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Will Livermore Laser Ever Burn Brightly?

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1126-1129
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1126

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LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA-- The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a superlaser being built here at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in an effort to use lasers rather than nuclear explosions to create a fusion reaction, is supposed to allow weapons makers to preserve the nuclear arsenal--and do nifty fusion science, too. But a new report that examines its troubled past also casts doubt on its future. Even some of NIF's scientific and political allies are beginning to talk openly of a scaled-down version of the original 192-laser design.