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Friday, February 23, 2018

First Omega, then NIF?

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Laser program at University of Rochester targeted for shutdown

"The US Department of Energy intends to close a premier facility that has long led one of the three principal approaches to initiating nuclear fusion through the use of powerful lasers. DOE plans to initiate a “three-year rampdown” of the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in the fiscal year that begins in October, according to a summary of the agency’s 2019 budget proposal released on 12 February."

http://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.6.2.20180216b/full/

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Omega does some nice work and a lot of shots. They’ve had some excellent Nature and PRL articles lately.
I think some Sandians back at HQ are trying to save that garbage dumpster fire of a program called the Z machine.
They’ve all but admitted that their fusion concept MagLIF doesn’t work. Their machine is over 20 years old, if you don’t count the upgrade that didn’t really work. The price tag for them is $110 million for 50 materials shots (the only thing they do of value). I expect them to get the axe sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

The closure is out of order. Omega has always had value commensurate with its cost. NIF, on the other hand, has never had value of any sort.

Anonymous said...

A budget written out of ignorance (surprise, surprise). Without Omega, there is no concept development or workforce training, even setting aside the value of the experiment throughput on its own.

You're going to go from your own imagination to 1MM/shot on NIF?

Science-based stewardship will wither and die. Maybe that's what they had in mind? Not to mention politically-motivated punishment of Dem leadership in NY.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a top post that mentions NIF that doesn't have 50 posts in 4 days. What, have all the LLNL NIFites retired?? Yay!

Anonymous said...

They are still shell shocked by the proposed 20% cut to NIF. The pot of gold at the end of the ignition rainbow has turned out to be a chamber pot.

Anonymous said...

It was never clear to me, probably due to all the propaganda of the Moses/Hurricane high-foot experiments, just how badly NIF failed. Although their yields have improved, they’re still not able to start burning the DT ice layer. So esssentially they’re getting most of their yield from the hot spot with not much else from the highly compressed ice layer? Very confusing. But maybe the Omega direct drive approach on NIF would work better since it would drive the implosion harder?

Anonymous said...

It would cost about a billion new dollars to convert NIF to direct-drive geometry, so unless Bezos or Zuckerberg want to donate the money, we will never find out if direct drive is easier than indirect drive (it may be even harder). Not after Moses and Co. peed in the well leading up to the NIC.

Anonymous said...

10:03 Bedros?

Anonymous said...

So if NIF can’t use the direct drive technology then Omega can’t really contribute to it in that area?

Anonymous said...

"It would cost about a billion new dollars to convert NIF to direct-drive geometry" I think that is about right ! We had to make a decision, and indirect-drive did work - at least underground. I remember a NIF facility design that could accommodate a 2nd chamber, for direct-drive. Maybe $500M at the time to follow through with it. So much complaining about the cost - we couldn't take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Why don't Livermore Guards get a safety package like law enforcement? If an police officer gets hurt they get paid leave while they rehabilitate, LLNL guards get nothing! Well, maybe some dead end job, if you know the right people. But, if they have guns, train up to POST standards, are expected to get into the mix if something happens then why don't they get paid the same as their brothers outside the fence? You know, the old if they look, quack and walk like a duck argument.

Anonymous said...

nonymous said...
10:03 Bedros?

No Bezos.

Anonymous said...

Many of people matrixed to NIF from other directorates seem to have been sent back in the past couple weeks, and no one is talking about the Wisoff hiring spree any more. Is NIF deliberately downsizing in anticipation of a big budget cut? California and New York congresspeople don't carry as much weight as they once did, so perhaps the writing is now on the wall.

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