"All fiction is propaganda, and the fiction we like is the propaganda we believe in, and the fiction we don't like is the propaganda we don't believe in."
As far as I know, the first reference to "fusion power" in science fiction.
Physicists like Hans Bethe discovered in the 1930's that fusion power was possible, and that it likely powered the sun. The first successful man-made fusion device was the boosted fission weapon tested in 1951 in the Greenhouse Item test. The first true fusion weapon was 1952's Ivy Mike, and the first practical example was 1954's Castle Bravo. In these devices, the energy released by a fission explosion compresses and heats the fuel, starting a fusion reaction.
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