Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 46 / Number 3 / November 2004 / Pages 401-416
Technical Paper / ARIES-IFE
The ARIES-IFE study was an integrated study of inertial fusion energy (IFE) chambers and chamber interfaces with the driver and target systems. Detailed analysis of various subsystems was performed parametrically to uncover key physics/technology uncertainties and to identify constraints imposed by each subsystem. In this paper, these constraints (e.g., target injection and tracking, thermal response of the first wall, and driver propagation and focusing) were combined to understand the trade-offs, to develop operational windows for chamber concepts, and to identify high-leverage research and development directions for IFE research. Some conclusions drawn in this paper are (a) the detailed characterization of the target yield and spectrum has a major impact on the chamber; (b) it is prudent to use a thin armor instead of a monolithic first wall for dry-wall concepts; (c) for dry-wall concepts with direct-drive targets, the most stringent constraint is imposed by target survival during the injection process; (d) for relatively low yield targets (<250 MJ), an operational window with no buffer gas may exist; (e) for dry-wall concepts with indirect-drive targets, a high buffer gas pressure would be necessary that may preclude propagation of the laser driver and require assisted pinch transport for the heavy-ion driver; and (f) generation and transport of aerosols in the chamber is the key feasibility issue for wetted-wall concepts.