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Design of a Translating Field-Reversed Configuration Reactor

George C. Vlases, D. S. Rowe, the Firebird Design Team

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 9 / Number 1 / January 1986 / Pages 116-135


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A compact fusion reactor design with magnetic confinement based on a field-reversed configuration is described. The reactor is linear and operates in a pulsed mode where the plasma moves as a translating “plasmoid” through the burn chamber. The plasma physics model incorporates recent theoretical and experimental results on confinement. The design is compact and its power output is limited by first-wall and blanket technology. A helium-cooled solid breeder blanket is used for tritium breeding and thermal energy removal. A graphite thermal shield is included to reduce the energy generation and resulting first-wall stresses during pulsed operation. These studies indicate that attractive designs in the range of 300 to 1000 MW(electric) are possible, provided that currently understood scaling laws extrapolate favorably into the reactor regime. Multidimensional neutronics analysis indicates tritium breeding ratios >1.0.

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