NUCLEAR DIAGNOSTICS FOR THE NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY Page: 4 of 30
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The National Ignition Facility  (NIF) is a 192-beam laser system (Fig. 1) currently
under construction at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. When completed, NIF will
be able to deliver 1.8 MJ of laser energy to a target. On its current schedule, NIF will deliver
first light to target chamber center in late FY 2004 and will be completed in late FY 2008.
The first neutron producing experiments would occur near mid-FY 2006.
One of the main missions of the facility is to achieve thermonuclear ignition of fusion fuel
using the indirect drive approach of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) . In this mission,
the laser beams will be used to heat a "hohlraum," producing a uniform x radiation field
which heats the outer surface of a capsule. A typical ICF capsule design has an ablator, a
layer of frozen deuterium-tritium (DT) fuel, and DT gas. The pressure of the vaporizing
ablator drives the capsule inward, compressing and heating the DT fuel. The convergence
of a number of shocks raises the temperature of the DT gas to the point that nuclear
fusion begins. If the fuel layer has been compressed to high enough density, the alpha
particles deposit their energy in the fuel, raising it to thermonuclear temperatures, and the
thermonuclear burn propagates, consuming a large fraction of the fuel.
Nuclear diagnostics can be used to measure many of the properties of this implosion
* Nuclear yield
* Ion temperature
* Electron temperature
* Implosion time
* Burn width/burn history
* Burn region
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MURPHY, T. J.; BARNES, C. W. & AL, ET. NUCLEAR DIAGNOSTICS FOR THE NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY, article, June 1, 2000; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc722874/m1/4/: accessed November 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.