Local Attractions

Laser Mégajoule (LMJ): The LMJ is one of the most important tools in the Simulation Program from the French Atomic Energy Commisson (CEA). Like its American equivalent NIF, The National Ignition Facility, the Megajoule Laser, LMJ has been designed to achieve inertial confinement fusion (ICF) through indirect drive with ignition of a central hotspot.

After the preparatory stage in 2002 (groundbreaking and installation of the road system and service networks), construction began in 2003 and the building was finished in 2008. The first experiments are planned for the middle of the next decade.

The building has 140,000 m² (~35 Acre) of floor space, of which 40,000 m² (~10 Acre) are ISO 7 and ISO 8 clean rooms. Four 100 x 30m (~328 by 98 feet) laser halls have been built to house the laser equipment; It also contains the 60m (~197feet) diameter and 40m (~131 feet) tall target bay.

The equipment of the building, which was sized to house 240 beams, includes: 10,000 optical devices, 10,000 motors, 2,000 cameras, 2 tons of single-crystals, 300 tons of glass ...

On the afternoon of the second day of the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a presentation of this project and to visit the LMJ to learn more about the exciting work performed here. Pre-registration is required by April 1, 2013 and certain restrictions may apply.

Source : Le Laser Mégajoule


The Dune du Pilat is the tallest sand dune in Europe and is located ~30 minutes driving distance from the workshop at the southern point of Arcachon Bay. The fine sand dune reaches a height of 107 meters and provides stunning views of the surrounding area including the ocean coast, the bay inlet, a large pine forest and, when visibility is good, the Pyrenees Range.

Arcachon is a seaside resort town with over 7 km of fine sandy beaches located ~30 minutes driving distance from the workshop. There are plenty of family-friendly activities to be found here.

The city of Bordeaux appears on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is 30 minutes driving from the workshop. This city is filled with historic architecture including the Place de la Bourse, the Grand Theater, and the Cathedrale Sainte-Andre. You can also find great dining, wine, shopping and museums.

St. Emilion (wine country) dates back to prehistoric times and is a world Heritage site around 1 hour drive from the workshop.The charming town contains Romanesque churches and ruins along steep and narrow streets. While the surrounding area is well known for its commercial wine production, the area is a delight to explore for wine and history enthusiasts alike.

Images courtesy of Wikepedia