PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Scientists will unveil a breakthrough in the global pursuit of zero-carbon power on Tuesday, according to U.S. Senator Jack Reed’s office.

A new form of energy, known as “fusion energy,” happens naturally on the sun and other stars, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It can be recreated when two lighter nuclei combine to form a heavier singular nucleus. When the two combine, the remaining mass leftover from the process creates energy.

“It’s a nuclear process but it doesn’t have the problems of fission energy which is radioactivity, disposable waste, etcetera,” Reed said. “So, we are cautiously optimistic, I emphasize ‘cautious’ because it’s a long way in science to get from a breakthrough to a standard throughout the country.”

Because “fusion energy” is cheap and non-polluting, Reed said its use would positively influence the economy and address climate change concerns.

“It’s really been the holy grail scientists have been searching for since the 1930s or 40s,” Reed said on Monday. “This would be a huge, huge accelerant for the economy.”

12 News plans to stream the 10 a.m. event right here on