Prospects for inertial fusion energy based on a diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL) driver: Overview and development path
Description: It is now known with certainty that the type of fusion known as inertial fusion will work with sufficient energy input, so inertial fusion is really beyond the ``scientific breakeven`` point in many respects. The most important question that remains for inertial fusion energy (IFE) is whether this type of fusion can operate with sufficiently low input energy to make it economically feasible for energy production. The constraint for low input energy demands operation near the inertial fusion ignition threshold, and such operation creates enormous challenges to discover a target design that will produce sufficient energy gain. There are also multiple issues relating to the scientific feasibility of using a laboratory-type ``driver`` to energize a target, such as those concerning bandwidth and beam smoothing for ``direct drive,`` and extension of hohlraum plasma physics to the IFE scale for ``indirect drive.`` One driver that appears as though it will be able to meet the IFE requirements, assuming modest development and sufficient target gain, is a diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL). We give an overview of this type of laser system, and explain what development remains for the economic production of electricity using this type of driver for IFE.
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Orth, C.D.
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