The LMJ, at the heart of France's nuclear deterrent program.
The experiments at the LMJ are carried out in order to be able to study and validate simulations of the physical processes involved in the final stage of operation of a nuclear weapon. They are part of the French military Simulation program, set up by the CEA, to develop and maintain the weapons of the deterrent force following the cessation of nuclear tests.
An advanced instrument with exceptional capabilities
The LMJ is a fully functioning laboratory designed to carry out several hundred experiments per year. One of the most powerful lasers in the world, it is capable of delivering phenomenal energy (1.8 Megajoules) to a deuterium-tritium micro-target (two isotopes of hydrogen) of only a few millimeters. Due to this it is possible to study, on a very small scale, the behaviour of materials under conditions similar to those encountered during the operation of nuclear weapons.