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Z-Pinch-Driven Fast Ignition Fusion Studies at Sandia National Laboratories

S. A. Slutz, R. A. Vesey, D. L. Hanson, R. B. Campbell, M. E. Cuneo, T. A. Mehlhorn, J. L. Porter

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 49 / Number 3 / April 2006 / Pages 374-383

Technical Paper / Fast Ignition

Pulsed-power machines can deliver large electrical energies to Z-pinches, which efficiently convert this energy into X-rays that can indirectly drive capsule implosions to obtain high-fusion fuel (D-T) densities. Presently, the Z machine generates 1.0 to 1.8 MJ of soft X-rays radiated from various Z-pinch loads. This output should be roughly doubled when Z is upgraded to ZR in 2006, making ZR an excellent machine to compress materials for fast ignition studies. The Z-Beamlet Laser (ZBL) has been installed adjacent to Z and is currently being used for X-ray backlighting. Presently, ZBL delivers up to 2 TW of 2 (526-nm-wavelength) light in pulses up to 1 ns long. Chirped-pulsed amplification is being added to the ZBL, which will increase the power a thousandfold enabling integrated fast ignitor experiments to be performed on the ZR facility beginning in 2007. Numerical simulations and analytic scaling, which have been performed to design such experiments, are presented in this paper.

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