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NNSA Congratulates Ed Moses and Riccardo Betti for Receiving the 2009 Edward Teller Medals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today congratulated National Ignition Facility director Edward Moses and Riccardo Betti of the Fusion Science Center of Extreme States of Matter and Fast Ignition at the University of Rochester for receiving 2009 Edward Teller Medals. The American Nuclear Society (ANS) presented the awards Thursday at the international conference on Inertial Fusion Science Applications (IFSA) in San Francisco.

"These awards are well-deserved recognition for NNSA's leadership in advancing fusion research," said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, NNSA principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. "These efforts are a cornerstone of a critical national security mission, ensuring the continuing reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without underground nuclear testing. By providing a path to explore the frontiers of basic science and technologies that have the potential to put our nation on the path to energy independence, NIF and the Fusion Science Center of Extreme States of Matter and Fast Ignition are also critical examples of our nation's investment in nuclear security helping provide solutions to other critical challenges."

Moses was cited for his "leadership in the development and completion of the National Ignition Facility" (NIF). As principal associate director for NIF and Photon Science at Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), Moses is leading an international effort to perform the first ignition experiments on NIF. He joined NIF in 1999 as a laser scientist and program manager of the AVLIS program after working on a number of laser research projects at Hughes Aircraft and LLNL. He led the development of the Peregine radiation therapy planning tool for the treatment of cancer. He has overseen the construction of NIF, the world's largest and most energetic laser, and is gearing up for ignition experiments in 2010.

 The NIF is a major component of NNSA's technical program to ensure the reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent in the absence of underground testing. This experimental facility, in combination with detailed computer simulations and other test data will provide the underlying science to provide confidence in the nation's stockpile. In addition, experiments conducted at NIF will be used to conduct astrophysics and basic science research, and explore fusion as a clean and virtually limitless energy source.

Moses is a fellow of SPIE and the American Association for Advancement of Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received the 2008 Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates, the NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence, and the Memorial D. S. Rzhdestvensky Medal for lifetime contributions to laser and optical sciences.

Betti was cited for his "seminal contributions to the theory of hydrodynamic instabilities, implosion dynamics and thermonuclear ignition in inertial confinement fusion." A professor at the University of Rochester and director of the Fusion Science Center for Extreme States of Matter, Betti has devised new ignition concepts and theoretical models for inertial fusion implosions and scaling laws for ignition. These scaling laws are the basis for present experiments on the OMEGA laser and future research on NIF. Betti was elected fellow to the American Physical Society in 2001 and has served on a number of review, advisory and organizing committees. These include vice chair of the DOE Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee and chair of the Plasma Science Committee of the National Academies.

Established in 1991, the Edward Teller Medal recognizes pioneering research and leadership in inertial fusion sciences and applications. The award, sponsored by ANS, is normally presented at IFSA during odd-numbered years, and consists of a silver medal embedded in a plaque and a $2,000 monetary award.

The medal is named in honor of the late Dr. Edward Teller, distinguished physicist, Director Emeritus of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Teller is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in inertial fusion sciences.

Established in 1954, ANS is a professional organization of engineers and scientists devoted to the applications of nuclear science and technology. Its 11,000 members come from diverse technical backgrounds covering the full range of engineering disciplines as well as the physical and biological sciences. They are advancing the application of these technologies to improve the lives of the world community through national and international enterprise within government, academia, research laboratories and private industry.

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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. Visit


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