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Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Sustained Support for NIF

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500-0001

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our support for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) funded under the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Yield Campaign (ICF). As you are preparing your fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget, we request that you include strong and sustained funding for the NIF and ICF activities at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

The NIF -- a critical facility for NNSA, LLNL and the scientific stockpile stewardship program -- is a credit to the continued strength of the U.S. scientific community. In the past ten years alone, the NIF has received 16 of R&D Magazine's prestigious R&D 100 Awards including two in the last 12 months. In 2013, the National Research Council of the National Academies released the results of a two-year study emphasizing the importance of inertial fusion energy research and spotlighting the NIF as a critical research facility. It was named the Project Management Institute's Project of the Year in 2010 in recognition of the tremendous scientific and engineering achievement building and operating the NIF represents and the partnership of government, industry, and academia that made it happen.

Just within the past few months, the NIF has recorded several record-breaking experimental shots. These newest results bring the experimental findings more closely in line with the theoretical models, highlighting a promising path forward for more groundbreaking high energy density physics. It is critical that we provide the resources necessary to continue this important work.

The ongoing work of LLNL and the groundbreaking research being done at the NIF continue to ensure that the U.S. can abide by our moratorium on nuclear testing while maintaining a secure stockpile. Research conducted at the NIF also helps bring us towards a new energy future as we come closer to unlocking the potential of fusion energy. To ensure the U.S. continues to lead, it is critical to build upon the substantial investments already made and provide the NIF with funding that is stable and sufficient to carry out its mission and continue to advance ICF research.

We ask that as you craft your budget, you will keep the role and importance of the NIF in mind. We look forward to working with you to maintain our nuclear stockpile, advance the frontiers of scientific discovery, and invest in the energy of the future through ICF research and development.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


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