ASSESSMENT OF

INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION TARGETS

Panel on the Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets

Board on Physics and Astronomy

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
A S S E S S M E N T O F INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION TARGETS Panel on the Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets Board on Physics and Astronomy Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

OCR for page R1
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS  500 Fifth Street, NW  Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by Contract DE-DT0001679 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the agency that provided support for the project. Cover: Photo of an OMEGA cryogenic implosion, courtesy of the University of Rochester’s Labora- tory for Laser Energetics. International Standard Book Number-13:  978-0-309-27062-5 International Standard Book Number-10:  0-309-27062-6 Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Board on Physics and Astronomy National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC  20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to asso- ciate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

OCR for page R1

OCR for page R1
PANEL ON THE ASSESSMENT OF INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION TARGETS JOHN AHEARNE, NAE, Sigma Xi, Chair DOUGLAS EARDLEY, University of California, Santa Barbara, Vice Chair ROBERT DYNES, University of California, Santa Barbara DAVID HARDING, University of Rochester THOMAS MEHLHORN, Naval Research Laboratory MERRI WOOD-SCHULTZ, Los Alamos, New Mexico GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Staff GREG EYRING, Study Director SARAH CASE, Study Director (until October 2011) LaNITA JONES, Administrative Coordinator v

OCR for page R1
BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY PHILIP H. BUCKSBAUM, Stanford University, Chair DEBRA ELMEGREEN, Vassar College, Vice Chair RICCARDO BETTI, University of Rochester ADAM S. BURROWS, Princeton University TODD DITMIRE, University of Texas, Austin NATHANIEL J. FISCH, Princeton University PAUL FLEURY, Yale University S. JAMES GATES, University of Maryland LAURA H. GREENE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University MARK B. KETCHEN, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center MONICA OLVERA DE LA CRUZ, Northwestern University PAUL L. SCHECHTER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology BORIS I. SHRAIMAN, Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics MICHAEL S. TURNER, University of Chicago ELLEN D. WILLIAMS, BP International MICHAEL S. WITHERELL, University of California, Santa Barbara Staff JAMES C. LANCASTER, Director DONALD C. SHAPERO, Senior Scholar DAVID B. LANG, Program Officer CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Associate Program Officer TERI G. THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator BETH DOLAN, Financial Associate vi

OCR for page R1
BOARD ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS ANDREW BROWN, JR., Delphi Corporation, Chair WILLIAM BANHOLZER, Dow Chemical Company MARILYN BROWN, Georgia Institute of Technology WILLIAM CAVANAUGH III, Progress Energy (retired), Raleigh, North Carolina PAUL DeCOTIS, Long Island Power Authority CHRISTINE EHLIG-ECONOMIDES, Texas A&M University SHERRI GOODMAN, CNA, Alexandria, Virginia NARAIN HINGORANI, Independent Consultant, Los Altos Hills, California ROBERT HUGGETT, Independent Consultant, Seaford, Virginia DEBBIE NIEMEIER, University of California, Davis DANIEL NOCERA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER, Princeton University DAN REICHER, Stanford University BERNARD ROBERTSON, Daimler-Chrysler (retired), Bloomfield Hills, Michigan GARY ROGERS, FEV, Inc., Auburn Hills, Michigan ALISON SILVERSTEIN, Consultant, Pflugerville, Texas MARK THIEMENS, University of California, San Diego RICHARD WHITE, Oppenheimer & Company, New York City Staff JAMES ZUCCHETTO, Director DANA CAINES, Financial Associate DAVID COOKE, Associate Program Officer ALAN CRANE, Senior Scientist K. JOHN HOLMES, Associate Board Director LaNITA JONES, Administrative Coordinator ALICE WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant JONATHAN YANGER, Senior Project Assistant vii

OCR for page R1

OCR for page R1
Preface and Acknowledgments In the fall of 2010, the Office of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Under Secretary for Science asked for a National Research Council (NRC) com- mittee to investigate the prospects for generating power using inertial confine- ment fusion (ICF) concepts, acknowledging that a key test of viability for this concept—­ignition1—could be demonstrated at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the relatively near term. The committee was asked to provide an unclassified report. However, DOE indicated that to fully assess this topic, the committee’s deliberations would have to be informed by the results of some classified experiments and information, particularly in the area of ICF targets and nonproliferation. Thus, an additional Panel on Fusion Target Physics (“the panel”) was assembled, composed of experts able to access the needed information (for member biographies, see Appendix A). The panel was charged with advising the committee on these issues, both by internal discussion and by this unclassified report. The statement of task for the panel is as follows: A Panel on Fusion Target Physics (“the panel”) will serve as a technical resource to the Committee on Inertial Confinement Energy Systems (“the Committee”) and will prepare a report that describes the R&D challenges to providing suitable targets, on the basis of parameters established and provided to the Panel by the Committee. 1  The operative definition of ignition adopted by the panel, “gain greater than unity,” is the same as that used in the earlier NRC report Review of the Department of Energy’s Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press (1997). ix

OCR for page R1
x Preface and Acknowledgments The Panel on Fusion Target Physics will prepare a report that will assess the current performance of fusion targets associated with various ICF concepts in order to understand: 1.  The spectrum output; 2.  The illumination geometry; 3.  The high-gain geometry; and 4.  The robustness of the target design. The panel will also address the potential impacts of the use and development of current concepts for Inertial Fusion Energy on the proliferation of nuclear weapons information and technology, as appropriate. The Panel will examine technology options, but will not provide recommendations specific to any currently operating or proposed ICF facility. The panel interpreted the terms used in its statement of task in the following way. “Illumination geometry” not only is interpreted to mean the physical arrange- ment and timing of laser or particle beams incident on the target but also is general- ized to mean “delivering driver energy to the target.” In this way, the magnetic forces in pulsed-power schemes are also included. “High-gain geometry” is interpreted as designs that enable the energy incident on the target to be converted efficiently into fuel burn and high yield.2 “Spectrum output” is interpreted to include all of the types of emissions (photons, ions, neutrons, and debris) from the fusion target and their energy spectra. Depending on the type of reaction chamber used (solid wall, wetted wall, liquid wall, gas-filled, evacuated, and so on) these emissions may or may not reach the chamber wall; however, a detailed discussion of the effects on the wall is beyond the scope of this report. “Robustness of the target design” is interpreted in two ways: (1) the inherent “physics robustness,” which relates to the performance margins of the design being large enough compared to the ­ hysics p uncertainties that reliable performance can be assured under ideal conditions, and (2) “engineering robustness,” which relates to the target’s ability to deliver reliable performance even under nonideal conditions such as variations in driver energy, target manufacturing defects, errors in target positioning, or driver beam misalignment. This unclassified report contains all of the panel’s conclusions and recom- mendations. In some cases, additional support and documentation required the discussion of classified material, which appears in classified appendices in a separate version of this report. ICF is an active research field, and scientific understanding continues to evolve. The information discussed here is accurate as of the date pre- sented to the panel (see Appendix B), although in some cases more recent updates are included; if so, this is noted in the text. This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by 2  High yield is defined broadly as much more than 10 times the fusion energy produced as driver energy delivered to the target.

OCR for page R1
Preface and Acknowledgments xi the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and respon- siveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Bedros Afeyan, Polymath Research Inc., Roger Bangerter, E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (retired), Michael Corradini, University of Wisconsin, Jill Dahlburg, Naval Research Laboratory, Richard Garwin, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, David Hammer, Cornell University, Frank von Hippel, Princeton University, Arjun Makhijani, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, David Overskei, Decision Factors Inc., Robert Rosner, University of Chicago, and Douglas Wilson, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommenda- tions, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Louis J. Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The panel also thanks the NRC staff for its dedicated work, in particular Sarah Case, who got the panel started off on the correct path, and Greg Eyring, who per- severed in getting both the classified and unclassified reports over many hurdles. John F. Ahearne, Chair Panel on the Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets

OCR for page R1

OCR for page R1
Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 10 2 TECHNICAL BACKGROUND 12 Inertial Confinement Fusion and Inertial Fusion Energy, 12 Basics of ICF Target Physics and Design, 14 3 PROLIFERATION RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH INERTIAL FUSION ENERGY AND WITH SPECIFIC TARGET DESIGNS 33 Context and Historical Perspective, 33 Classification: ICF and IFE, 35 Proliferation Concerns Associated with Different IFE Target Concepts, 37 Weapons Material Production at IFE Plants, 38 Knowledge Transfer at ICF Facilities, 39 ICF for Other Purposes, 41 The Importance of International Engagement, 42 Advantages and Disadvantages of Fusion Plants with Respect to ­Proliferation, 43 xiii

OCR for page R1
xiv Contents 4 EVALUATION OF ICF TARGETS 45 Laser-Driven, Indirect-Drive Targets, 45 Use of Laser-Driven, Indirect-Drive Targets in a Proposed IFE System, 52 Solid-State-Laser-Driven, Direct-Drive Fusion, 62 Krypton Fluoride Laser-Driven, Direct-Drive Fusion, 70 Heavy-Ion-Driven Targets, 75 Z-Pinch Targets, 78 Output Spectrum from Various IFE Targets, 83 Target Fabrication, 84 Two Overarching Conclusions and a Recommendation, 85 REFERENCES 87 APPENDIXES A Biographical Sketches of Panel Members 93 B Panel Meeting Agendas and Presenters 97 C Acronyms 101