December was a busy month for the Energy Futures Initiative’s President and CEO Ernest Moniz. The U.S. Department of Energy announced that researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had managed to achieve a net energy gain through a nuclear fusion reaction. Moniz was quoted in several media outlets about how this breakthrough is a game changer for demonstrating the potential of nuclear fusion to be a key power source in the clean energy transition.
On December 14, Semafor reporter Benjy Sarlin published a text message style exchange that he had with Moniz about the fusion announcement. “The first laboratory demonstration of net energy gain by fusing hydrogen isotopes is a major physics accomplishment—a necessary step on the long road to a fusion power plant,” Moniz wrote. He went on to say that we could expect nuclear fusion technologies to be established in the 2020s and power plants to be initially demonstrated and deployed in the 2030s.
Read the exchange: One Good Text with … Ernest Moniz
On December 15, Moniz spoke to Bloomberg TV’s David Westin about how close we are to being able to use fusion as a power source and what the benefits would be. “It’s been called a Kitty Hawk moment,” Moniz said of the fusion demonstration at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “Kitty Hawk showed that people could fly. It was a long way to a Dreamliner, and we still have a ways to go to make a commercial power plant, but the prize is incredible.”
Watch the interview: Moniz: Fusion Power Possible in Next Decade
Also on December 15, Moniz was quoted in reporter Ari Natter’s Bloomberg Green article on how a fusion power plant could be connected to the grid in the next decade. “I believe that in this decade, we will demonstrate the science through multiple technologies that can accomplish fusion,” Moniz said.
Read the article: Fusion Power Is Possible in Next Decade, Former US Energy Chief Says
The Boston Globe
On December 19, The Boston Globe published Moniz’s opinion piece on how the fusion breakthrough means we are closer to being able to use fusion to create an emissions-free, reliable grid system.
“[Nuclear fusion] offers the benefits of producing clean energy without the challenges of nuclear fission. Success would be a game-changer,” Moniz wrote. “A large-scale, compact and clean power source available whenever needed, independent of weather, opens up expansive opportunities for an emissions-free reliable grid system. This will be core to a greenhouse gas emissions-free energy economy.”
Read the opinion piece: What a nuclear fusion breakthrough means for our energy future
– Georgia Lyon, Communication Associate
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