In 2014, I was not yet in the industry, NIF issued a Nature, when they released 14kJ of energy from fusion, which was already greater than the kinetic energy of the target pill, which basically verified the possibility of inertial confinement fusion.
After that, I attended their workshop every year, and they made new progress. Then they changed the waveform and achieved 50 kJ, and from the 3D simulation they found that the thickness of the film holding the target pellet affects the fluid stability, so they reduced the film from 100 nm to 15 nm and then to 4 nm, and then they changed the outer material of the target and achieved 400 kJ, and then the amazing 1.3 MJ of 20210808 last year, which was higher than the original best result or close to it, although it was not repeated several times.
Then there was this year's 2.5 MJ, an improvement of nearly 200 times in 9 years. If we can really continue at this rate, then 2030 can reach the gain of 100 can also be used to generate electricity. Of course, the cost is still very high. According to the present about 1 million knife an experiment to calculate the words, of which 900,000 knife is the cost of laser operation, 100,000 knife is the cost of the target, even if the gain of 100 power generation cost also to 100,000 knife per unit. If the cost can also decline in accordance with Moore's law, then perhaps 2050 can really be commercialized. In addition, the most practical meaning of this thing is of course nuclear deterrence.
This year to participate in a student-oriented high energy density physics workshop, the head of the NNSA as the golden father said clearly, everyone in the world would know what it means that the US can generate 1.3 MJ from a millimeter-sized capsule.