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Title: Overview: Development of the National Ignition Facility and the Transition to a User Facility for the Ignition Campaign and High Energy Density Scientific Research

Abstract

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been operational since March 2009 and has been transitioning to a user facility supporting ignition science, high energy density stockpile science, national security applications, and fundamental science. The facility has achieved its design goal of 1.8 MJ and 500 TW of 3ω light on target, and has performed target experiments with 1.9 MJ at peak powers of 410 TW. The National Ignition Campaign (NIC), established by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration in 2005, was responsible for transitioning NIF from a construction project to a national user facility. Besides the operation and optimization of the use of the NIF laser, the NIC program was responsible for developing capabilities including target fabrication facilities; cryogenic layering capabilities; over 60 optical, X-ray, and nuclear diagnostic systems; experimental platforms; and a wide range of other NIF facility infrastructure. This study provides a summary of some of the key experimental results for NIF to date, an overview of the NIF facility capabilities, and the challenges that were met in achieving these capabilities. Finally, they are covered in more detail in the papers that follow.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1259777
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-659269-DRAFT
Journal ID: ISSN 1536-1055
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Fusion Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 69; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1536-1055
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; National Ignition Facility; National Ignition Campaign; High Energy Density Science; national user facility

Citation Formats

Moses, E. I., Lindl, J. D., Spaeth, M. L., Patterson, R. W., Sawicki, R. H., Atherton, L. J., Baisden, P. A., Lagin, L. J., Larson, D. W., MacGowan, B. J., Miller, G. H., Rardin, D. C., Roberts, V. S., Wonterghem, B. M. Van, and Wegner, P. J. Overview: Development of the National Ignition Facility and the Transition to a User Facility for the Ignition Campaign and High Energy Density Scientific Research. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.13182/FST15-128.
Moses, E. I., Lindl, J. D., Spaeth, M. L., Patterson, R. W., Sawicki, R. H., Atherton, L. J., Baisden, P. A., Lagin, L. J., Larson, D. W., MacGowan, B. J., Miller, G. H., Rardin, D. C., Roberts, V. S., Wonterghem, B. M. Van, & Wegner, P. J. Overview: Development of the National Ignition Facility and the Transition to a User Facility for the Ignition Campaign and High Energy Density Scientific Research. United States. doi:10.13182/FST15-128.
Moses, E. I., Lindl, J. D., Spaeth, M. L., Patterson, R. W., Sawicki, R. H., Atherton, L. J., Baisden, P. A., Lagin, L. J., Larson, D. W., MacGowan, B. J., Miller, G. H., Rardin, D. C., Roberts, V. S., Wonterghem, B. M. Van, and Wegner, P. J. Thu . "Overview: Development of the National Ignition Facility and the Transition to a User Facility for the Ignition Campaign and High Energy Density Scientific Research". United States. doi:10.13182/FST15-128. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1259777.
@article{osti_1259777,
title = {Overview: Development of the National Ignition Facility and the Transition to a User Facility for the Ignition Campaign and High Energy Density Scientific Research},
author = {Moses, E. I. and Lindl, J. D. and Spaeth, M. L. and Patterson, R. W. and Sawicki, R. H. and Atherton, L. J. and Baisden, P. A. and Lagin, L. J. and Larson, D. W. and MacGowan, B. J. and Miller, G. H. and Rardin, D. C. and Roberts, V. S. and Wonterghem, B. M. Van and Wegner, P. J.},
abstractNote = {The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been operational since March 2009 and has been transitioning to a user facility supporting ignition science, high energy density stockpile science, national security applications, and fundamental science. The facility has achieved its design goal of 1.8 MJ and 500 TW of 3ω light on target, and has performed target experiments with 1.9 MJ at peak powers of 410 TW. The National Ignition Campaign (NIC), established by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration in 2005, was responsible for transitioning NIF from a construction project to a national user facility. Besides the operation and optimization of the use of the NIF laser, the NIC program was responsible for developing capabilities including target fabrication facilities; cryogenic layering capabilities; over 60 optical, X-ray, and nuclear diagnostic systems; experimental platforms; and a wide range of other NIF facility infrastructure. This study provides a summary of some of the key experimental results for NIF to date, an overview of the NIF facility capabilities, and the challenges that were met in achieving these capabilities. Finally, they are covered in more detail in the papers that follow.},
doi = {10.13182/FST15-128},
journal = {Fusion Science and Technology},
number = 1,
volume = 69,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Mar 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
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  • We present the generation of dynamic high energy density plasmas in the pico- to nano-second time domain at high-energy laser facilities affords unprecedented nuclear science research possibilities. At the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the primary goal of inertial confinement fusion research has led to the synergistic development of a unique high brightness neutron source, sophisticated nuclear diagnostic instrumentation, and versatile experimental platforms. These novel experimental capabilities provide a new path to investigate nuclear processes and structural effects in the time, mass and energy density domains relevant to astrophysical phenomena in a unique terrestrial environment. Some immediate applications include neutron capturemore » cross-section evaluation, fission fragment production, and ion energy loss measurement in electron-degenerate plasmas. More generally, the NIF conditions provide a singular environment to investigate the interplay of atomic and nuclear processes such as plasma screening effects upon thermonuclear reactivity. Lastly, achieving enhanced understanding of many of these effects will also significantly advance fusion energy research and challenge existing theoretical models.« less
  • The “High-Foot” platform manipulates the laser pulse-shape coming from the National Ignition Facility laser to create an indirect drive 3-shock implosion that is significantly more robust against instability growth involving the ablator and also modestly reduces implosion convergence ratio. This strategy gives up on theoretical high-gain in an inertial confinement fusion implosion in order to obtain better control of the implosion and bring experimental performance in-line with calculated performance, yet keeps the absolute capsule performance relatively high. In this paper, we will cover the various experimental and theoretical motivations for the high-foot drive as well as cover the experimental resultsmore » that have come out of the high-foot experimental campaign. At the time of this writing, the high-foot implosion has demonstrated record total deuterium-tritium yields (9.3×10{sup 15}) with low levels of inferred mix, excellent agreement with implosion simulations, fuel energy gains exceeding unity, and evidence for the “bootstrapping” associated with alpha-particle self-heating.« less
  • The National Ignition Facility, as well as its French counterpart, {ital Le Laser Megajoule}, have been designed to confront one of the most difficult and compelling problem in shock physics{emdash}the creation of a hot, compressed DT plasma surrounded and confined by cold, nearly degenerate DT fuel. At the same time, these laser facilities will present the shock physics community with unique tools for the study of high energy density matter at states unreachable by any other laboratory technique. Here we describe how these lasers can contribute to investigations of high energy density matter in the areas of material properties andmore » equations of state, extend present laboratory shock techniques such as high-speed jets to new regimes, and allow study of extreme conditions found in astrophysical phenomena. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}« less