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Inertial confinement fusion.

Chris Keane (Acting Assistant Deputy Administrator for Inertial Confinement Fusion and the NIF Project, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Department of Energy) described the current status of the Inertial Confinement Fusion Ignition and High Yield Campaign.

Keane said that the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) campaign strategic goals were:

(1) Achieve ignition in the laboratory and develop it as a scientific tool for stockpile stewardship

(2) Execute high energy density physics experiments necessary to provide advanced assessment capabilities for stockpile stewardship

(3) Develop advanced technology capabilities that support the long-term needs of stockpile stewardship

(4) Maintain robust national program infrastructure and attract scientific talent to the Stockpile Stewardship Program

The ICF Campaign, he said, is a national effort that includes the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), General Atomics, and the Academic Alliances Program.

He said the FY 2005 budget for ICF, enacted by Congress, is $541 million, compared to $492 million requested by the President. The $49 M increase includes $34 M for Inertial Fusion Energy Technology that was not requested. This was composed of $25 M for the High Average Power Laser Program (HAPL) and $9 M for second shift operations on Z and Z Inertial Fusion Energy. Other elements added by Congress included funds for Omega Extended Performance at the University of Rochester and additional funds for high-energy petawatt laser development.

Keane called the first experiments using 4 of the planned 192 beams of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) "a major success." He said that NNSA "has set ignition 2010 as a major goal." A review of the NIF ignition plan by the Defense Science Board Task Force on NIF Activation and Early Use Plan is posted at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports

Keane said that the 60-beam Omega laser at the University of Rochester had executed over 1400 shots in FY 2004, a record number. The Omega Extended Performance (EP) project was approved for construction in May 2004. It consists of adding two high-energy petawatt lasers for advanced backlighting and fast ignition experiments. It is on a 5-year construction schedule and has a total estimated cost of $67 million.

Keane said the Nike laser at NRL "is examining issues central to defining the physics requirements for direct drive ICF." At SNL, he said, "the Z refurbishment project (ZR) will enable z-pinch implosions to produce over 2.5 Megajoules and 300 Terawatts of x-rays. It was approved in September 2004 at a total estimated cost of $61.7 million and is on a 4-5 year construction schedule. The Z-Beamlet laser at SNL is being upgraded to provide a high-energy petawatt laser for the Z facility, Keane said. Keane said that High Energy Density Physics is recognized "as an important emerging scientific field," and the NNSA has expanded that component of the ICF program.
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Publication:Fusion Power Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:493
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