from the 50-years-away dept.
amblivious writes: "For the first time, laser-driven fusion has passed a milestone called fuel gain, the point at which more energy is produced than is consumed in starting the reaction. In a trial at the National Ignition Facility late last year, 15 kilojoules of energy was released with an input of 10 kilojoules (Nature). Although this is not yet a self-sustaining reaction because the reactor as a whole consumes more energy it is expected that collisions with helium nuclei generated in the reaction will lead to ignition. See the article at New Scientist for more information."