Fusion energy is a natural process for energy production in the stars, it is practically an inexhaustible source of energy which supports life on Earth. Fusion energy is a sustainable, environmentally clean power source using the isotopes of hydrogen as its principal fuel. The fusion process produces no greenhouse gasses or long-lived radioactive waste materials and ensures energy security for the long term.
Laser fusion represents one of the candidate schemes for the demonstration of the controlled fusion process as well as a candidate for providing a final high repetition rate fusion reactor.
During the past decades a continuous progress on Laser Inertial Fusion Energy has been made culminating in the result of August 2021 at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, with the record of 1.35 MJ output fusion energy from a single fusion microcapsule, 8 times higher than yields obtained in several previous shots in 2020 and beginning 2021. With this result, the ignition milestone, requiring a fusion energy yield to be equal to the input laser energy, is only a small step away, proving unambiguously the validity and the feasibility of the Laser Inertial Fusion Energy concept.
The HiPER Plus initiative is to provide a strong scientific basis for the development of a direct laser fusion facility in Europe. Direct laser fusion concept is based on high gain schemes required for a fusion energy program. Hiper Plus initiative will unify the efforts of a very active scientific community, creating the foundations required for the future generation of clean, sustainable energy for humankind via Inertial Fusion Energy.
Hiper Plus makes use of the legacy of the HiPER project (www.hiperlaser.org).
Breakthrough at the NIF paves the way to inertial fusion energy, S. Atzeni et al., Europhysics News, Volume 53, Number 1, 2022, 18-23