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The National Ignition Facility and its Future Role in Inertial Fusion Energy

Author: Edward I Moses
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2006-12-19 19:21:08

Co-authors: C.P.J.Barty, M.H.Key, J.D.Lindl. A.J.Mackinnon, L.J.Perkins, L.J.Suter, M.Tabak, R.P.J.Town

Contact Info:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
PO Box 808 (L-466)
Livermore, CA   94551

Abstract Text:
The National Ignition Facility (NIF), presently under construction at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a 192-beam Nd-glass laser system for studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and the physics of matter at extreme energy densities and pressures. When completed in 2009, NIF will produce 1.8 MJ of ultraviolet light at ~500TW for target experiments. This is around 100 times as energetic as present laboratory capabilities. The project is approximately 90% complete with the first 48 beams operational in the main laser bay. These beams have to date produced 1 MJ of 1.05micron light, making it already the most energetic pulsed infrared laser in the world by over an order of magnitude. In 2009-2010, NIF will commence experiments with cryogenic DT targets with the objective of achieving ignition and fusion burn with energy gains of ~10. Ignition on NIF will be the culmination of over thirty years of ICF research on high-powered laser systems such as the Nova laser at LLNL and the OMEGA laser at the University of Rochester as well as smaller systems around the world. The ICF program on NIF will provide research and development opportunities in fundamental high-energy-density physics. Power production by ICF has been a long-term research goal since the invention of the first laser in 1960. The NIF will support the necessary research base for long-term application of inertial fusion energy (IFE) for civilian power production. Accordingly, following successful completion of the ignition campaigns, and in parallel to its DOE NNSA missions, NIF can become the key test bed facility for demonstrating advanced targets with robust ignition capabilities that may also be applicable to IFE applications with high gain and yield. Some scenarios that could be fielded and tested include: fast ignition, direct drive, shock ignition, asymmetric 2-sided drive, indirect drive in green light, and other advanced target options. We are developing designs for a variety of these concepts and exploring the potential for fielding and testing such targets on the NIF.

Characterization: B1


University of Maryland

Innovative Confinement Concepts Workshop
February 12-14, 2007
College Park, Maryland

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