NNSA to Participate in Sixth International Conference on Inertial Fusion Sciences and Applications

Press Release
Sep 3, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its NNSA Inertial Confinement Fusion program researchers will participate in the sixth international conference on Inertial Fusion Sciences and Applications (IFSA 2009) at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 6-11.

 The goal of IFSA 2009 is to bring together the world's leading scientists in the fields of inertial fusion sciences, high energy density physics, and related applications. Submitted papers will be peer reviewed, and the proceedings of the conference will be published. The conference will emphasize high-energy and high-intensity laser, pulsed power, particle beam-matter interaction, and high energy density physics—current achievements and promises for the future.

"This conference is an excellent venue for NNSA to showcase the impact of its investment in nuclear security and the cutting edge fusion research being conducted at NNSA's laboratories," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "The work done at facilities like the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Omega laser at the University of Rochester and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories are major components of NNSA's technical program to ensure the reliability of our nation's nuclear deterrent in the absence of underground testing. The research done across the nuclear security enterprise, in combination with detailed computer simulations and other test data, is providing the ground breaking science to meet our national security needs while promoting broader national priorities."

NIF, the world's largest and most energetic laser, is the first facility expected to achieve fusion ignition in a laboratory setting. Experiments conducted at NIF will be used to ensure the safety and security of the nuclear weapons stockpile, conduct astrophysics and basic science research, and explore fusion as a clean and virtually limitless energy source. The Omega laser, the world's second largest laser, has been critical in preparing for ignition research on the NIF, and continues to be a premier high energy density physics research facility. The Z machine, the world's largest X-ray machine, is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure and gathers data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons. NIF is recently complete, and Omega and the Z machine have had significant improvements completed.

"It is exciting to realize that we are exploring the conditions typically achieved inside planets and even stars at these facilities," said D'Agostino. "These programs are critical examples of our nation's investment in nuclear security paying broader dividends."

 Significant advances have been made recently in high energy density science, with dramatic technical achievements using lasers, Z-pinch and particle beam systems in new approaches such as fast ignition, central hot spot ignition, equations of state, warm dense matter, particle acceleration and laser-plasma interactions. In particular, this conference will allow the exciting new data from the full NIF laser to be presented in an international scientific forum.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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