Predictive Full-Scale Simulations of Fast Ignition of Fusion Targets

PI Name: 
Frederico Fiuza
Institution: 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Allocation Program: 
ALCC
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
19.5 Million
Year: 
2013
Research Domain: 
Physics

Fusion energy is regarded as a possible long term energy solution for humanity, capable of
providing the energy resources to drive economic growth and social development. Fast ignition
is one of the most promising and scientifically exciting schemes to improve the viability of
inertial fusion energy as a practical energy source. In fast ignition, the heating of a compressed core is provided by injecting high energy (tens of kilojoules of total energy) electrons into the fusion target. The electrons are generated by a short pulse laser. Up to now, short pulse laser experiments have been limited to energies still far from ideal conditions for ignition.

Additionally, the simulations, which are extremely complex, have been limited to reduced spatial and temporal scales and to simplified models. This project aims to perform the first full scale three dimensional simulations of fast ignition, with realistic target properties (e.g. density, temperature, dimensions). The simulations will capture the multi scale physics associated with the laser plasma interaction, fast electron transport and energy deposition in a self consistent manner. This proposal will take advantage of a suite of massively parallel, highly optimized codes, with the goal of identifying a path to demonstrate fast ignition as a viable scheme for inertial fusion energy.