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Fusion Science and Technology
A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 75 | Number 3 | April 2019 | Pages 208-217
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2018.1546090
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Fusion power generators employing muon-catalyzed nuclear fusion can be developed using a new type of laser-driven muon generator. Results using this generator have been published, and those data are now used to derive the possible fusion power using this generator. Muon-catalyzed fusion has been studied for 60 years, and the results found in such studies are used here to determine the possible power output. Since the muon source gives complex mixtures of mesons and leptons, which have very different interactions with the measuring equipment, the number of negative muons formed is not easily found exactly, but reasonable values based on numerous published experiments with different methods are used to predict the energy output. With deuterium-tritium as fuel, a fusion power generator employing the novel muon generator could give more than 1 MW thermal power. The thermal power using pure deuterium as fuel may be up to 220 kW initially: It will increase with time up to over 1 MW due to the production of tritium in one reaction branch. The power required for running a modern laser and the muon generator is estimated to be of the order of 100 W, thus giving a total energy gain of more than 10 000. The harmful radiation from such fusion power generators is mainly in the form of neutrons from the fusion reactions. Thus, thick radiation shields are necessary as for almost all other fusion concepts. This means that medium-scale thermal fusion power generators of the muon-catalyzed fusion type may become available within a relatively short time.