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The Science and Technologies for Fusion Energy With Lasers and Direct-Drive Targets
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC PLASMA PHYSICS DIV
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We are carrying out a multidisciplinary multiinstitutional program to develop the scientific and technical basis for inertial fusion energy IFE based on laser drivers and directdrive targets. The key components are developed as an integrated system, linking the science, technology, and final application of a 1000-MWe pure-fusion power plant. The science and technologies developed here are flexible enough to be applied to other size systems. The scientific justification for this work is a family of target designs simulations that show that direct drive has the potential to provide the high gains needed for a pure-fusion power plant. Two competing lasers are under development the diode-pumped solid-state laser DPPSL and the electron-beam-pumped krypton fluoride KrF gas laser. This paper will present the current state of the art in the target designs and lasers, as well as the other IFE technologies required for energy, including final optics grazing incidence and dielectrics, chambers, and target fabrication, injection and tracking technologies. All of these are applicable to both laser systems and to other laser IFE-based concepts. However, in some of the higher performance target designs, the DPPSL will require more energy to reach the same yield as with the KrF laser.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE