Russia, China building large lasers.
Russia has launched a $1.5 billion project to create a high-energy superiaser site, which designers pledge will be the best in the world. Capable of igniting nuclear fusion nuclear fusion
Process by which nuclear reactions between light elements form heavier ones, releasing huge amounts of energy. In 1939 Hans Bethe suggested that the energy output of the sun and other stars is a result of fusion reactions among hydrogen nuclei. , the facility will be used both for thermonuclear weapon A weapon in which very high temperatures are used to bring about the fusion of light nuclei such as those of hydrogen isotopes (e.g., deuterium and tritium) with the accompanying release of energy. The high temperatures required are obtained by means of fission. and for inertial confinement fusion (ICF (Internet Connection Firewall) The built-in firewall in Windows XP. It provides a stateful inspection of packets which accepts only responses to requests originated by the user. ) studies. The laser facility will be developed by the Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF), a leading Russian nuclear laboratory. In its six decades of history, it was involved in the development of both the military and civilian nuclear programs in Russia.
The site will have the size of a 360-meter long 10 story building and be built near the Sarov technology park in Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia, said the institute's head of research, Radiy Ilkaev, who said it will be a dual-purpose device." On the one hand, there is the defense component, because high energy density plasma physics Noun 1. plasma physics - the branch of physics concerned with matter in its plasma phase
natural philosophy, physics - the science of matter and energy and their interactions; "his favorite subject was physics" can be productively studied on such devices. It's necessary for developing thermonuclear ther·mo·nu·cle·ar
1. Of, relating to, or derived from the fusion of atomic nuclei at high temperatures: thermonuclear reactions.
2. weapons. On the other hand, there is the power industry component. The world's leading physicists believe that laser nuclear fusion can be useful for future energetics en·er·get·ics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
1. The study of the flow and transformation of energy.
2. The flow and transformation of energy within a particular system. ," the scientist said.
The Russian device will be similar to the American National Ignition Facility (NIF NIF
See: Note issuance facility ) and the French Laser Megajoule (LMJ LMJ Leonardo Music Journal ) in terms of capability. The NIF is currently online. The French counterpart is due to be launched in 2012. The Russian facility may be ready in a decade, Ilkaev estimates. Ilkaev says the future Russian facility will be able to deliver 2.8 megajoules of energy to its target, as compared to energy levels of about 1.8 megajoules for the American and French lasers. "We are making our device later than they did, because such projects. are costly, hut ours will he the best in the world," the scientist promised.
This Russian Laser Fusion System will be the fourth in the series of international facilities of megajoule-class Lasers for ICF and High Energy Density Science. They are NIF in the United States, LMJ (Laser MegaJoule) in France, Divine Light 4 in China and the Russian system.
While NIF is now operational and doing experiments, these other facilities plan to be operational later in this decade. They closely resemble the NIF architecture (indirect drive fusion) and can be used for a variety of applications for strategic, energy and basic science missions. Like NIF, each is designed to do fusion bum experiments. These four megajoule-class lasers are supplemented by significant mid-capability laser systems (1-20 Kjoules) Omega in Rochester, Orion in Great Britain, Gekko in Japan, Divine Light 2 and 3 in China, and the NRL Noun 1. NRL - the United States Navy's defense laboratory that conducts basic and applied research for the Navy in a variety of scientific and technical disciplines
Naval Research Laboratory Nike system. These are configured to do sub-scale fusion experiments and basic science in a variety of configurations including indirect drive, direct drive and fast ignition. There are also now literally dozens of university-scale lasers doing supporting this research internationally. The HiPER effort in Europe is also exploring building large facility capabilities to study fusion energy and the Koreans have recently shown significant interest in exploring this path within their own country.
According to Ed Moses, head of the NIF, "This latest Russian announcement demonstrates that laser fusion continues to grow rapidly as an international effort. One of the interesting attributes of these systems is that the size of the investment in showing full-scale burn physics can be managed within the resources of individual countries (as demonstrated above) and that the time scale of construction is now 10 years and decreasing. Many within the field think that this trend will accelerate in the years ahead as the system designs for advanced systems become better understood, the basic technologies continue to become more commercial, and that the physics performance of laser fusion, in whatever configuration, becomes more robust."
China is constructing SG-III (Divine Light 3), a 48 beam,3ns,3co,200kJ super laser facility, which is to be in operation in 2012 and plans are in place to build a new Ignition facility, Divine Light 4 (3ns,3oL1.4MJ) to be finished in 2020. The SG-III laser facility, which is one of the most important parts of the China ICF Program, is nearing completion in the Research Center of Laser Fusion (LFRC) of China Academy of Engineering Physics (CALF). SG-111 will be used to investigate target physics before ignition for both direct-driven and indirect-driven ICF. The facility is designed to provide up to 48 energetic laser beams (six bundles) and laser energy output of 150-200kJ (3(n) for square pulse of 3ns. If fast ignition is workable, SG-III will couple with a PW laser of tens KJ to demonstrate fast ignition.
More information on the Russian system can be found at lutp://rt.com/news/russia-superlaserthermonuclear-weapon-123/
More information on China's program can be found at http://www.ehinatechgaduet.com/chinasshenguang-3.html
A conference on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy will be held in Yokohama, Japan April 25-27, 2012. Information on the conference can be found at: httu://www.ile.osakau.ac.jp/cife