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Compact, Efficient Laser Systems Required for Laser Inertial Fusion Energy

A. Bayramian et al.

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 1 / July 2011 / Pages 28-48

IFE - NIF & LIFE / Proceedings of the Nineteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE) (Part 1)

This paper presents our conceptual design for laser drivers used in Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) power plants. Although we have used only modest extensions of existing laser technology to ensure near-term feasibility, predicted performance meets or exceeds plant requirements: 2.2 MJ pulse energy produced by 384 beamlines at 16 Hz, with 18% wall-plug efficiency. High reliability and maintainability are achieved by mounting components in compact line-replaceable units that can be removed and replaced rapidly while other beamlines continue to operate, at up to ~13% above normal energy, to compensate for neighboring beamlines that have failed. Statistical modeling predicts that laser-system availability can be greater than 99% provided that components meet reasonable mean-time-between-failure specifications.

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