The flow of residual metal vapor in an inertial fusion energy (IFE) reactor chamber causes (a) forced convection heat transport to the target, (b) drag force to the target, and (c) deviation of the orbit of the target. To solve these difficulties, a flying metal pipe concept for target transport in an IFE reactor is proposed.

The metal pipe is composed of material identical to the liquid metal used in the IFE reactor. The metal pipe (typically 0.5-cm radius and 2-m length) is injected from the top of the IFE reactor chamber. Subsequently, the IFE target is injected, and it goes into the metal pipe, goes out from the other side of the pipe, and arrives at the center of the IFE reactor chamber to be shot by energy beams. The target in the pipe is protected against radiation, forced convection heat from residual gas, and the wind in the IFE reactor chamber. In the case that the flying metal pipe is used in the reactor, heat transport to the target and deviation of the orbit of the target decrease. After microexplosion of the IFE target, the metal pipe arrives at the bottom of the reactor chamber and melts in the liquid-metal pool.