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Ignition and Burn Criteria for D-3He Tokamak and Spherical Torus Reactors

J. D. Galambos, Y.-K. Martin Peng

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 19 / Number 1 / January 1991 / Pages 31-42


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The D-3He ignition and burn criteria for tokamaks and spherical torus reactors are examined in a global analysis with profile corrections. Particle confinement and ash buildup effects are included with the power balance, which results in an increased sensitivity of the ignition criteria to losses via bremsstrahlung and synchrotron radiation. Plasma beta scaling via an ɛβp limit provides the needed aspect ratio (A) dependence and permits an analysis in all A values of the first and second stability regimes. Energy confinement time (τE) associated with particle diffusion (τp) and energy conduction (τc) is used. The ignition condition for minimum nτE is found to be sensitive to beta but not to the magnetic field. Steady-state burn in second stability tokamaks (ξβp ≥ 0.6) at high A (>4) with average synchrotron wall reflectivities below 95% requires nτE above 5 × 1021 m−3 · s or strong plasma elongation (κ > 3). Ignition in a spherical torus can be achieved with wall reflectivities below 80% and at nτE ≤ 1021 m−3 · s, without requiring strong plasma shaping or ɛβp > 0.6. The need to minimize nτE for ignition and burn strongly limits the synchrotron radiation loss to <20% of the fusion power for all values of A. Synchrotron power fractions can be increased, but only to 40%, due to an upper bound on nτE. Further increases of this fraction can be obtained only by assuming preferential ash removal.

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