NIF: A Path to Fusion Energy

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Fusion energy has long been considered a promising, clean, nearly inexhaustible source of energy. Power production by fusion micro-explosions of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) targets has been a long-term research goal since the invention of the first laser in 1960. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is poised to take the next important step in the journey by beginning experiments researching ICF ignition. 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 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the OMEGA laser at the University of Rochester, ... continued below

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12 p. (0.5 MB)

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Moses, E June 1, 2007.

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Fusion energy has long been considered a promising, clean, nearly inexhaustible source of energy. Power production by fusion micro-explosions of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) targets has been a long-term research goal since the invention of the first laser in 1960. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is poised to take the next important step in the journey by beginning experiments researching ICF ignition. 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 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the OMEGA laser at the University of Rochester, as well as smaller systems around the world. NIF is a 192-beam Nd-glass laser facility at LLNL that is more than 90% complete. The first cluster of 48 beams is operational in the laser bay, the second cluster is now being commissioned, and the beam path to the target chamber is being installed. The Project will be completed in 2009, and ignition experiments will start in 2010. When completed, NIF will produce up to 1.8 MJ of 0.35-{micro}m light in highly shaped pulses required for ignition. It will have beam stability and control to higher precision than any other laser fusion facility. Experiments using one of the beams of NIF have demonstrated that NIF can meet its beam performance goals. The National Ignition Campaign (NIC) has been established to manage the ignition effort on NIF. NIC has all of the research and development required to execute the ignition plan and to develop NIF into a fully operational facility. NIF will explore the ignition space, including direct drive, 2{omega} ignition, and fast ignition, to optimize target efficiency for developing fusion as an energy source. In addition to efficient target performance, fusion energy requires significant advances in high-repetition-rate lasers and fusion reactor technology. The Mercury laser at LLNL is a high-repetition-rate Nd-glass laser for fusion energy driver development. Mercury uses state-of-the-art technology such as ceramic laser slabs and light diode pumping for improved efficiency and thermal management. Progress in NIF, NIC, Mercury, and the path forward for fusion energy will be presented.

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12 p. (0.5 MB)

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PDF-file: 12 pages; size: 0.5 Mbytes

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  • Presented at: NIF: A Path to Fusion Energy, Istanbul, Turkey, Jun 07 - Jun 08, 2007

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  • Report No.: UCRL-CONF-231393
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919966
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc900907

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • April 13, 2017, 3:45 p.m.

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Moses, E. NIF: A Path to Fusion Energy, article, June 1, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc900907/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.