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Inertial Fusion Energy in the UK and Beyond


The Research Councils’ Energy Programme is inviting proposals for two activities related to Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE).

The first is a network to bring together IFE researchers and stakeholders from business and government from across the UK to identify future opportunities for the UK to contribute to and benefit from IFE-related activity in the UK.

The second is an opportunity to seek funding for collaborative projects with the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory aiming to address the physics challenges that need to be overcome in order for ignition to be achieved.

Inertial Fusion Energy Network

The aim of the network is to bring together IFE researchers and stakeholders from across the UK to:

• Understand the key strengths and opportunities for UK IFE.
Maximise the coherence of the currently funded IFE grant and PhD training portfolio.
• Identify research and technology goals and develop collaborations with complementary pools of expertise.
• Encourage and facilitate partnerships between academia and other stakeholders in the UK and internationally.
• Up to £500,000 is available to support networking activities, travel and subsistence, investigator time, a network coordinator post and administrative support.

Please see the full call document for more details:

The Physics of Ignition: Collaboration with the National Ignition Facility

The aim of the collaboration is to provide support for UK-based physicists to help scientists at NIF overcome the physics challenges that have so far prevented ignition from being demonstrated. A May 2012 workshop examining these challenges identified a number of opportunities for scientific research in support of the ignition effort.

Up to £2,000,000 is available to support collaborative projects focussed on topics outlined in the workshop report, including the following:

• Hohlraum physics, including laser plasma interactions, magnetic field generation and electron transport;
• X-ray generation, including opacity, non-LTE effects and radiation transport;
• Implosion physics including implosion symmetry, hydrodynamic instabilities and associated phenomena;
• Stagnation and hot spot formation, including thermonuclear burn, magnetic field generation and electron transport, multispecies plasmas, hydrodynamic instability, and kinetic effects;
• Materials properties of ignition targets including equation of state, opacity, non-LTE effects, and thermal transport;
• X-ray, gamma ray and nuclear particle transport and emissions.

The length and size of research proposals is flexible according to the proposed programme of research. We expect support requested to include investigator time, post-doctoral staff and travel and subsistence to spend substantial time working at NIF. We would like to fund three or four projects. Those wishing to apply should submit a one-page outline to EPSRC by 16:00 on Wednesday 02 January 2013.


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