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Proceedings Paper

Laser system for isotope separation
Author(s): Shimpey Shirayama; Takefumi Mikatsura; Hiroaki Ueda; Chikara Konagai
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Paper Abstract

Atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) is regarded as the most promising method to obtain srightly enriched economical nuclear fuel for a nuclear power plant. However, achieving a high power laser seems to be the bottle neck in its industrialization. In 1985, after successful development of high power lasers, the U.S. announced that AVLIS would be used for future methods of uranium enrichment. In Japan , Laser Atomic Separation Enrichment Research Associates of Japan (LASER-J), a joint Japanese utility companies research organization, was founded in April, 1987, to push a development program for laser uranium enrichment. Based on research results obtained from Japanese National Labs, and Universities , Laser-J is now constructing an AVLIS experimental facility at Tokai-mura. It is planned to have a 1-ton swu capacity per year in 1991. Previous to the experimental facility construction , Toshiba proceeded with the preliminary testing of an isotope separation system, under contract with Laser-J. Since the copper vapor laser (CVL) and the dye laser (DL) form a good combination , which can obtain high power tunable visible lights ,it is suitable to resonate uranium atoms. The laser system was built and was successfully operated in Toshiba for two years. The system consist of three copper vapor lasers , three dye lasers and appropriate o Atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) is regarded as the most promising method to obtain srightly enriched economical nuclear fuel for a nuclear power plant. However, achieving a high power laser seems to be the bottle neck in its industrialization. In 1985, after successful development of high power lasers, the U.S. announced that AVLIS would be used for future methods of uranium enrichment. In Japan , Laser Atomic Separation Enrichment Research Associates of Japan (LASER-J) , a joint Japanese utility companies research organization , was founded in April, 1987, to push a development program for laser uranium enrichment. Based on research results obtained from Japanese National Labs, and Universities, Laser-J is now constructing an AVLIS experimental facility at Tokai-mura. It is planned to have a 1-ton swu capacity per year in 1991. Previous to the experimental facility construction, Toshiba proceeded with the preliminary testing of an isotope separation system, under contract with Laser-J. Since the copper vapor laser (CVL) and the dye laser (DL) form a good combination, which can obtain high power tunable visible lights, it is suitable to resonate uranium atoms. The laser system was built and was successfully operated in Toshiba for two years. The system consist of three copper vapor lasers, three dye lasers and appropriate optics. With pertinent electronics, the system total out put is 3 watts at 5 kHz repetition rate. For each CVL-DL laser set, the CVL output power was designed and operated at 20 watts and fed into DL to obtain 1 watt output. The CVL-DL sets provide three different wave lengths. Accurate wave mixing and laser pulse timing are also required during the experiment. Those laser systems, designed and manufactured in Toshiba, satisfactorily maintained a total operation time of 2000 hours during the past two years. Design work and operating experience for this laser system are described in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1990
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1225, High-Power Gas Lasers, (1 June 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.18497
Show Author Affiliations
Shimpey Shirayama, Toshiba Nuclear Engineering Lab. (Japan)
Takefumi Mikatsura, Laser Atomic Separation Engineering Research Association (Japan)
Hiroaki Ueda, Toshiba Nuclear Engineering Lab. (Japan)
Chikara Konagai, Toshiba Nuclear Engineering Lab. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1225:
High-Power Gas Lasers
Petras V. Avizonis; Charles Freed; Jin J. Kim; Frank K. Tittel, Editor(s)

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