Scientists have responded with scepticism to the announcement of a breakthrough in nuclear fusion by Lockheed Martin.

The arms manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it was “working on a new compact fusion reactor (CFR) that can be developed and deployed in as little as 10 years”. But Lockheed’s four paragraph press release and accompanying video are heavy on hyperbole and light on detail.

Project leader Tom McGuire, whose company is the Pentagon’s largest supplier of armaments, says the project could usher in a new era of peace and energy security.

“As a defence company our increasing mission is to enhance global security and this is how we do that in the energy realm,” says McGuire. “The old promise of atoms for peace was a noble one, but ultimately flawed because the technology wasn’t right for it. We can achieve that grand vision and bring clean power to the world. The true atomic age can start.”

But fusion researchers have responded coolly to the Lockheed announcement.

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