dollars, government spending, our money, enabled it to. If we left fusion in the hands of profiteers this would never have happened. Just adding that tidbit to illustrate what a shitty world it would be if, say, republicans or libertarians had their way. Nothing cool would ever happen.

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