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PREPUBLICATION COPY--SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 6532 6533 Appendix F: Foreign Inertial Fusion Energy Programs 6534 Other countries and consortia of countries are seeking to attain fusion energy 6535 in addition to the United States. These facilities and programs are briefly described 6536 here in this appendix. 6537 European Union – High Power Laser Energy Research (HiPER) 6538 The High Power Laser Energy Research project (HiPER) is an international 6539 collaborative research activity to design a high-power laser fusion facility capable of 6540 “significant energy production” 2 that is funded by ten funding agency partners in the 6541 European Union (from the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Greece, 6542 Spain, and Italy) and in which 17 institutional partners take part. A coordinated 6543 science and technology effort exists between the major laser labs such as Laser 6544 Mégajoule (LMJ), the PETawatt Aquitaine Laser (PETAL), Orion, the Extreme Light 6545 Infrastructure (ELI), and the Prague Asterix Laser System (PALS) on the path to 6546 HiPER, with each lab investigating discrete elements of interest. 6547 The driver for HiPER consists of diode-pumped solid state lasers (DPSSLs). 6548 Their preliminary design has not specified a particular DPSSL material yet, but a few 6549 are under consideration at this time, such as cryo-cooled Yb:CaF2, Yb:YAG, and 6550 ceramic Yb:YAG. These materials can be made in large sizes, easily scaled, and 6551 have a wide industrial base on which to draw on from the EU countries. 6552 Although other methods are under consideration, HiPER appears to favor the 6553 direct drive, shock ignition method. The project is collaborating with universities on 6554 the development of technologies for fast ignition. HiPER appears to have no 6555 intention of pursuing indirect drive ignition, possibly, at least in part, because French 6556 law forbids use of military program data for civilian use. The UK’s Atomic Weapons 6557 Establishment has been working with the United States on indirect drive at the 6558 National Ignition Facility (NIF). 6559 The preliminary design for the ignition target for HiPER uses an aluminum 6560 shell containing deuterium-tritium (DT) ice and vapor; a gain greater than 100 is 6561 desired for commercial IFE purposes. Mass production, cryo-layering, and chamber 6562 injection of these targets are currently under study by Micronanics, General Atomics, 6563 and laboratories in the Czech Republic. Much of the design of European approaches 6564 to IFE is being done using DUED, a code developed in Italy, and MULTI, a code 6565 developed in Spain. 2 See http://www.hiper-laser.org/overview/hiper.asp. A-35
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PREPUBLICATION COPY--SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 6566 A two-stage development approach to the HiPER chamber is under 6567 consideration. The first stage would be a technology integration demonstration, while 6568 the next stage would be an IFE reactor. A “consumable” first wall concept is being 6569 studied wherein the damaging effects of debris and reaction products on the first wall 6570 are mitigated. One consumable wall concept involves gas-filled removable tiles as a 6571 modular solution to this problem. Partnerships with the magnetic fusion energy 6572 (MFE) community would be potentially of interest to solve these issues, as these 6573 challenges are not unique to IFE. 6574 A 3-5 kJ laser unit representative of a larger modular scheme for HiPER is 6575 currently under development with four European Union teams involved. The goal of 6576 this research thrust is to have a 10% efficient laser capable of reaching 1 MJ of 6577 energy at 10 Hz. 6578 The timeline for the entire HiPER project begins with a technological 6579 development and risk reduction phase from the present to approximately 2020; a 6580 design, build, and test phase from approximately 2017 to 2029; and finally a reactor 6581 design phase from approximately 2025 to 2036. These activities are all intended to 6582 be done on a single site to reduce costs and redundancies. During this time, it is 6583 anticipated that NIF will have achieved ignition, and that HiPER will have received 6584 some business investment. 6585 See page the section in Chapter 2 titled “The Global R&D Effort on Solid- 6586 State Lasers for IFE Drivers” for more information on laser development in Europe. 6587 France – Laser Mégajoule (LMJ) 6588 The Centre Lasers Intenses et Applications (CELIA), centered at the 6589 University of Bordeaux, organizes and administers a collaboration among French 6590 academics, the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives 6591 (CEA), and several other European laser collaborations, and attempts to develop 6592 relevant industrial connections for all purposes in the Bordeaux area. CELIA is 6593 heavily involved in the HiPER project. The French program is a very active 6594 collaborator with other nations such as Japan and the United States on laser IFE 6595 research and with other large programs such as ITER for fusion-related materials 6596 research. 6597 The French IFE effort outside of the HiPER facility is through the Laser 6598 Mégajoule (LMJ). LMJ is similar to both HiPER and NIF in different fashions. 6599 Similarly to NIF, LMJ will use a flashlamp-pumped laser as its driver. LMJ is also 6600 structurally very similar to NIF (with differences in the number of beams and optics), 6601 will use indirect drive ignition, and will produce approximately the same final laser 6602 wavelength of 351 nm at a similar maximum energy of 1.8 MJ. LMJ will use indirect A-36
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PREPUBLICATION COPY--SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 6603 drive for the purpose of weapons physics studies just as NIF does. Though it is 6604 associated with the French nuclear weapons program, LMJ is to be used for open 6605 research, including IFE, 25% of the time, according to the present CEA 6606 Commissioner. 6607 Currently, the CEA target laboratory is responsible for all CEA laser target 6608 needs. It has no plans to expand its capabilities for mass-production of IFE targets at 6609 the moment and will rely on General Atomics for targets for the foreseeable future. 6610 The challenges the LMJ will face in IFE in the future are similar to those facing other 6611 programs reliant on indirect drive-based, such as building, positioning, and orienting 6612 high-velocity targets, managing the large mass present in an indirect drive-type target, 6613 and the computer simulations indicating a higher energy requirement for indirect 6614 drive ignition. 6615 It is planned that “first light” experiments from 162 of the intended 240 beams 6616 will occur at LMJ in 2014, with ignition experiments starting in 2017. An EU- 6617 sponsored petawatt laser arm, PETAL, will also be brought online in parallel with the 6618 main LMJ facility. 6619 China – SG-IV 6620 The Chinese IFE program plans to achieve ignition and burn around the year 6621 2020. On the path to that goal, China is updating existing laser research facilities 6622 such as SG-II to higher energies and with additional features such as backlighting. 6623 The SG-III lamp-pumped Nd:Glass facility is also in the process of an upgrade from 8 6624 to 48 beams. Their upgrade and construction work will culminate with the 6625 completion of the 1.5 MJ (351nm) SG-IV ignition facility. 6626 The laser driver for the SG-IV facility is planned to be Yb:YAG water-cooled 6627 DPSSLs operating between 1-10 Hz, and fired into a six meter diameter target 6628 chamber. The choice of ignition method and target has not been finalized, though fast 6629 ignition is favored with a cone-in-shell target. However, indirect drive is being 6630 considered. The upgrades to China’s existing laser facilities as well as new 6631 capabilities are planned to drive target physics and ignition research. 6632 In addition to many experiments devoted to a better understanding of the 6633 physics, the Chinese program is developing its own simulation codes. This code suite 6634 will be used to design the ignition targets for their ignition program, and experiments 6635 to check simulation designs will be carried out on the upgraded SG-II (SG-IIU) and 6636 SG-III lasers. 6637 ILE Osaka, Japan – FIREX and i-LIFT A-37
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PREPUBLICATION COPY--SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 6638 The Japanese Fast-Ignition Realization Experiment (FIREX) IFE facility is 6639 planning to achieve ignition using the fast ignition technique around 2019. Japan’s 6640 IFE program is also working on engineering plans for a Laboratory Inertial Fusion 6641 Test (i-LIFT) experimental IFE reactor, and eventually plans to construct an IFE 6642 demonstration plant. i-LIFT will feature 100 kJ lasers firing at 1 Hz and a 100 kJ 6643 heating laser at the same rate. The facility is designed to generate net electricity. 6644 Currently, experimental progress has been focused on fast ignition by 6645 performing integrated experiments with the FIREX-I system and the LFEX CPA 6646 heating beam. DPSSLs have been selected as the laser driver—Japan believes that its 6647 strong semiconductor industry will underpin this choice in technology. They also cite 6648 a strong domestic working relationship with the materials and MFE communities. 6649 Japan states that most critical elements of IFE reactor construction have been 6650 addressed and/or demonstrated, such as mass production of targets and high-speed 6651 target injection, magnetic field laser port protection, and liquid first-wall stability. 6652 The current plans for i-LIFT include operation from 2021 – 2032. They 6653 anticipate that their demonstration plant will begin engineering design in 2026, 6654 operation of a single chamber system in 2029, and will be expanded to a four- 6655 chamber commercial plant operating at 1.2 MJ at 16 Hz in 2040. 6656 See Chapter 2 of this report for more information on laser development in 6657 Japan. 6658 6659 Russia-Germany, Heavy Ion-based Inertial Fusion Energy 6660 The IFE collaboration between Russia and Germany has chosen heavy ion 6661 beams as their driver method, featuring two options. A 10 km radiofrequency linac 6662 would be needed for the heavy-ion driver. They are considering both direct fast 6663 ignition and indirect drive methods. Bi and/or Pt ion beams would drive either a 6664 rotating cylindrical target or a target similar to the capsule-in-hohlraum designs for 6665 laser-driven ignition, with a calculated gain of as much as 100. They are also 6666 examining the possibility of a fusion-fission-fusion target design using a layer of 238 6667 U. 6668 Their proposed target chamber incorporates a two-walled design, with a 6669 wetted silicon carbide first wall and a LiPb blanket. The vapor layer generated from 6670 the “prepulse” is suggested to mitigate a number of potential challenges such as target 6671 debris and x-ray damage of the first wall. However, the vapor generated also is a 6672 cause for concern in the overall reactor design. The radiation-hydrodynamics code 6673 RAMPHY has been used to study these effects of liquid film ablation and radiation A-38
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PREPUBLICATION COPY--SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 6674 transport, as well as others of importance to IFE such as DT capsule implosion and 6675 burn, x-ray and charged particle stopping, and neutron deposition. 6676 Experimental work with the SIS and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion 6677 Research (FAIR) facilities in Germany is intended to investigate beam development 6678 and behavior. Other accelerator challenges to overcome include beam wobbling, 6679 vacuum instability, and high current injection. The Institute for Theoretical and 6680 Experimental Physics Terawatt Accumulator (ITEP-TWAC) project will be a main 6681 test bed for these issues and is now under construction. 6682 Russia has recently announced a project to build a 2.8 MJ laser for inertial 6683 confinement fusion and weapons research. The Research Institute of Experimental 6684 Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) will develop the concept. 6685 6686 A-39