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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 2

Overview of the National Ignition Facility

Edward I. Moses

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 2 / August 2008 / Pages 361-366

Technical Paper / Tritium and Inertial Fusion

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be the world's largest and most powerful laser system for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and experiments studying high energy density (HED) science. NIF is a 192 beam Ndglass laser facility that will produce 1.8 MJ, 500 TW of ultraviolet light making it over fifty times more energetic than present ICF facilities. The NIF Project began in 1995 and is scheduled for completion in 2009. Ignition experiments on NIF, which will use tritium, are scheduled to begin in 2010. Tritium will arrive at the facility in individual target assemblies. The assemblies will be mounted to the Cryogenic TARget POSitioner (TARPOS), which provides the cryogenic cooling systems necessary to complete the formation of the ignition target's fuel ice layer. It also provides the positioning system that transports and holds the target at the center of the NIF chamber during a shot. After a shot, unburned tritium will be captured by the cryopumps. Upon regeneration, the cryopump effluent will be directed to the Tritium Processing System, part of NIF's. Personnel and Environmental Protection Systems. These systems also include, local contamination control systems, area and stack tritium monitoring systems, a decontamination area, and waste packaging and characterization capability. This equipment will be used along with standard contamination control practices to manage the tritium hazard to workers and to limit releases to the environment to negligibly small amounts.

 
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