Nuclear Fusion Energy Breakthrough: Ignition Confirmed in Record 1.3 Megajoule Shot - SciTechDaily

Nuclear Fusion Energy Breakthrough: Ignition Confirmed in Record 1.3 Megajoule Shot - SciTechDaily

Nuclear Fusion Energy Breakthrough: Ignition Confirmed in Record 1.3 Megajoule Shot - SciTechDaily
Aug 14, 2022 1 min, 43 secs

On the one-year anniversary of achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility, the scientific results of this record experiment have been published in three peer-reviewed papers: one in Physical Review Letters and two in Physical Review E.

After decades of inertial confinement fusion research, a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules (MJ) was achieved for the first time on August 8, 2021.

This put scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the threshold of fusion gain and achieved scientific ignition.

One paper was published in Physical Review Letters and two in Physical Review E.

In the Physical Review Letters paper, more than 1,000 authors were included to recognize and acknowledge the many individuals who have worked over many decades to enable this significant advance.

“The record shot was a major scientific advance in fusion research, which establishes that fusion ignition in the lab is possible at NIF,” said Omar Hurricane, chief scientist for LLNL’s inertial confinement fusion program.

“Achieving the conditions needed for ignition has been a long-standing goal for all inertial confinement fusion research and opens access to a new experimental regime where alpha-particle self-heating outstrips all the cooling mechanisms in the fusion plasma.”.

“Improvements to the physics design and quality of target all helped lead to the success of the August shot, which is discussed in the Physical Review E papers.”.

“Reducing the coasting-time with more efficient hohlraums compared to prior experiments was key in moving between the burning plasma and ignition regimes,” said LLNL physicist Annie Kritcher, lead designer and first author of the design Physical Review E paper.

Although the repeat attempts have not reached the same level of fusion yield as the August 2021 experiment, all of them demonstrated capsule gain greater than unity.

“Lawson Criterion for Ignition Exceeded in an Inertial Fusion Experiment” by HL

(Indirect Drive ICF Collaboration), 8 August 2022, Physical Review Letters.

Zylstra et al., 8 August 2022, Physical Review E.

“Design of an inertial fusion experiment exceeding the Lawson criterion for ignition” by A.

Kritcher et al., 8 August 2022, Physical Review E.

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