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how to fabricate a cone

In practice, however, achieving inertial fusion requires enormous energy delivered uniformly to the capsule. For years, scientists have explored ways to achieve inertial fusion that reduced the cost and are compatible with a power plant. Two concepts-heavy-ion fusion and fast ignition-are being explored by Lawrence Livermore physicists and collaborators as attractive candidates for producing commercial electricity through fusion.
A team of Lawrence Livermore physicists led by Max Tabak is exploring target designs for both concepts as part of the Department of Energy's Inertial Fusion Energy Program. Tabak notes that the feasibility of an inertial fusion energy power plant is strongly affected by the requirements of the target for achieving ignition and high gain. "We want targets that will contribute to lower system costs," he says. That means targets that are easy to fabricate, that minimize environmental hazards produced during the fusion reaction, and that permit higher energy gains.

One novel design features a gold cone attached to the spherical shell enclosing the deuterium-tritium fuel. The cone penetrates almost to the center of the capsule. In this way, the petawatt pulse has direct access to the ignition region. "The cone provides a clear path for the petawatt laser so that its energy can be deposited within about 100 micrometers or less of the high-density core," explains Tabak. The design team is exploring variations in cone designs to reduce the distance between the capsule's ignition region and the apex of the cone.
Fast-ignition simulations, combined with recent experiments in Japan and on the Omega laser at the University of Rochester, continue to show considerable promise for the concept. The experiments on Omega use prototype capsules designed by Lawrence Livermore physicist Steve Hatchett and manufactured by General Atomics. One series of experiments is showing scientists how the presence of a cone on the target affects the compression of fusion fuel.
Livermore target designs continue to evolve as the design team gains insight from experiments, simulations, and advances in the theoretical underpinnings of fast ignition and heavy-ion beams. The team is motivated by the steady progress its work is making toward eventual deployment of a fusion power plant. Whatever inertial fusion method is ultimately selected for commercial development, it will be using minuscule targets that are precisely designed.
-Arnie Heller

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how to fabricate a cone

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