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Systems Modeling for the Laser Fusion-Fission Energy (LIFE) Power Plant

W. R. Meier et al.

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 56 / Number 2 / August 2009 / Pages 647-651


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A systems model has been developed for the Laser Inertial Fusion-Fission Energy (LIFE) power plant. It combines cost-performance scaling models for the major subsystems of the plant including the laser, inertial fusion target factory, engine (i.e., the chamber including the fission and tritium breeding blankets), energy conversion systems and balance of plant. The LIFE plant model is being used to evaluate design trade-offs and to identify high-leverage R&D. At this point, we are focused more on doing self consistent design trades and optimization as opposed to trying to predict a cost of electricity with a high degree of certainty. Key results show the advantage of large scale (>1000 MWe) plants and the importance of minimizing the cost of diodes and balance of plant cost.

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