HiPER is a multi-national laser facility designed to allow Europe to take a leading position in the pursuit of Inertial Fusion Energy, whilst offering an internationally unique capability for science in extreme conditions. It will open up entirely new areas of research, providing access to physics regimes which cannot be explored on any other science facility. It has been formally endorsed by 6 European nations at the governmental or national funding agency level, 2 regional governments, over 20 scientific institutions and has direct involvement from industry. Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) lies at the heart of the design of HiPER. Fusion is the holy grail of energy sources – combining abundant fuel with no greenhouse gas emissions, minimal waste products, and a scale that can meet mankind’s long-term energy demands. Fusion combines hydrogen isotopes to create helium gas and a neutron which is captured to provide heat for a steam turbine. The IFE solution for fusion is a proven scientific concept. A laboratory demonstration of net energy production using lasers for IFE is now only 2 years away, marking the culmination of 40 years research. This will attract significant public and political attention, and so the HiPER project has been developed to provide a clear path forwards, based on a strong science mission. The design has been produced over the past years by scientists from 12 of the 15 nations now associated with HiPER. This proposal combines all aspects relevant to a preparatory construction phase, as part of an integrated 68 M€, 5-year project. The project already stretches beyond the EU, involving coordination with work in Japan, China, South Korea, Canada, Russia and the USA. HiPER represents science with a strong societal goal. It is designed to secure the continued competitiveness of Europe into the next decades.
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