Feb 18, 2010
IRFU applies its nuclear expertise in the field of high-power lasers

Increasing the available laser power results in an high intense production of secondary particles (photons, neutrons). These constitute a radiological risk which needs to be assessed and controlled. Hence, fifty years after the production of the first laser, the use of the new generation research lasers requires a new expertise, specific to radiological risks.



IRFU, which has the knowledge required to meet this need, recently finalised two important studies. The first concerns the Petal project at CEA Cesta. The second was carried out for the Applied Optics Laboratory (LOA), an ENSTA Paris Tech-Ecole polytechnique-CNRS joint research unit, recognised as a major European research infrastructure.  These two original studies based on the physics of particle-matter interactions, each address specific problems, respectively to carry out a precise determination of the radiological inventory after one laser pulse and to control the safety of the facility from the radiological protection point of view.











Comparison of the radioactivity induced by the Petal laser when considering only the reactions creating neutrons (black) or when considering all the photonuclear reactions (red). The activity ratio (blue curve corresponding to the right-hand scale) may be as high as 10.











Professions: Nuclear physics, radiological protection, conventional safety

Keywords: High-power laser, photonuclear reaction, activation, radiological zoning, risks









#2784 - Last update : 03/26 2010


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