Initial NIF experiments meet requirements for fusion ignition
The experiments, described in an article in today’s edition of Science Express, the online version of the journal Science, resulted in highly symmetrical compression of simulated fuel capsules – a requirement for NIF to achieve its goal of fusion ignition and energy gain when ignition experiments begin later this year.
The test shots proved NIF’s ability to deliver sufficient energy to the hohlraum to reach the radiation temperatures – more than 3 million degrees Centigrade – needed to create the intense bath of X-rays that compress the fuel capsule. When NIF scientists extrapolate the results of the initial experiments to higher-energy shots on full-sized hohlraums, “we feel we will be able to create the necessary hohlraum conditions to drive an implosion to ignition,” said Jeff Atherton, director of NIF experiments.
About 50% of liberated energy will be carried by multiple MeV neutrons. The first wall will overall ooze. Carbon will sputter, tungsten will activate; surrounding supercon windings will be displeased. Don’t live downwnd of a facility handling multiple kilos of tritium.
If you need even one PhD on your production line, you don’t have a production line.