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Title: Fusion Energy Sciences Program at LANL


This presentation provides a strategic plan and description of investment areas; LANL vision for existing programs; FES portfolio and other specifics related to the Fusion Energy Sciences program at LANL.

  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1800010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Leeper, Ramon J. Fusion Energy Sciences Program at LANL. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1400133.
Leeper, Ramon J. Fusion Energy Sciences Program at LANL. United States. doi:10.2172/1400133.
Leeper, Ramon J. 2017. "Fusion Energy Sciences Program at LANL". United States. doi:10.2172/1400133.
title = {Fusion Energy Sciences Program at LANL},
author = {Leeper, Ramon J.},
abstractNote = {This presentation provides a strategic plan and description of investment areas; LANL vision for existing programs; FES portfolio and other specifics related to the Fusion Energy Sciences program at LANL.},
doi = {10.2172/1400133},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =

Technical Report:

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  • Fusion energy shows great promise to contribute to securing the energy future of humanity. The risk of conflicts arising from energy shortages and supply cutoffs, as well as the risk of severe environmental impacts from existing methods of energy production, are strong reasons to pursue fusion energy now. The world effort to develop fusion energy is at the threshold of a new stage in its research: the investigation of burning plasmas. This investigation, at the frontier of the physics of complex systems, would be a huge step in establishing the potential of magnetic fusion energy to contribute to the world’smore » energy security. The defining feature of a burning plasma is that it is self-heated: the 100 million degree temperature of the plasma is maintained mainly by the heat generated by the fusion reactions themselves, as occurs in burning stars. The fusion-generated alpha particles produce new physical phenomena that are strongly coupled together as a nonlinear complex system. Understanding all elements of this system poses a major challenge to fundamental plasma physics. The technology needed to produce and control a burning plasma presents challenges in engineering science similarly essential to the development of fusion energy.« less
  • For over 40 years, the U.S. has been trying to harness the energy source of the hydrogen bomb to produce electricity. Controlling fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the sun, requires confining and heating deuterium and tritium nuclei to the point where they will collide (a D-T reaction) producing nuclear energy in a sustained, regulated way. One path to this goal, called magnetic fusion energy (MFE), is to use very strong magnetic fields to confine a deuterium and tritium plasma while heating it to fusion temperatures. The potential benefits from fusion are enormous. The fuel resources are vast. Radioactive wastemore » would be generated from a D-T reaction, but the long term buildup would be orders of magnitude less than that of a comparable fission reactor.« less
  • At the November 14-15, 2000, meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, a Panel was set up to address questions about the Theory and Computing program, posed in a charge from the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (see Appendix A). This area was of theory and computing/simulations had been considered in the FESAC Knoxville meeting of 1999 and in the deliberations of the Integrated Program Planning Activity (IPPA) in 2000. A National Research Council committee provided a detailed review of the scientific quality of the fusion energy sciences program, including theory and computing, in 2000.
  • The Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee was asked to conduct a review of Fusion Materials Research Program (the Structural Materials portion of the Fusion Program) by Dr. Martha Krebs, Director of Energy Research for the Department of Energy. This request was motivated by the fact that significant changes have been made in the overall direction of the Fusion Program from one primarily focused on the milestones necessary to the construction of successively larger machines to one where the necessary scientific basis for an attractive fusion energy system is. better understood. It was in this context that the review of currentmore » scientific excellence and recommendations for future goals and balance within the Program was requested.« less
  • This report of the Integrated Program Planning Activity (IPPA) has been prepared in response to a recommendation by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board that, ''Given the complex nature of the fusion effort, an integrated program planning process is an absolute necessity.'' We, therefore, undertook this activity in order to integrate the various elements of the program, to improve communication and performance accountability across the program, and to show the inter-connectedness and inter-dependency of the diverse parts of the national fusion energy sciences program. This report is based on the September 1999 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee's (FESAC) report ''Prioritiesmore » and Balance within the Fusion Energy Sciences Program''. In its December 5,2000, letter to the Director of the Office of Science, the FESAC has reaffirmed the validity of the September 1999 report and stated that the IPPA presents a framework and process to guide the achievement of the 5-year goals listed in the 1999 report. The National Research Council's (NRC) Fusion Assessment Committee draft final report ''An Assessment of the Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences Program'', reviewing the quality of the science in the program, was made available after the IPPA report had been completed. The IPPA report is, nevertheless, consistent with the recommendations in the NRC report. In addition to program goals and the related 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year objectives, this report elaborates on the scientific issues associated with each of these objectives. The report also makes clear the relationships among the various program elements, and cites these relationships as the reason why integrated program planning is essential. In particular, while focusing on the science conducted by the program, the report addresses the important balances between the science and energy goals of the program, between the MFE and IFE approaches, and between the domestic and international aspects of the program. The report also outlines a process for establishing a database for the fusion research program that will indicate how each research element fits into the overall program. This database will also include near-term milestones associated with each research element, and will facilitate assessments of the balance within the program at different levels. The Office of Fusion Energy Sciences plans to begin assembling and using the database in the Spring of 2001 as we receive proposals from our laboratories and begin to prepare our budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2003.« less