A laser inertial-confinement fusion-fission energy power plant is described. The fusion-fission hybrid system uses inertial confinement fusion to produce neutrons from a fusion reaction of deuterium and tritium. The fusion neutrons drive a sub-critical blanket of fissile or fertile fuel. A coolant circulated through the fuel extracts heat from the fuel that is used to generate electricity. The inertial confinement fusion reaction can be implemented using central hot spot or fast ignition fusion, and direct or indirect drive. The fusion neutrons result in ultra-deep burn-up of the fuel in the fission blanket, thus enabling the burning of nuclear waste. Fuels include depleted uranium, natural uranium, enriched uranium, spent nuclear fuel, thorium, and weapons grade plutonium. LIFE engines can meet worldwide electricity needs in a safe and sustainable manner, while drastically shrinking the highly undesirable stockpiles of depleted uranium, spent nuclear fuel and excess weapons materials.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.