Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 39 / Number 3 / May 2001 / Pages 1174-1181
Prototypes of sealed neutron tubes in a D-T or D-D fusion reaction for logging while drilling (LWD) were developed; then operational tests were performed to check their functional properties. One of the prototypes passed most of the specified conditions for using LWD. Further studies were needed to put a sealed neutron tube into practical use. For applications to other fields, such as an in situ calibration source for neutron detector efficiencies and an in situ calibration source for fusion systems, a sealed neutron tube is needed to have higher-intensity neutron output and a long life. Thus, the performance of the ion source used in the neutron tube is improved to obtain high gas utilization efficiencies or low-pressure operation with high ionization efficiencies. The characteristics of the new ion sources used in the foregoing sealed neutron tube are discussed in terms of preliminary tests. The aforementioned performances are obtained.