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Title: A Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Based on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy

Abstract

The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a laser-based Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiment designed to achieve thermonuclear fusion ignition and burn in the laboratory, will soon be completed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Experiments designed to accomplish the NIF's goal will commence in 2010, using laser energies of 1 to 1.3 MJ. Fusion yields of the order of 10 to 35 MJ are expected soon thereafter. They propose that a laser system capable of generating fusion yields of 35 to 75 MJ at 10 to 15 Hz (i.e., {approx} 350- to 1000-MW fusion and {approx} 1.3 to 3.6 x 10{sup 20} n/s), coupled to a compact subdritical fission blanket, could be used to generate several GW of thermal power (GWth) while avoiding carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating nuclear proliferation concerns and minimizing the concerns associated with nuclear safety and long-term nuclear waste disposition. this Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) based system is a logical extension of the NIF laser and the yields expec ted from the early ignition experiments on NIF. The LIFE concept is a once-through,s elf-contained closed fuel cycle and would have the following characteristics: (1) eliminate the need for spent fuel chemical separation facilities; (4) maintain the fissionmore » blanket subcritical at all times (k{sub eff} < 0.90); and (5) minimize future requirements for deep underground geological waste repositories and minimize actinide content in the end-of-life nuclear waste below the Department of Energy's (DOE's) attractiveness Level E (the lowest). Options to burn natural or depleted U, Th, U/Th mixtures, Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) without chemical separations of weapons-attractive actinide streams, and excess weapons Pu or highly enriched U (HEU) are possible and under consideration. Because the fission blanket is always subcritical and decay heat removal is possible via passive mechanisms, the technology is inherently safe. Many technical challenges must be met, but a LIFE solution could provide a sustainable path for worldwide growth of nuclear powr for electricity production and hydrogen generation.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
957168
Report Number(s):
LLNL-CONF-413798
TRN: US1002291
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at: 18th TOFE Conference, San Francisco, CA, United States, Sep 28 - Oct 02, 2008
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; ACTINIDES; AFTER-HEAT REMOVAL; CARBON DIOXIDE; ELECTRICITY; FISSION; FUEL CYCLE; FUSION YIELD; IGNITION; INERTIAL CONFINEMENT; LASERS; MIXTURES; NUCLEAR FUELS; PROLIFERATION; RADIATION PROTECTION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SPENT FUELS; THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS; US NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY; WASTES; WEAPONS

Citation Formats

Moses, E, Diaz de la Rubia, T, Storm, E, Latkowski, J, Farmer, J, Abbott, R, Kramer, K, Peterson, P, Shaw, H, and Lehman, II, R. A Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Based on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy. United States: N. p., 2009. Web.
Moses, E, Diaz de la Rubia, T, Storm, E, Latkowski, J, Farmer, J, Abbott, R, Kramer, K, Peterson, P, Shaw, H, & Lehman, II, R. A Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Based on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy. United States.
Moses, E, Diaz de la Rubia, T, Storm, E, Latkowski, J, Farmer, J, Abbott, R, Kramer, K, Peterson, P, Shaw, H, and Lehman, II, R. Fri . "A Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Based on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/957168.
@article{osti_957168,
title = {A Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Based on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy},
author = {Moses, E and Diaz de la Rubia, T and Storm, E and Latkowski, J and Farmer, J and Abbott, R and Kramer, K and Peterson, P and Shaw, H and Lehman, II, R},
abstractNote = {The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a laser-based Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiment designed to achieve thermonuclear fusion ignition and burn in the laboratory, will soon be completed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Experiments designed to accomplish the NIF's goal will commence in 2010, using laser energies of 1 to 1.3 MJ. Fusion yields of the order of 10 to 35 MJ are expected soon thereafter. They propose that a laser system capable of generating fusion yields of 35 to 75 MJ at 10 to 15 Hz (i.e., {approx} 350- to 1000-MW fusion and {approx} 1.3 to 3.6 x 10{sup 20} n/s), coupled to a compact subdritical fission blanket, could be used to generate several GW of thermal power (GWth) while avoiding carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating nuclear proliferation concerns and minimizing the concerns associated with nuclear safety and long-term nuclear waste disposition. this Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) based system is a logical extension of the NIF laser and the yields expec ted from the early ignition experiments on NIF. The LIFE concept is a once-through,s elf-contained closed fuel cycle and would have the following characteristics: (1) eliminate the need for spent fuel chemical separation facilities; (4) maintain the fission blanket subcritical at all times (k{sub eff} < 0.90); and (5) minimize future requirements for deep underground geological waste repositories and minimize actinide content in the end-of-life nuclear waste below the Department of Energy's (DOE's) attractiveness Level E (the lowest). Options to burn natural or depleted U, Th, U/Th mixtures, Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) without chemical separations of weapons-attractive actinide streams, and excess weapons Pu or highly enriched U (HEU) are possible and under consideration. Because the fission blanket is always subcritical and decay heat removal is possible via passive mechanisms, the technology is inherently safe. Many technical challenges must be met, but a LIFE solution could provide a sustainable path for worldwide growth of nuclear powr for electricity production and hydrogen generation.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {5}
}

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