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Status of the development of ignition capsules in the U.S. effort to achieve thermonuclear ignition on the national ignition facility

  • A. NOBILE (a1), A. NIKROO (a2), R.C. COOK (a3), J.C. COOLEY (a1), D.J. ALEXANDER (a1), R.E. HACKENBERG (a1), C.T. NECKER (a1), R.M. DICKERSON (a1), J.L. KILKENNY (a2), T.P. BERNAT (a2), K.C. CHEN (a2), H. XU (a2), R.B. STEPHENS (a2), H. HUANG (a2), S.W. HAAN (a3), A.C. FORSMAN (a2), L.J. ATHERTON (a3), S.A. LETTS (a3), M.J. BONO (a3) and D.C. WILSON (a1)...

Abstract

An important component of the U.S. effort to achieve thermonuclear ignition in 2010 on the National Ignition Facility is the development of high quality 2 mm diameter spherical capsules to function as the ablator and contain the cryogenic DT fuel. Three ignition capsule designs have been developed, and detailed fabrication specifications for each design have been established and placed under change control. A research program with activities coordinated mainly between Lawrence Livermore, General Atomics and Los Alamos is underway to demonstrate fabrication of capsules meeting specifications. The point design for ignition campaigns beginning in 2010 is a Cu-doped Be capsule that has a radial gradient in Cu dopant level in the capsule wall. This capsule is being produced by sputter deposition of Be and Cu onto either a hollow glow discharge polymer (GDP) spherical mandrel or a solid spherical mandrel, followed by removal of the mandrel and polishing of the capsule. A key goal in the U.S. is to demonstrate fabrication of this capsule by the end of 2006. Two other ignition capsule designs are also being developed as contingencies to the point design. One contingency design is a GDP capsule that has a radial Ge dopant level in its wall. This capsule is produced by co-deposition of Ge and GDP onto a PAMS mandrel followed by thermal removal of the mandrel. The second contingency design is a uniform Cu-doped Be capsule that is fabricated from high purity fine grain Be0.3at.%Cu alloy using a precision machining route followed by polishing. Ignition targets to be fielded in 2010 will be filled with DT fuel through a small fill hole. Laser drilling capability has been developed and used to drill approximately 5 μm diameter holes through capsule walls for DT filling. Characterization methods necessary for characterizing capsules are being developed.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Arthur Nobile, Los Alamos National Laboratory, MS C927, Los Alamos, NM 87545. E-mail: anobile@lanl.gov

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REFERENCES

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Keywords

Status of the development of ignition capsules in the U.S. effort to achieve thermonuclear ignition on the national ignition facility

  • A. NOBILE (a1), A. NIKROO (a2), R.C. COOK (a3), J.C. COOLEY (a1), D.J. ALEXANDER (a1), R.E. HACKENBERG (a1), C.T. NECKER (a1), R.M. DICKERSON (a1), J.L. KILKENNY (a2), T.P. BERNAT (a2), K.C. CHEN (a2), H. XU (a2), R.B. STEPHENS (a2), H. HUANG (a2), S.W. HAAN (a3), A.C. FORSMAN (a2), L.J. ATHERTON (a3), S.A. LETTS (a3), M.J. BONO (a3) and D.C. WILSON (a1)...

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