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Livermore's Petawatt laser was the most powerful laser in the world during its three years of operation. At peak power, its shots delivered well over a quadrillion watts of power in 440-femtosecond bursts. Experiments with the Petawatt split atoms, came close to creating an electron-positron plasma, and generated a well-focused, intense proton beam-all firsts for a laser. Designed to test the fast- ignition path to inertial confinement fusion, the Petawatt also proved to be the world's most powerful ion accelerator. Livermore's diffractive optics fabricating facility, developed to supply optics for the original Petawatt laser, is now supplying optical components to petawatt-class laser facilities being constructed in Germany, England, France, and Japan.
Yucca Mountain is the nation's candidate site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. A major scientific challenge is accurately predicting how the heat from buried nuclear wastes would affect the site's geology. In particular, scientists need to know if geologic responses over thousands of years could cause the waste packages to get wet. A team of Lawrence Livermore researchers has constructed a code that models in unprecedented detail the likely evolution of the geochemistry and hydrology of the repository. The complex code takes advantage of supercomputers designed for DOE's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative to solve formerly intractable problems. The preliminary results from dozens of simulations prove the code a valuable tool for tracking the interplay of water, heat, carbon dioxide, and chemical reactions within the repository's fractured rock.
and LLNL Disclaimers