J.-C. Gauthier, et al.
J. Phys. IV France 133 (2006) 9-16
The ICF status and plans in the United StatesE.I. Moses, G.H. Miller and R.L. Kauffman
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PO Box 808 L-466, Livermore, CA 94551, USA
The United States continues to maintain its leadership in ICF as it moves toward the goal of ignition. The flagship of the program is the National Ignition Facility (NIF) presently under construction at LLNL. Experiments had begun on the first four beams of the National Ignition Facility just at the time of the last IFSA Conference. Several new successful campaigns have been conducted since then in planar hydrodynamics and hohlraums as well as activating the VISAR diagnostic for equation of state experiments. Highlights of these results will be reviewed. Presently, the four beam experimental capability has been suspended while the first eight beams are being installed as the first step in building out the project. Meanwhile, much progress has been made in developing ignition designs for using NIF. An array of designs having several ablator materials have been shown computationally to ignite with energies ranging from the design energy to as low as 1 MJ of laser energy. Alternative direct drive designs in the NIF indirect drive configuration have been developed by LLE. This wide array of design choices has increased the chance of achieving ignition sooner on the facility. Plans are now being developed to begin an ignition experimental campaign on NIF in 2010, a little over a year after completion of the facility. Other US facilities are also implementing improved capabilities. Petawatt lasers are now under construction at the University of Rochester and Sandia National Laboratory. The Z pulsed power machine at Sandia National Laboratory is being refurbished to improve its performance. The ongoing research program at the OMEGA laser at the University of Rochester and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratory as well as at the Nike, Trident and Janus lasers remain strong, performing experiments supporting the NIF ignition plan and direct drive ignition. There also is an active program in the broader field of high energy density science on these facilities. These activities will be reviewed here as well as presented in talks throughout the conference.
© EDP Sciences 2006