Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / August 2009 / Pages 594-603
Fusion Technology Plenary / Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 2)
The Fusion Test Facility (FTF) is a high repetition rate ignition facility that would bridge the gap between single shot facilities (such as NIF and LMJ) and a fully functioning laser fusion power plant. It would allow development of science and technologies so that follow-on power plants could have predictable performance. The FTF would need to have enough fusion power, about 100 MW, to rigorously test materials and components for the power plants. Because inertial fusion provides a "point" source for neutrons, it can provide very high fluxes for test objects placed close to the target, while the reaction chamber walls remain at conservatively large distances. Simulations indicate that direct-drive designs can achieve 100 MW fusion power with laser energies well below 1 MJ with a 5 Hz driver. High-resolution 2-D simulations of high-velocity direct-drive implosions utilizing a Krypton-Fluoride (KrF) laser give gains of >60° at 500 kJ, and shock-ignited targets may allow higher gains at even lower driver energy. Utilizing designs that require relatively small driver energy is the most straightforward path to reducing cost and development time for a practical laser fusion energy power plant. A program to develop an FTF would build upon the science and technologies developed in the existing National Ignition Campaign and the High Average Power Laser (HAPL) program, as well as the magnetic fusion technology program.