First successful intergation experiment at NIF

Oct. 7, 2010
LIVERMORE, CA – The National Ignition Facility (NIF) has completed its first integrated ignition experiment. With the completion of this test, NIF is beginning its next phase of the campaign to culminate in fusion ignition tests.

LIVERMORE, CA – The National Ignition Facility (NIF) has completed its first integrated ignition experiment. In the test, the 192-beam laser system fired 1 MJ of laser energy into its first cryogenically layered capsule, raising the drive energy by a factor of thirty over experiments previously conducted at the Omega laser at the University of Rochester. With the completion of this test, NIF is beginning its next phase of the campaign to culminate in fusion ignition tests.

The National Ignition Facility is the world’s largest and highest-energy laser system and is expected to be the first laser system to demonstrate reliable fusion ignition in a laboratory environment. When NIF’s lasers fire, more than one million joules of ultraviolet energy are focused into a pencil-eraser-sized gold cylinder that contains a peppercorn-sized plastic capsule filled with the hydrogen fuel.

The completed experiment demonstrated the integration of the complex systems required for an ignition campaign. This target was filled with a mixture of tritium, hydrogen and deuterium tailored to enable the most comprehensive physics, a necessary step on the path to demonstrating fusion ignition. All systems operated successfully, and 26 target diagnostics participated in the shot.

“From both a system integration and from a physics point of view, this experiment was outstanding,” said Ed Moses, Director of the National Ignition Facility. “This is a great moment in the 50-year history of inertial confinement fusion. It represents significant progress in our ability to field complex experiments in support of our NNSA Stockpile Stewardship, Department of Defense, fundamental science and energy missions.”

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced the experiment's completion yesterday in Washington, DC.

“NIF is an example of what the NNSA labs do best,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook. “We are bringing together the best minds in science, engineering and technology to solve some of the nation’s greatest challenges. With NIF, the nation has a critically important asset that supports our national security priorities, pushes the frontiers of science and discovery, and carries the potential for critical advances in energy security.”

The experimental program to achieve fusion and energy gain, known as the National Ignition Campaign, is a partnership among LLNL, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at University of Rochester, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, and General Atomics. Other contributors include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (UK), Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (France) and many others.


For more information visit www.nnsa.energy.gov

Posted by Steve AndersonFollow us on TwitterSubscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free!

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a Micro 3D Printed Benchmark Part: Send us your file.

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!