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Near Term Applications of Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion Research

G. L. Kulcinski et al.

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 1 / Pages 493-500

July 2009

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For the past 15 years, the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been conducting experiments to demonstrate that there can be many near term applications of fusion research long before the production of electricity in commercial fusion power plants. This research has concentrated on three fuel cycles: DD, D3He, and 3He3He. Some of the major accomplishments are listed below:

a. The production of > 108 DD neutrons per second on a steady state basis

b. The production of pulsed DD neutrons to over 1010 per second in 10Hz, 100 s bursts.

c. The production of 14.7 MeV protons at > 108 per second (steady state) from the D3He reaction.

d. Demonstrated the detection of the explosive C-4 with steady state DD neutrons.

e. Demonstrated the detection of Highly Enriched U (HEU) with pulsed DD neutron fluxes.

f. Production of the positron emission tomography (PET) isotopes, 94mTc and 13Nusing D3He protons.

g. Production of the first measured 3He3He fusion reactions in an IEC device.

h. Development of unique diagnostic techniques to measure the rate, spectrum, and location of fusion reactions in IEC devices.

i. Use of an IEC device to study the behavior of materials at high temperature during charged particle bombardment.

The accomplishments above were carried out in 3 devices HOMER, 3HeCTRE, and HELIOS that have operated up to 180 kV and meter currents of 65 mA. New applications are currently being explored and expanded roles for the IEC device will be described.

 
 
 
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