Nuclear fusion breakthrough promises boost for Biden’s clean

Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and her under-secretary for nuclear security Jill Hruby are expected to announce “a major scientific breakthrough” on Tuesday, the Financial Times reports, which will likely be the success of an experiment to get more energy out of a fusion reaction than was put in.

While the FT’s article has three unnamed sources confirming that such a development did occur, the department tried to discourage the paper from getting ahead of its formal announcement.

“Initial diagnostic data suggests another successful experiment at the National Ignition Facility. However, the exact yield is still being determined and we can’t confirm that it is over the threshold at this time,” the department told the paper.

“That analysis is in process, so publishing the information … before that process is complete would be inaccurate.”

Key events

US lab reportedly makes fusion breakthrough in boost to Biden’s clean energy agenda

Good morning, US politics readers. The price of gasoline and other energy sources are always a liability for American presidents, and Joe Biden is no exception. But what if those no longer mattered? That’s the promise from a breakthrough in fusion power made by American scientists, who managed to get more energy out of a reaction than they put in, the Financial Times reported over the weekend. The government hasn’t announced the experiment’s results yet and it will probably be years, if not decades, for fusion to become a major part of the electrical grid. Nonetheless, the breakthrough will likely be welcome news for a White House keen to tout its dedication to promoting carbon-free energy sources.

Here’s what else is going on today:

  • Congress is up against a Friday deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown, one of a host of year-end legislative priorities the Democratic majority is trying to get through before Republicans take the House next year.

  • Biden’s lone public event will be a visit to a Marine Corps Toys for Tots event at a military base just across the river from Washington held at 12:40 pm eastern time.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will be joined by national security adviser Jake Sullivan at her briefing today, at 3 pm eastern time.