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Reactor Pumped Laser for ICF


Reactor Pumped Laser for ICF Feasibility

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk\nVNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • University of Illinois / Department of Nuclear Engineering, USA, IL, Urbana\nSandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque

Project summary

GOAL of the proposed project is to carry out the modeling, theoretical and expe-rimental research using modifications of existing facilities at three Russian institutions:

Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE), Institute of Technical Physics (ITP), Institute of Experimental Physics (IEP) for the conceptual design development of the powerful pulsed reactor-laser demonstration mock-up based on new physical principles for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) feasibility. This project provides a new peaceful direction for Russian scientists and engineers. The research will be fulfilled in the frames of an international project.


1. Spectral characteristics studies of the nuclear-induced plasmas by using Cf-sources, proton accelerator, and nuclear reactors. Both pulsed and steady-state experiments will be employed. A variety of gaseous and liquid active medium which can be used for the systems for direct conversion of nuclear energy into laser irradiation will be examined.

2. Mathematical models and codes development, calculation and theoretical analysis of the experimental results, simulation of the elementary processes in nuclear-induced plasmas, laser level population kinetics investigation, calculation of the output laser characteristics by using existing software.

3. Pre-design calculation and theoretical studies based on existing mathematical models, codes, and methods for justification of characteristics for the demonstrational model of the reactor-laser for ICF feasibility.

4. Use of up-to-date developments and new technologies for component design of the laser pumped by nuclear-reactors including:

- search and optimization of media for reactor-lasers in subthreshold and lasing experiments using laboratory and reactor stands;
- physical reactor-laser characteristics study using critical stands;
- demonstration of the reactor-laser mock-up;

5. Information exchange between project participants, joint discussions of the progress at the special meetings, seminars, selection of the key research directions.


1. The major result of this project is the redirection of key Russian weapon scientists from three institutions (IPPE, ITF, IEF) towards peaceful applications of nuclear energy.

2. Joint use of Russian scientific experience in the RPL field by the USA specialists and others.

3. Application of the basic physics results on nuclear-induced plasmas and laser physics; studies of the prospective gaseous and condensed active media characteristics.

4. Development of new reactor-laser technologies.

5. Strong basic foundation for the development of powerful reactor-lasers for ICF using existing technologies; conceptual design of the demonstrational model of a powerful pulsed reactor-laser.

6. Inspiration to young scientists to pursue careers in the field of optics, laser physics, plasma physics, fusion, and nuclear sciences.


This project would significantly benefit both Russia and the US. Not only does it provide a new peaceful direction for this area of Russian research, but it takes advantage of the unique data base already developed in Russia to pioneer a whole new direction in nuclear energy applications. This could provide an extremely important step towards a major international facility designed to develop these technologies. The US team will help plan, monitor, interpret and disseminate the results of the research. Also a few collaborative irradiation experiments will be carried out using the University of Illinois advanced TRIGA research reactor.


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