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  • Schwarzenegger Touts Energy Innovations During Superlaser Tour
Nov 2008
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday advanced laser technology "has the potential to revolutionize our energy future." His remarks were made as he toured the stadium-sized National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. NIF.jpg
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is briefed while standing in front of the National Ignition Facility's 10-m diameter target chamber. Pictured are (l-r) LLNL director George Miller; Bruce Goodwin, principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration directorate; Susan Kennedy, governor's chief of staff; the governor; Edward Moses, principal associate director of the National Ignition Facility; and George Shultz, former US Secretary of State. (Photo: LLNL)
NIF, the world’s largest laser, is scheduled for completion in March 2009. The stadium-sized facility contains 192 laser beams designed to generate a peak power of 500 trillion watts and will be used for experimental study of thermonuclear burn and high-energy-density phenomena that occur in modern nuclear weapons. While at NIF, the governor was briefed on LIFE (Laser Inertial Confinement Fusion-Fission Energy), an energy production concept that will use a laser system similar to NIF that could be used to generate abundant carbon-free electricity far into the foreseeable future. “If successful, this new endeavor could generate thousands of megawatts of carbon-free nuclear power but without the drawbacks of conventional nuclear plants,” Schwarzenegger said. “An aggressive development of this technology could lead to a LIFE pilot power generation plant in the 2020 timeframe followed by commercial deployment in the following 10 years,” said Ed Moses, NIF principal associate director and a leader in the development of LIFE.

1. The combination of the effects of two or more stimuli in any given sense to form a single sensation. With respect to vision, the perception of continuous illumination formed by the rapid successive presentation of light flashes at a specified rate. 2. The transition of matter from solid to liquid form. 3. With respect to atomic or nuclear fusion, the combination of atomic nuclei, under extreme heat, to form a heavier nucleus.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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