Fusion at Livermore and Princeton Labs

From Livermore Lab: “New Accelerator to Examine Heavy-ion-beam Approach to Inertial Fusion Power”

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Breanna Bishop

The Department of Energy’s Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory (HIFS-VNL), whose member institutions include LLNL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, has recently completed a new accelerator designed to study an alternate approach to inertial fusion energy.

An overhead view of the NDCX-II. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Housed at LBNL, NDCX-II is a compact machine designed to produce a high-quality, dense beam that can rapidly deliver a powerful punch to a solid target. Research with NDCX-II will introduce advances in the acceleration, compression and focusing of intense ion beams that can inform and guide the design of major components for heavy-ion fusion energy production.

LLNL’s HEDLP/Heavy Ion Fusion group within Physics Division’s Fusion Energy Sciences Program developed most of the physics design for NDCX-II, under an $854,600 subcontract to LBNL.

From PPPL: “PPPL delivers a plasma source that will enable high-power beam pulses in a new Berkeley Lab accelerator

March 19, 2012
John Greenwald

“Plainsboro, New Jersey — Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have designed and delivered a crucial component for a device that can heat a spot of foil to 30,000 degrees Centigrade in less than a billionth of a second. The part will complete a linear accelerator that researchers at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are using to create a superheated state called “warm dense matter.”

Erik Gilson with a copper-clad module and chamber for testing the units. (Photo credit: Elle Starkman, PPPL Office of Communications)

For PPPL physicist Erik Gilson, the plasma source he designed for the accelerator marks the third generation of components that he has created for Berkeley Lab projects that are part of the Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory, a joint venture of PPPL, Berkeley Lab, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Gilson’s latest device upgrades previous versions while retaining the core—modules made from 1.6-inch-long rings of barium titanate ceramic. The material produces a swarm of ions and electrons at its surface when a high-voltage is applied to it.

The LLNL article is here.
The PPPL article is here.

Livermore Lab is operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration