J.-C. Gauthier, et al.
J. Phys. IV France 133 (2006) 103-104
On the path to fusion energyM. Tabak
Mail Stop L-015, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
There is a need to develop alternate energy sources in the coming century because fossil fuels will become depleted and their use may lead to global climate change. Inertial fusion can become such an energy source, but significant progress must be made before its promise is realized. The high-density approach to inertial fusion suggested by Nuckolls, et al., leads to reactors compatible with civilian power production. Methods to achieve the good control of hydrodynamic stability (adiabat shaping) and implosion symmetry required to achieve these high fuel densities will be discussed. Examples of symmetry control for targets driven by Z-pinches or heavy ion beams are given. Fast Ignition, a technique that achieves fusion ignition by igniting fusion fuel after it is assembled, will be described along with its gain curves. Fusion costs of energy for conventional hotspot ignition will be compared with those of Fast Ignition and their capital costs compared with advanced fission plants. Finally, techniques that may improve possible Fast Ignition gains by an order of magnitude and reduce driver scales by an order of magnitude below conventional ignition requirements are described. If these innovations are successful, the fusion specific capital costs can be reduced below 10% of the balance of plant.
© EDP Sciences 2006