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Power Supply Requirements for a Tokamak Fusion Reactor

Jeffrey N. Brooks, Robert L. Kustom

Nuclear Technology

Volume 46 / Number 1 / November 1979 / Pages 61-81


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The power supply requirements for a 7-m major radius commercial tokamak reactor have been examined, using a system approach combining models of the reactor and poloidal coil set, plasma burn cycle and magnetohydrodynamics calculations, and power supply characteristics and cost data. A conventional system using a motor-generator flywheel set and solid-state rectifier/inverter power supplies was studied in addition to systems using a homo-polar generator, superconducting energy storage inductor, and dump resistors. The requirements and cost of the power supplies depend on several factors but most critically on the ohmic heating ramp time used for startup. Long ramp times (≳8 s) seem to be feasible, from the standpoint of resistive volt-second losses, and would appear to make conventional systems quite competitive with nonconventional ones, which require further research and development.

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