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Title: Progress towards ignition on the National Ignition Facility

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory includes a precision laser system now capable of delivering 1.8 MJ at 500 TW of 0.35-μm light to a target. NIF has been operational since March 2009. A variety of experiments have been completed in support of NIF's mission areas: national security, fundamental science, and inertial fusion energy. NIF capabilities and infrastructure are in place to support its missions with nearly 60 X-ray, optical, and nuclear diagnostic systems. A primary goal of the National Ignition Campaign (NIC) on the NIF was to implode a low-Z capsule filled with ∼0.2 mg of deuterium-tritium (DT) fuel via laser indirect-drive inertial confinement fusion and demonstrate fusion ignition and propagating thermonuclear burn with a net energy gain of ∼5–10 (fusion yield/input laser energy). This requires assembling the DT fuel into a dense shell of ∼1000 g/cm{sup 3} with an areal density (ρR) of ∼1.5 g/cm{sup 2}, surrounding a lower density hot spot with a temperature of ∼10 keV and a ρR ∼0.3 g/cm{sup 2}, or approximately an α-particle range. Achieving these conditions demand precise control of laser and target parameters to allow a low adiabat, high convergence implosion with low ablator fuel mix. Wemore » have demonstrated implosion and compressed fuel conditions at ∼80–90% for most point design values independently, but not at the same time. The nuclear yield is a factor of ∼3–10× below the simulated values and a similar factor below the alpha dominated regime. This paper will discuss the experimental trends, the possible causes of the degraded performance (the off-set from the simulations), and the plan to understand and resolve the underlying physics issues.« less
Authors:
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, California 94550 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22227916
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ABLATION; APPROXIMATIONS; CAPSULES; D-T OPERATION; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; FUSION YIELD; GAIN; ICF DEVICES; INERTIAL CONFINEMENT; INERTIAL FUSION DRIVERS; ION TEMPERATURE; LASER-PRODUCED PLASMA; PLASMA DENSITY; THERMONUCLEAR IGNITION; US NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY; X RADIATION