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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 47 / Number 1T / Pages 49-58

Axisymmetric Tandem Mirrors: Stabilization and Confinement Studies

R. F. Post et al.

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 47 / Number 1T / January 2005 / Pages 49-58

Technical Paper / Open Magnetic Systems for Plasma Confinement

The "Kinetic Stabilizer" has been proposed as a means of MHD stabilizing an axisymmetric tandem mirror system. The K-S concept is based on theoretical studies by Ryutov, confirmed experimentally in the Gas Dynamic Trap experiment in Novosibirsk. In the K-S beams of ions are directed into the end of an "expander" region outside the outer mirror of a tandem mirror. These ions, slowed, stagnated, and reflected as they move up the magnetic gradient, produce a low-density stabilizing plasma.

At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory we have been conducting theoretical and computational studies of the K-S Tandem Mirror. These studies have employed a low-beta code written especially to analyze the beam injection/stabilization process,and a new code SYMTRAN (by Hua and Fowler)that solves the coupled radial and axial particle and energy transport in a K-S T-M. Also, a "legacy"MHD stability code, FLORA, has been upgraded and employed to benchmark the injection/stabilization code and to extend its results to high beta values.

The FLORA code studies so far have confirmed the effectiveness of the K-S in stabilizing high-beta (40%) plasmas with stabilizer plasmas the peak pressures of which are several orders of magnitude smaller than those of the confined plasma.Also the SYMTRAN code has shown D-T plasma ignition from alpha particle energy deposition in T-M regimes with strong end plugging.

Our studies have confirmed the viability of the K-S T-M concept with respect to MHD stability and radial and axial confinement. We are continuing these studies in order to optimize the parameters and to examine means for the stabilization of possible residual instability modes, such as drift modes and "trapped-particle" modes. These modes may in principle be controlled by tailoring the stabilizer plasma distribution and/or the radial potential distribution.

In the paper the results to date of our studies are summarized and projected to scope out possible fusion-power versions of the K-S T-M

 
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