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Thermal and Mechanical Design Aspects of the LIFE Engine

Ryan P. Abbott, Michael A. Gerhard, Kevin J. Kramer, Jeffery F. Latkowski, Kevin L. Morris, Per F. Peterson, Jeffrey E. Seifried

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / Pages 618-624

August 2009


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The Laser Inertial confinement fusion - Fission Energy (LIFE) engine encompasses the components of a LIFE power plant responsible for converting the thermal energy of fusion and fission reactions into electricity. The design and integration of these components must satisfy a challenging set of requirements driven by nuclear, thermal, geometric, structural, and materials considerations. This paper details a self-consistent configuration for the LIFE engine along with the methods and technologies selected to meet these stringent requirements. Included is discussion of plant layout, coolant flow dynamics, fuel temperatures, expected structural stresses, power cycle efficiencies, and first wall survival threats. Further research to understand and resolve outstanding issues is also outlined.

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