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Compression of a Toroidal Plasma to Thermonuclear Ignition

Carlos A. Ordonez, Robert E. Peterkin, Jr.*

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 32 / Number 4 / December 1997 / Pages 655-659


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In the worldwide controlled thermonuclear fusion research effort, ignition of a magnetically confined plasma is yet to be achieved. Consequently, it is not known whether a plasma's approach to ignition is associated with a change (degradation or enhancement) of the confinement of plasma energy. Knowledge of this, however, can have a significant impact on the design criteria (and thus cost) of the planned International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Fast adiabatic compression for producing short-time scale ignited toroidal plasmas is proposed as a means to gain this knowledge using existing resources.

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