A Radiation-Hydrodynamic ALE Code for Laser Fusion Energy

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Physics


Fusion energy has promised clean, secure energy for many years and important advances are expected in the next couple of years from the US National Ignition Facility. If the UK is to play a significant role in a subsequent international collaboration for an Inertial Fusion Energy demonstrator we need the ability to make independent target designs and assessments.A key component of this which has been lacking in the UK academic area is a multi-dimensional computer model which follows the hydrodynamic evolution of the laser targets through absorption of the laser energy, ablation, implosion and thermonuclear burn. RALF (Radiation-hydrodynamics using ALE methods for Fusion) will lay the foundation for this capability in a two year project which can then grow quickly if required for participation in a major project. RALF is designed to be a scalable parallel computer model capable of being run in 3D on large High Performance Computing (HPC) installations. RALF is a collaboration between the University of Warwick and Imperial College and continues an area of collaboration begun with the EPOCH code and the Collaborative Computational Project in Plasma Physics (CCPP). RALF will benefit from close links and advice from AWE Aldermaston where there is a growing activity in Inertial Fusion Energy for power production.

Planned Impact

This research will benefit the whole of the UK in laying the foundation for the country to make an effective partner in the international fusion demonstrator projects which are expected to follow on the announcement of thermonuclear ignition at the US National Ignition Facility. More parochially it will benefit the UK laser plasma community in their ability to model long pulse experiments on Vulcan, including the 10PWatt upgrade and on Orion. It will benefit the Plasma Physics Department at AWE in its growing activity in IFE for power production through a larger UK community with which to interact and in a supply of trained researchers. Finally it will benefit the PDRAs who will have an excellent training and career prospects in the UK, Europe and elsewhere where there are active IFE programmes.


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Description Developed a very basic hydrodynamical model that can be extended to be a viable design tool for Inertial Confinement Fusion
Exploitation Route The model is the basis for further development that has now been funded by EPSRC
Sectors Education,Energy

Description We have developed a basic hydrodynamical model for use in the design of Inertial Confinement Fusion targets. The follow on work needed for a viable code has been funded by EPSRC.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Education,Energy