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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 2

FRC Based Fusion Neutron Source for Materials Evaluation

John Slough

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 2 / August 2011 / Pages 464-469

Power Plant, Demo, and FNSF / Proceedings of the Nineteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE) (Part 2)

An intense neutron source capable of generating the characteristic flux of a fusion reactor (1-4 MW/m2) is an essential element for adequate reactor materials assessment. Based on recent experimental results involving the magneto-kinetic compression of the Field Reversed Configuration (FRC), it is believed that such a fusion based neutron source can be rapidly developed at low cost. The ability to provide a fusion plasma with the necessary radiation intensity is afforded by the considerable increase in fusion neutron yield that occurs concurrently with the large reduction in reacting plasma volume from the straightforward magnetic flux compression of an FRC plasmoid. Pulsed formation and flux compression of FRCs in a prototype device operating at 4 Hz would yield a neutron power fluence at the wall of 1 MW/m2 from a fusion plasma volume of a half liter. This is roughly a factor 106 smaller than a reactor-scale fusion plasma such as ITER, thereby dramatically reducing the cost and time for the evaluation of materials for fusion application. The required magnetic compression field and energy per pulse is less than 16 T and 100 kJ respectively.

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