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Liquid Vortex Shielding for Fusion Energy Applications

Philippe M. Bardet, Boris F. Supiot, Per F. Peterson, Ömer Savas

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 47 / Number 4 / May 2005 / Pages 1192-1196

Technical Paper / Fusion Energy - Inertial Fusion Technology

Swirling liquid vortices can be used in fusion chambers to protect their first walls and critical elements from the harmful conditions resulting from fusion reactions. The beam tube structures in heavy ion fusion (HIF) must be shielded from high energy particles, such as neutrons, x-rays and vaporized coolant, that will cause damage. Here an annular wall jet, or vortex tube, is proposed for shielding and is generated by injecting liquid tangent to the inner surface of the tube both azimuthally and axially. Its effectiveness is closely related to the vortex tube flow properties. 3-D particle image velocimetry (PIV) is being conducted to precisely characterize its turbulent structure. The concept of annular vortex flow can be extended to a larger scale to serve as a liquid blanket for other inertial fusion and even magnetic fusion systems. For this purpose a periodic arrangement of injection and suction holes around the chamber circumference are used, generating the layer. Because it is important to match the index of refraction of the fluid with the tube material for optical measurement like PIV, a low viscosity mineral oil was identified and used that can also be employed to do scaled experiments of molten salts at high temperature.

 
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