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Record 46 of 5545
Magnetized Target Fusion: Prospects for Low-Cost Fusion Energy
Author and Affiliation:
Siemon, Richard E.(Los Alamos National Lab., NM United States)
Turchi, Peter J.(Los Alamos National Lab., NM United States)
Barnes, Daniel C.(Los Alamos National Lab., NM United States)
Degnan, James(Air Force Research Lab., Kirkland AFB, NM United States)
Parks, Paul(General Atomics Co., San Diego, CA United States)
Ryutov, Dmitri D.(Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA United States)
Thio, Y. C. Francis(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL United States)
Schafer, Charles [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) has attracted renewed interest in recent years because it has the potential to resolve one of the major problems with conventional fusion energy research - the high cost of facilities to do experiments and in general develop practical fusion energy. The requirement for costly facilities can be traced to fundamental constraints. The Lawson condition implies large system size in the case of conventional magnetic confinement, or large heating power in the case of conventional inertial confinement. The MTF approach is to use much higher fuel density than with conventional magnetic confinement (corresponding to megabar pressures), which results in a much-reduced system size to achieve Lawson conditions. Intrinsically the system must be pulsed because the pressures exceed the strength of any known material. To facilitate heating the fuel (or "target") to thermonuclear conditions with a high-power high-intensity source of energy, magnetic fields are used to insulate the high-pressure fuel from material surroundings (thus "magnetized target"). Because of magnetic insulation, the required heating power intensity is reduced by many orders of magnitude compared to conventional inertial fusion, even with relatively poor energy confinement in the magnetic field, such as that characterized by Bohm diffusion. In this paper we show semi-quantitatively why MTF-should allow fusion energy production without costly facilities within the same generally accepted physical constraints used for conventional magnetic and inertial fusion. We also briefly discuss potential applications of this technology ranging from nuclear rockets for space propulsion to a practical commercial energy system. Finally, we report on the exploratory research underway, and the interesting physics issues that arise in the MTF regime of parameters. Experiments at Los Alamos are focused on formation of a suitable plasma target for compression, utilizing the knowledge base for compact toroids called Field-Reversed Configurations. As reported earlier, it appears that the existing pulsed-power Shiva Star facility at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM can satisfy the heating requirements by means of imploding a thin metal cylinder (called a "liner") surrounding an FRC of the type presently being developed. The proposed next step is an integrated liner-on-plasma experiment in which an FRC would be heated to 10 keV by the imploding liner.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2001
Document ID:
20020022515
(Acquired Mar 01, 2002)
Subject Category: PLASMA PHYSICS
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: 12th International Toki Conference; 11-14 Dec. 2001; Toki; Japan
3rd General Scientific Assembly of Asia Plasma and Fusion Association; 11-14 Dec. 2001; Toki; Japan
Meeting Sponsor: Asia Plasma and Fusion Association; Japan
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Description: 1p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: PLASMA CONTROL; INERTIAL FUSION (REACTOR); ENERGY TECHNOLOGY; LOW COST; FUEL PRODUCTION; NUCLEAR PROPULSION; COMMERCIAL ENERGY; MAGNETIC FIELD CONFIGURATIONS; PLASMA COMPRESSION
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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