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WASHINGTON – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) today announced that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) recently completed its first integrated ignition experiment.
In the test, the 192-beam laser system fired 1 megajoule of laser energy into its first cryogenically layered capsule, raising the drive energy by a factor of thirty over experiments previously conducted at the Omega laser at the University of Rochester. With the completion of this test, NIF is beginning its next phase of the campaign to culminate in fusion ignition tests.
“NIF is an example of what the NNSA labs do best,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook. “We are bringing together the best minds in science, engineering and technology to solve some of the nation’s greatest challenges. With NIF, the nation has a critically important asset that supports our national security priorities, pushes the frontiers of science and discovery, and carries the potential for critical advances in energy security.”
NIF, the world’s largest and highest-energy laser system, is expected to be the first laser system to demonstrate reliable fusion ignition – the same force that powers the sun and the stars – in a laboratory environment.