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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Bechtel Team Granted Agreement to Build Advanced Laser System in Czech Republic

  • 18 September 2013
    RESTON, Virginia
  • Americas, Defense & Nuclear Security, Industry Leadership , Innovation, Press Release, Technology

Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC chosen as Only Qualified Supplier in the World

Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, a team led by Bechtel and the University of California, has been granted an agreement worth more than $45 million to develop and deliver a state-of-the-art laser system for the European Union’s Extreme Light Infrastructure facility in Dolní Břežany, near Prague in the Czech Republic. The High Repetition Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System marks a major enhancement over current laser systems and will enable unprecedented research in areas as diverse as medical imaging, particle acceleration, homeland security, and quantum physics.

Lawrence Livermore National Security, which manages Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, was chosen as a result of its demonstrated leadership in this highly technical field and its ability to deliver complex projects requiring leading-edge technology.

“Some of the best minds in the country are leading the laboratory in research and development of technologies that will modify and enhance methods of science, security, and health care throughout the world,” says John Howanitz, Bechtel’s Nuclear Security and Operations general manager. “This laser system will put cutting-edge technology to good use, and we are honored to be a part of the mission to deliver it to the Czech Republic and European Union. This is a first-of-a-kind international project for the Laboratory and it could be a launching pad for new, exciting opportunities. Bechtel is proud to be on the team that is transforming how the Department of Energy collaborates with others to advance technological research.”

The laser system will be capable of reaching peak powers greater than 1 quadrillion watts, a petawatt, at a repetition rate of 10Hz, with each pulse lasting for just a split second. It overcomes the traditional limitations of high-power lasers by means of patented technology developed for such missions as laser fusion energy. The system will combine sophisticated semiconductor diode laser technology with advanced optics, integrated control systems, and techniques for managing the production of ultra-short pulses of light.

Bechtel is a leader in the management and operation of national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. The laboratories focus on developing and researching technologies that aid in homeland security, health, and other scientific research. Special capabilities include high-performance computing, advanced lasers and diagnostics, nuclear science and technology, high-energy-density physics, micro- and nanotechnology, climate modeling, and remote sensing. The LLNS team has managed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2007.

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