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A Deuterium-Tritium Ignition Ramp for an Advanced Fuel Field-Reversed Configuration Reactor

Robert M. Zubrin

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 9 / Number 1 / Pages 97-100

January 1986


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The possibility of using small initial charges of tritium and 3He to boost a deuterium field-reversed configuration (FRC) up to temperatures at which deuterium-deuterium (D-D) ignition can take place is examined. A computer program is used to track the rates of production, reaction, and leakage of the FRC plasma's isotopic constituents as the burn progresses and the FRC's temperature, density, and volume vary. On the basis of these studies and current scaling laws, a highly attractive advanced fuel FRC reactor is outlined. It is cylindrical, 12 m long, and 3.2 m in coil outer radius, and produces 1568 MW(electric), giving it an effective core power/volume ratio as great as a pressurized water reactor. No lithium blanket is required, as the tritium needed for startup can be bred by the D-D reactions themselves.

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