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Nuclear Science and Engineering
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.
J. F. Caneses, P. A. Piotrowicz, T. M. Biewer, R. H. Goulding, C. Lau, M. Showers, J. Rapp
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 75 | Number 7 | October 2019 | Pages 683-689
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1622988
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Linear plasma devices are cost-effective alternatives for testing materials under reactor-relevant divertor plasma conditions. An intense radio-frequency (RF) plasma source concept for the Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) is under development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The source concept, Proto-MPEX, aims to produce high-density background deuterium helicon plasmas that are subsequently heated with additional RF and microwave systems to deliver reactor-relevant conditions for studies on plasma-material interaction. In this work, we focus on the plasma-producing stage and its effectiveness in converting input neutral gas into plasma, namely, the neutral gas ionization efficiency. We provide a direct quantitative measurement of the ionization efficiency by measuring the total ion flux arriving at the target region relative to the neutral gas injected at the source. Using 80 kW at 13.56 MHz and a source magnetic field of 0.05 T, the helicon plasma source delivers ion fluxes up to and heat fluxes greater than 1 to a target plate located 2 m away from the source. Under these conditions, we observe that the plasma source converts ~89% of the input neutral gas into plasma that arrives at the target as ion flux at a rate of . We demonstrate that because of the large pumping capacity of the plasma, neutral gas pumping systems are required only in the target region to maintain optimal plasma operation.