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An Externally Guided Target for Inertial Fusion

J. M. Martínez-Val, M. Piera

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 29 / Number 1 / January 1996 / Pages 134-170


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A totally new concept is proposed to reach fusion conditions by externally guided inertial confinement. The acceleration and compression of the fuel is guided by a cannon-like external duct with a conical section ending in a small-size cavity around the central point of the tube. The fuel pellets coming from each cannon mouth collide in the central cavity where the implosion and final compression of the fuel take place. Both the tube material density and its areal density must be much higher than the initial density and areal density of the fuel. The external tube will explode into pieces as a consequence of the inner pressures achieved after the fuel central collision. If this collision is suitably driven, a fusion burst can take place before the tube disassembly. Because of the features of the central collision needed to trigger ignition, this concept could be considered as tamped impact fusion. Both the fusion products and the debris from the guide tube are caught by a liquid-lithium curtain surrounding the target. Only two driving beams are necessary. The system can be applied to any type of driver and could use a solid pellet at room temperature as the initial target.

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