The Australian research is duplicating what is going on at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States, but they are using deuterium-tritium fuel.
A single laser pulse can generate 500 times more electricity than all the power stations in the US. At first the research team did not believe hydrogen-boron fuel would work. However, models indicated that it was only ten times more difficult than deuterium-tritium. For it to work the laser pulse must be clean, that is, lasting only a million, millionth of a second. Optical energy is then converted to mechanical energy.
It is not commonly known but coal power stations actually emit radioactivity - it is a problem in Germany where they are considering burying polluted material. Producing energy by laser pulsing hydrogen-boron creates less radioactivity than using deuterium-tritium. Coal generation is very dirty compared to hydrogen-boron. The waste product is helium gas. Hydrogen-boron is also plentiful. Team leader Professor Hora say it could be some time before the research becomes reality.