US government scientists have achieved a net energy gain in a fusion reaction for the first time, according to three people with knowledge of the experiment. The development could prove the process could provide a reliable, abundant alternative to fossil fuels and conventional nuclear energy. It is the first time a fusion reaction has produced more energy than it consumed – a milestone known as net energy gain or target gain. The federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which uses a process called inertial confinement fusion, had achieved net energy gain in a fusion experiment in the past two weeks, the people said.
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