Scientists have been trying to tame fusion power for more than 50 years with little success. Although the National Ignition Facility, a $3.5-billion operation, was built for classified government research, half of its laser time was devoted to fusion with an aim to accelerate research. Zulfikar Najmudin, a plasma physicist at Imperial College, said: “These results will come as a huge relief to scientists at NIF, who were very sure they could have achieved this a few years ago.”
That's honestly a bigger budget than I expected them to have. Of course, I'm of the opinion that somewhere in the neighborhood of half the national budget should be earmarked for scientific research, but still. They're making good progress, all things considered. Hopefully they can get more attention, and thus money, and start to speed this up.