Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / August 2009 / Pages 641-646
Laser Fusion-Fission Hybrid / Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 2)
This paper reviews fission safety design principles and approaches for coupling inertial confinement fusion (ICF) to a subcritical fission blanket, in Laser ICF Fission Energy (LIFE) power plants. LIFE power plants use fuel derived from either spent fuel from fission reactors, or from natural uranium or thorium. By using fusion neutrons, LIFE plants can fission a large fraction of the heavy metal in the fuel, and thus eliminate any need for enrichment of uranium or reprocessing of the fission fuel used in the LIFE plants. This generates security and economic benefits. This paper reviews fission design, safety and licensing issues that are relevant to LIFE power plants.