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Engineering Issues Facing Transmutation of Actinides in Z-Pinch Fusion Power Plant

L. El-Guebaly, B. Cipiti, P. H. Wilson, P. Phruksarojanakun, R. Grady, I. Sviatoslavsky

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 52 / Number 3 / October 2007 / Pages 739-743

Technical Paper / The Technology of Fusion Energy - Nonelectric Applications

The initiation of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership includes nuclear-based transmutation devices to recycle the spent fuel. Fusion can offer an alternative to the use of fast reactors for the transmutation of actinides. At a modest fusion power of 20 MW, a Z-Pinch driven sub-critical blanket can burn actinides and produce power. Several engineering issues have been examined: the effect of the sub-critical blanket and its internal fission neutrons on tritium breeding, radiation damage to structure, energy deposition and extraction, and chamber activation. Our initial assessment indicates the Z-Pinch could be an attractive option for burning actinides, but special attention should be paid to the challenging engineering issues.

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