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Demonstrating a Cost-Effective Target Supply for Inertial Fusion Energy

D. T. Goodin, N. B. Alexander, G. E. Besenbruch, L. C. Brown, A. Nobile, R. W. Petzoldt, W. S. Rickman, D. Schroen, B. Vermillion

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 44 / Number 2 / September 2003 / Pages 279-283

Technical Paper / Fusion Energy - Advanced Designs /

The "Target Fabrication Facility" (TFF) of an IFE power plant must supply about 500,000 targets per day. The targets are injected into the target chamber at a rate of 5-10 Hz and tracked precisely so the driver beams can be directed to the target. The feasibility of developing successful fabrication and injection methodologies at the low cost required for energy production (about $0.25/target, about 104 less than current costs) is a critical issue for inertial fusion. To help identify major cost factors and technology development needs, we have utilized a classic chemical engineering approach to the TFF. The analyses assume an "nth-of-a-kind" TFF and utilize standard industrial engineering cost factors. The results indicate that the direct drive target can be produced for about $0.16 each. Iterations are still underway for the indirect drive target. These cost analyses assume that the process development is accomplished to allow scaling of current laboratory methods to larger sizes, while still meeting target specifications. A development program is underway at various laboratories to support this scale-up.

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