Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


December 21, 2012
NIF Report Asks for More Time to Achieve Ignition
The National Ignition Facility faces an uncertain future after its managers admitted to Congress this month that they need at least another 3 years to try to identify what has prevented the giant laser fusion lab in California from achieving ignition. (Science)

December 11, 2012
Laser fusion put on slow burn
The US government is plotting a more methodical path for harnessing the world's most powerful laser. (Nature News)

December 4, 2012
National Ignition Facility seeks new cash
The agency in charge of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says in a draft report to Congress that the lab's scientists should conduct at least three more years of experiments. (San Francisco Chronicle)

November 29, 2012
Pictures: Inside the World's Most Powerful Laser
The project's lasers are tackling "one of physics' grand challenges" – igniting hydrogen fusion fuel in the laboratory. (National Geographic Daily News)

November 22, 2012
Magnesium oxide might go metallic in super-Earths
There may be more planets outside our solar system with protective magnetic fields than previously thought. (Chemistry World)

November 19, 2012
In Defense of Sustained Research on Fusion
Stewart C. Prager, the director of the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, offers a fresh defense of continued substantial support for research on extracting usable energy from nuclear fusion. (The New York Times) (Opinion)

November 9, 2012
New Fusion Report: Shift Focus to Producing Practical Energy
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-profit research organization supported by major utilities, recently published a report on the prospects for fusion energy in the coming decades. (American Security Project)

November 7, 2012
Ignition switch
The US National Ignition Facility has so far failed to generate fusion energy, but repurposing it as a tool to study nuclear weapons and basic science could be its saving grace. (Nature) (Editorial)

November 7, 2012
Laser lab shifts focus to warheads
US ignition facility will devote less time to energy research. (Nature)

October 31, 2012
Lawrence Livermore Lab: Lasers, Fusion, Energy Innovation
NIF Director Ed Moses discusses how lasers and fusion are revolutionizing energy innovation. ( (Video)

October 31, 2012
Harnessing the Power of the Sun
From billion dollar lasers to low-cost thermostats, technology is transforming energy conservation. (

October 27, 2012
In Livermore, Still Waiting on Nuclear Fusion
If scientists can make ignition happen at NIF, that achievement could, theoretically, be parlayed into a new kind of nuclear power plant. (KQED/Quest)

October 22, 2012
Why Nuclear Fusion is Worthy of Further Research and Government Investment
Scientists believe they are now on a pathway to energy gain. (American Security Project)

October 18, 2012
A Nuclear Research Facility
The National Ignition Facility is an investment in the future – one where we never again have to perform explosive testing on nuclear weapons, one where we have a greater scientific understanding of fusion and one where the president has no doubt that our nuclear weapons will work when needed. (The New York Times) (Opinion)

October 18, 2012
With Tight Research Budgets, Is There Room for the Eternal Promise of Fusion?
How can society best balance its research investments and hedge its bets in trying to move beyond fossil fuels? (The New York Times) (Opinion)

October 17, 2012
Why the New York Times is Wrong on the National Ignition Facility
We must be very careful about trying to fit important scientific breakthroughs on a politically-determined schedule. (AOL Energy)

October 11, 2012
Mankind is on the Verge of Fusion Ignition
Achieving ignition would be an unprecedented, phenomenal milestone for humanity. A clear signal that fusion is here and means business. (Fusion Energy League)

October 8, 2012
NIF responds to fusion 'deadline' expiry
Ignition research continues at the giant laser facility, but the end of the calendar year looks like a more significant date than that set by Congress. (

October 8, 2012
NIF to shift emphasis after the facility's failure to achieve ignition
Although the National Ignition Campaign produced a two-order-of-magnitude progress toward ignition, researchers remained one order of magnitude away from their goal at campaign's end. (Physics Today)

October 6, 2012
A Big Laser Runs Into Trouble
The idea of using lasers to trigger fusion reactions to produce energy dates back many decades, but the idea of using laser fusion for weapons research became more important when underground nuclear testing was curtailed by treaty in the 1990s. (The New York Times) (Editorial)

October 3, 2012
LLNL researchers receive nearly $2.75 million for high energy density projects
The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Science have awarded more than $14 million in research awards as part of the Joint Program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas. Six LLNL researchers received nearly $2.75 million for their projects. (LLNL News Release).

September 29, 2012
So Far Unfruitful, Fusion Project Faces a Frugal Congress
For more than 50 years, physicists have been eager to achieve controlled fusion, an elusive goal that could potentially offer a boundless and inexpensive source of energy. (The New York Times)

September 21, 2012
Ignition Facility Misses Goal, Ponders New Course
Dozens of researchers are examining the National Ignition Campaign in detail and may recommend a new direction for research at NIF. (Science)

September 2012
Inertial Confinement Fusion at the National Ignition Facility
Over 1,200 scientists, engineers, technicians and administrators at the NIF are working towards achieving "ignition" – producing more energy than is required – in the next several months. (American Security Project)

August 30, 2012
Laser fusion work wins APS John Dawson Award
Seven-person team working on laser-matter interaction with implications for fusion picks up 2012 prize. (

July 19, 2012
The Laser Beam 1,000 Times More Powerful than the United States
A record-shattering laser beam that, in a single shot fired on July 5, 2012, generated more power than the United States does at any single instant. (Time)

July 18, 2012
Laser Facility Makes Historic 500 Terawatt Shot
If all Marty McFly needed was 1.21 gigawatts to travel through time, then one feat accomplished at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility would provide him enough fuel to travel back to the future 413,223 times. (redOrbit)

July 17, 2012
Record-Breaking Laser Hits 500 Trillion Watts
Laser physicists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have broken the record for the highest-power laser shot with a collection of beams delivering more than 500 trillion watts of peak power. (Wired)

July 17, 2012
U.S. Laboratory Breaks Laser Record, Delivering 500-Trillion-Watt Beam
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has produced a record-breaking laser beam at its National Ignition Facility. The lab's system of 192 beams produced more than 500 trillion watts and 1.85 megajoules of laser light onto a 2-millimeter in diameter target. (npr)

July 16, 2012
World's most powerful laser shot ever fired
Government scientists at the National Ignition Facility in California have fired the most powerful laser shot ever recorded. (

July 16, 2012
NIF delivers 500 terawatts to fusion target
On July 5, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility achieved a historic record-breaking laser shot. The NIF laser system of 192 beams delivered more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to its target. (Laser Focus World)

July 13, 2012
NIF 'tantalizingly close' to ignition breakthrough
Scientists at the National Ignition Facility, home to the world's highest-energy laser system, say that they are now "tantalizingly close" to achieving fusion with energy gain, following their latest experiments. (

July 12, 2012
World's most powerful laser fires most powerful laser blast ever
The largest laser system in the world was turned on for a fraction of a second July 5, and it unleashed the most powerful laser blast in history – besting a record set mere months earlier. (Fox News)

June 21, 2012
Fusion: The Energy of Tomorrow, Today
America is nearing the threshold of a fusion future. (Real Clear Science)

May 27, 2012
The most important building in the world
The Most Important Building in the World is the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, because it promises to make nuclear fusion a reality. (The Berkeley Blog)

April 30, 2012
Record laser shot success on the road to fusion energy
Ed Moses, director of NIF, led the team and established the record-breaking energy output of 1.875 megajoules (MJ) from 192 lasers on Mar. 15, bringing fusion energy, and therefore a clean alternative power source, closer to reality. (Canadian Business)

April 22, 2012
Chasing fusion
Ohio State University installs a powerful laser in a bid to harness limitless energy (Columbus Dispatch)

April 11, 2012
Fusion energy progress by Livermore scientists
Livermore scientists report that after years of experiments, they have moved closer to reproducing the blazing energy of the sun's interior in the laboratory. (San Francisco Chronicle)

April 4, 2012
Hunting the Elements
Two-hour "Nova" special on the Periodic Table features NIF and LLNL research. (PBS)

April 1, 2012
Energy from Lasers: Sure Shot or Dead End?
NIF opened its doors to their control room for "Sunday Morning" to witness a laser shot for tests that may change how the U.S. may some day get its energy. (CBS Sunday Morning)

March 30, 2012
SPIE Leaders Commend NIF for Milestone Laser Shot
Advances toward laser fusion as an abundant new source of clean energy announced recently by the National Ignition Facility are also paving a path toward new scientific discovery, say SPIE leaders. (Virtual-Strategy Magazine)

March 28, 2012
Livermore Laboratory reports close to fusion ignition
Scientists at the National Ignition Facility recently took the biggest step toward the Holy Grail of energy independence by firing a record 1.875-megajoule shot into the laser's target chamber, surpassing its 1.8-megajoule design specification. (KTVU-TV) (Video)

March 22, 2012
NIF Fires Record-Setting Laser Shot
The 192 lasers fired in unison at the National Ignition Facility this week delivered a record 1.875 million joules of ultraviolet laser light to its target chamber, exceeding NIF's original design specification and setting the stage for full-power experiments in the coming months. (

March 21, 2012
Fusion Finally on the Horizon?
If you're betting that we will one day rely on clean nuclear fusion for our growing energy needs, the odds are getting a lot better thanks to laser-based techniques called Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF). (Physics Central)

March 21, 2012
World's most powerful laser fires most powerful laser blast in history
The National Ignition Facility turned on its 192 laser beams for a brief instant on March 15, unleashing a record-setting 1.875-megajoule blast into a target chamber. (Fox News)

March 20, 2012
National Ignition Facility fires record laser shot
Powerful pulse a milepost on the way to fusion energy. (Nature)

March 8, 2012
National Academy calls for fusion energy roadmap
Interim report recommends making effective use of the National Ignition Facility to assess energy-generating potential. (

March 7, 2012
National Academies Backs Expanded Nuclear-Fusion Experiments
The government should consider allowing the use of NIF for tests of creating energy from nuclear fusion. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

March 7, 2012
Status of the Study "An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy"
In its Interim Report, a National Academies committee recommends that "planning should begin for making effective use of NIF as one of the major program elements in an assessment of the feasibility of inertial fusion energy." (National Academies Press)

March 7, 2012
Laser fusion nears crucial milestone
National Ignition Facility approaches energy break-even point, but uncertainty over next step persists. (Nature)

March 7, 2012
It's Too Early to Pick a Winner on Inertial Fusion Energy, Says Study
The National Research Council committee comes down on the side of a diverse program of research. (Science)

February 15, 2012
Progress toward inertial fusion ignition at NIF
With everything in place, what are the prospects for success at the National Ignition Facility? Mike Dunne looks ahead. (Video) (SPIE.TV)

February 14, 2012
Man's next greatest achievement
Professor Brian Cox discusses fusion power as man's next greatest achievement on BBC's Horizon, a series about science and philosophy. (American Security Project)

February 10, 2012
Russia to build world's most powerful laser station
Though lagging behind US and France in building a laser station, Russia says once its USD 1.5 billion dual-purpose facility is built it will be the world's most powerful. (The Economic Times)

February 1, 2012
Scientists Help Define Structure of Exoplanets
Using models similar to those used in weapons research, scientists may soon know more about exoplanets, those objects beyond the realm of our solar system. (Science Daily)

January 26, 2012
Fusion laser on track for 2012 burn
Mike Dunne, the National Ignition Facility's director for laser fusion energy, is expecting the giant laser system to generate fusion with energy gain, or "burn," by the end of 2012. (

January 26, 2012
Lasers shine light on galactic magnetic fields
The mystery of how galaxies, including our Milky Way, have become magnetised has been solved by experiments using high-power lasers. (Cosmos)

January 14, 2012
In a Squeeze: Elements Under Pressure Reveal Secrets of Extreme Chemistry
In perhaps the ultimate test of high-pressure science, researchers are gearing up to squeeze things at the world's most powerful laser machine. (Science News)