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Summary of the Status of Negative-Ion Based Neutral Beams

William S. Cooper

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 4 / Number 2P2 / September 1983 / Pages 632-641

Plasma Heating, Impurity Control, and Fueling /

Negative-ion-based neutral beam systems can perform multiple functions for fusion reactors, such as heating, current drive in tokamak reactors, and establishing and maintaining potential barriers in tandem mirror reactors. Practical systems operating continuously at the 200 keV, 1 MW level can be built using present-day technology. Ion sources have been demonstrated that produce D beams with <5% electron content, and that operate at linear current densities that are within a factor of 2 of what conservatively designed accelerator/transport structures can handle. Concepts are in hand for transporting the negative ion beam through a neutron maze before neutralization, thus permitting a radiation-hardened beamline. With an advanced laser photoneutralizer, overall system power efficiencies of 70% should be possible. A national program is being planned to achieve the goal of application of 475 keV systems on a mirror ETR in 1994.

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