From Livermore Lab: “National Academies recommend high priority for work on Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility”


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

02/21/2013
Breanna Bishop

A report issued by the National Research Council highlights the significant impact of successful development of inertial fusion energy (IFE), and recommends priorities for future research in this area.

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A view from the bottom of the chamber. Pulses from NIF’s high-powered lasers race toward the Target Bay at the speed of light. They arrive at the center of the target chamber within a few trillionths of a second of each other, aligned to the accuracy of the diameter of a human hair.

As noted in this National Academies’ report, ‘The potential benefits of inertial confinement fusion energy (abundant fuel, minimal greenhouse gas emissions, limited high-level radioactive waste requiring long-term disposal) provide a compelling rationale for establishing inertial fusion energy R&D as part of the long-term U.S. energy R&D portfolio.’

Research into IFE is a key objective of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) — the world’s premier research facility in this area of science and technology. The NIF was built by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) primarily to provide data in support of its defense programs, but also has broad applications in basic science and fusion energy.

The National Academies state that ‘The National Ignition Facility, designed for stockpile stewardship applications, also is of great potential importance for advancing the technical basis for inertial fusion energy (IFE) research,’ and that the target physics programs on the NIF (and related facilities) ‘should receive continued high priority.'”

See the full article here.

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