The National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s largest and most energetic laser system built for studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and high-energy-density (HED) science, is now operational at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). NIF’s 192 beams are configured to create pressures as high as 100 GB, matter temperatures approaching 10^9 and densities over 1000 g/cmm^3. With these capabilities, the NIF will enable exploring scientific problems in strategic defense, basic science and fusion energy. One of the early NIF campaigns is focusing on demonstrating laboratory-scale thermonuclear ignition and burn. NIF ignition experiments began late in FY2009 as part of the National Ignition Campaign (NIC). Participants of NIC include LLNL, General Atomics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and the University of Rochester Laboratory for Energetics (LLE) as well as a variety of national and international collaborators. The goal for NIC is to begin implosion experiments in 2010 and to demonstrate a predictable fusion experimental platform by the end of 2012. Successful demonstration of ignition and net energy gain on NIF will be a major step towards demonstrating the feasibility of Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) and will focus the world’s attention on the possibility of IFE as a limitless, carbon free, energy option. This talk will summarize the capabilities of NIF, discuss NIF ignition, NIF’s experimental program in HED science and the potential for laser-based fusion energy as a source for clean and abundant energy.
Dr. Edward Moses is the Director for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the Principal Associate Director for the NIF and Photon Science organization at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California. Dr. Moses was responsible for completing construction and activation of the NIF, the world’s largest and most energetic laser system and transforming it into an experimental platform for the broad national and international scientific user community. Experiments on NIF will access high energy density regimes with direct application to strategic security as well as applications for fusion energy research, high energy density science, and astrophysics. Dr. Moses is also the National Director of the National Ignition Campaign to achieve fusion ignition in the laboratory, the culmination of a 50-year quest. The NIF and Photon Science principal directorate is also responsible for the development of advanced diagnostics and laser technologies for homeland security, economic competitiveness, and energy needs.
Dr. Moses is internationally recognized in laser and optical sciences. He received a B.S. in 1972 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Electrical Engineering, from Cornell University. He holds several patents in laser technology, fusion and fission energy, and computational physics. He has received many honors, including the Fusion Power Associates 2008 Leadership Award, the National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Programs Award of Excellence, the Memorial D.S. Rozhdestvensky Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Lasers and Optical Sciences, and the R&D100 Award for the Peregrine radiation therapy program. Dr. Moses is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of SPIE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.