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Driven Subcritical Assembly Using a Cylindrical Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Neutron Source

G. H. Miley, B. Ulmen, L. Wu, H. Momota, H. Hora, P. J. Shrestha

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 60 / Number 2 / August 2011 / Pages 620-624


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The design basis for a possible near-term driven subcritical assembly for student labs using a cylindrical Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion neutron source is described. The rebirth of nuclear fission power is going to require a new generation of training facilities for students. The IEC driven subcritical provides a very versatile facility for such training. The IEC source can provide various neutron wave forms (pulses, sinusoidal ramp, etc.) by varying the applied voltage. This opens up an important class of dynamic experiments for student lab study. Driven subcritical operation also eases regulatory requirements and limitations on core configuration changes needed in various student experiments while also introducing the student to the important fusion-fission reactor concept. The possibility of employing the IEC source for future fusion-fission reactors is also briefly discussed.

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