Apr 9, 2009

DOE Declares NIF Laser "Complete"; Leading Researcher Discloses Design Deficiencies

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
By Marylia Kelley, TriValley CARES

The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a mega-laser at Livermore Lab that is intended to train the next generation of nuclear bomb designers is back in the news. Not because of its bloated $5 billion price tag, or because of the government's decision to use plutonium as well as fusion targets in NIF.

Nope, NIF is in the news because its construction has been declared complete. It will be used by bomb designers.

But will NIF meet its more challenging scientific goal of ignition?

It will not
, according to the March 28 analysis of Stephen Bodner, former head of laser fusion at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Read: "NIF Laser Fails to Meet the Minimum Specifications Required for their Ignition Target Designs."

Then, read the government's press release of March 31, "Department of Energy Announces Completion of World's Largest Laser."

In the classic struggle between science and public relations, the point goes to Bodner. Click here for Dr. Bodner's biography.


Anonymous said...

NIF will be a success because NNSA will declare it as such. End of story.

Anonymous said...

All we need now is a energy source and a money source to keep NIF "running".

realist said...

NIF may indeed be "IF", as it is referred to at LLNL but Marylia Kelley is hardly an impartial and unbiased source.

PS: Marylia Kelley walks into a bar. Bartender asks, "Why the long face?" and offers her a hand full of sugar cubes!

Ah, it's tough to go wrong with classic material.

Anonymous said...

4/11/09 11:47 AM You need to read the Bonder article. Kelly had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Just have to comment.

The NIF laser performance and the recent outstanding ICF target physics results are many orders of magnitude better than any laser fusion system or ICF physics Dr. Bodner or NRL have been associated with. We will have fusion burn with target gain > 10X using indirect drive. Honestly, we're tired of his mis-directed comments and sour attitude ! He needs to grow up !