On the path to fusion energy
Teller lecture 2005
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Mail Stop L-015, Livermore, CA, 94550, USA
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Published online: 1 September 2006
There is a need to develop alternate energy sources in the coming century because fossil fuels will become depleted and their use may lead to global climate change. Inertial fusion can become such an energy source, but significant progress must be made before its promise is realized. The high-density approach to inertial fusion suggested by Nuckolls et al. leads reaction chambers compatible with civilian power production. Methods to achieve the good control of hydrodynamic stability and implosion symmetry required to achieve these high fuel densities will be discussed. Fast Ignition, a technique that achieves fusion ignition by igniting fusion fuel after it is assembled, will be described along with its gain curves. Fusion costs of energy for conventional hotspot ignition will be compared with those of Fast Ignition and their capital costs compared with advanced fission plants. Finally, techniques that may improve possible Fast Ignition gains by an order of magnitude and reduce driver scales by an order of magnitude below conventional ignition requirements are described.
PACS: 52.58.Hm – Heavy-ion inertial confinement / 52.57.Fg – Implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instability / 52.57.Kk – Fast ignition of compressed fusion fuels
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2007